The Sustainable Shipping Initiative was launched last week with Maersk Line as a founding member. It brings together shippers, customers, financial consultants and NGOs with the aim of shifting shipping towards greater sustainability and profitability.
Maersk Line now joins forces with other industry actors to steer shipping into a future global trade where the challenge of climate change and rising fuel costs alter the patterns of commerce and create new possibilities.
Vital role in global trade The Sustainable Shipping Initiative, announced on Monday last week in London, asks itself with taking a closer look at “challenges and opportunities over the next 30 years” to ensure a “robust and profitable” international trade “with a strong record of social and environmental responsibility.”
The initiative runs under the auspices of Forum for the Future, a UK non-governmental organisation. The Sustainable Shipping Initiative is founded by Maersk Line, Gearbulk, BP Shipping, Lloyd's Register, ABN Amro and WWF.
“Shipping plays a vital role in global trade and affects the lives of billions of people around the world,” said Jonathon Porritt, founder and director of Forum for the Future.
“Smart shipping companies can see the way the wind is blowing in terms of today's pressing sustainability issues” and leadership of this kind is crucial to the future success of the whole industry,” he said.
Influence the future of the industry Within a few years, the Sustainable Shipping Initiative hopes to gain cross-industry support and outline solutions that may entail policy proposals, technical and engineering initiatives, or development programmes for industry leaders.
For Maersk Line, the project is of strategic importance. “As a member of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative we hope to take advantage of new trends and gain influence in shaping the industry’s future,” says Jacob Sterling, head of Climate and Environment in Maersk Line. “One of the novel things in this project is its broad-based foundation, including for example, finance and NGOs. This means you get the full spectrum of opinion and perspectives when you seek solutions,” he added.