Global shipping leaders call for action to create sustainable industry
May 18, 2011
With the aim to create shared vision to make maritime industry future-proof, members of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative launched a Case for Action.
Sustainable Shipping Initiative, the global coalition drawn from across the maritime sector, announced its agenda: “Our goal is to transform the global shipping industry and the wider maritime sector, establishing a new, sustainable approach as the norm.”
They called on industry leaders to:
Create a shared vision of how the industry should develop over the next 30 years
Prepare for greater scrutiny and demands from customers and society with regard to social and environmental performance
Build and convert ships to the highest standards of energy efficiency in anticipation of high and volatile fuel prices and demands for low-carbon performance
Drive the development of coordinated, progressive legislation that rewards sustainability
Develop innovative business models that encourage long-term investment and take into account social and environmental obligations
Soren Stig Nielsen, Head of Sustainability, Maersk Line, said: "By creating a shared vision for sustainable growth, we can plot a new ambitious course. A course where shipping is viewed as a key enabler of responsible and sustainable economic development."
The Sustainable Shipping Initiative brings together leading companies from across the industry and around the world with NGOs Forum for the Future and WWF. Its members are:
Ship owners: BP Shipping, Gearbulk, Maersk Line, Tsakos Energy Navigation, IMC
Charterers: Cargill, Rio Tinto Marine
Shipbuilders, engineers and service providers: Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering; Wärtsilä
Banks and Insurers: ABN Amro, RSA, Morgan Stanley
Classification society (setting technical standards): Lloyd's Register
Board level representatives launched the Sustainable Shipping Initiative Case for Action on 17 May. It is designed as a resource for the entire industry and warns that companies should be ready for three key challenges over the next 30 years.
Continued growth of free trade and strong global governance cannot be guaranteed. A decline in global trade would lead to greater competition and magnify competitive advantages. Companies should be prepared for this and work with the IMO on progressive regulation to anticipate future challenges.
Shipping is likely to face increased scrutiny of its social and environmental performance, mirroring trends seen in other industries. Companies which can demonstrate a strong record on working conditions, fuel efficiency, prosecutions and similar factors are likely to be favoured by customers and suppliers, including ports, financiers and insurers.
Volatile and rising oil prices will push up costs significantly while climate change is increasing pressure on shipping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Companies can gain competitive advantage by investing in energy efficiency and the transition to new fuels.
In the next stage of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, members will create a shared vision of an industry in 2040 which is resilient, socially and environmentally responsible and profitable, and will commit to a set of actions to achieve this.