Members of the Sustainability Shipping Initiative launched a “case for action”, analyzing the global trends shaping the future of shipping and calling for a sustainable approach to be established as the norm. The paper said companies should develop innovative business models that encourage long-term investment and take into account social and environmental obligations.
The Case for Action said the industry must drive development of legislation that rewards sustainability, and must maximize efficiency in anticipation of high and volatile fuel prices and demands for low-carbon performance. The initiative members called on industry leaders to create a shared vision of how the sector should develop over the next 30 years, and also to prepare for greater scrutiny of their environmental performance from customers and society at large.
The Case for Action warns that companies should be ready for three key challenges over the next 30 years: doubt over the continued growth of free trade and over levels of global governance; scrutiny over social and environmental performance; and volatile, rising oil prices coupled with climate change pressures.
The paper explores the risks and opportunities around each of these three challenges, and warns that companies doing nothing may face serious consequences. The authors compare shipping to the U.S. auto industry, which nearly collapsed in 2008, in part because industry leaders failed to adapt to rising oil prices.
The Sustainable Shipping Initiative brings together leaders from across the maritime sector with Forum for the Future and WWF. Its members are: ship owners and charterers BP Shipping, Cargill, Gearbulk, IMC, Maersk Line, Morgan Stanley, Rio Tinto Marine and Tsakos Energy Navigation; shipbuilders, engineers and service providers Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and Wartsila; ABN Amro bank; RSA insurance; and the classification society Lloyd’s Register.
Jonathon Porritt, founder-director of Forum for the Future, said: “The leaders involved in this initiative understand that success and sustainability must go hand in hand. These practical actions which they will help deliver will not only make their businesses more robust, but will ensure a more secure future for all of us.”