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green and sustainable business

Maritime Industry Goes Sustainable

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Shipping lines, shipbuilders, banks, insurers and shippers are joining forces on a major sustainability initiative that’s “designed to help the industry make long-term plans for future success.”

They call it the Sustainable Shipping Initiative/Vision 2040. They even assert that “radical changes” are needed to make the global shipping industry more energy efficient, environmentally-friendly and sustainable for the long haul.

The initiative unites maritime-related companies from across the industry with the NGO’s Forum for the Future and WWF, including:

Of course there’s the vision-thing: “Shipping plays a critical role in the global economy. Recognizing that the challenges of the future demand significant change, SSI members have developed a shared Vision for 2040 – a vision in which sustainability equals success.”

Give them credit – it’s a serious and credible exercise that includes these areas for action:

– Pioneering and implementing aggressive improvements in ship design, retrofits and operation while shifting to a diverse mix of renewable and other energy sources, using resources more efficiently and responsibly, and dramatically reducing greenhouse gas intensity.

– Engaging partners to achieve “major supply chain efficiency gains.”

– Providing safe, healthy and secure work environments so that people want to work in shipping, where they can enjoy rewarding careers and achieve their full potential.

– Exploring ways to put a financial value on ecosystems, goods and services to ensure responsible resource use and reduce ecosystem impacts.

– Developing financial solutions that reward sustainable performance and enable large-scale implementation of innovation, technology, design and operational efficiencies.

– Transparency and accountability drive performance improvements and enable better, sustainable business decision-making.

– Proactively contributing to the responsible governance of the oceans.

While these are aspirations for 2040, the group noted, “We cannot wait until 2040 to become sustainable; we need to act today. Achieving this vision is a journey. There are many things that we do not know now that may play a key role in the future. However, we want to generate action and real outcomes.”

There’s not much detail so far. But for an industry that’s as old school and resistant to change as they come, this vision is a sea-change and a necessary start.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

10 November, 2011 at 2:00 am

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