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Shipping Industry Meets to Present Future for 2040

By James Mathews - 31 Oct 2011 15:19:0 GMT
Shipping Industry Meets to Present Future for 2040

Shipping Industry via Shutterstock

The Sustainable Shipping Iniative (SSI) has signatories that span five continents and consists of global companies and NGO's, including ABN AMRO bank N.V., BP Shipping, Bunge, Cargill, Carnival, China Navigation Co., Daewoo Shipbuilding, Gearbulk, Lloyd's Register, Maersk Line, Rio Tinto Marine, Royal Sun Alliance, Tsakos Energy Navigation, Unilever and Wartsila. The group have a combined market value of over half a trillion dollars.

They will today, on the 31st October, present their goals and visions for 2040 regarding the sustainable future of international shipping. The three main challenges in the current market are rising oil prices, structural shifts in world trade and the rising importance of the industry's social and environmental performance which is under more and more scrutiny as time goes by.

The Founder Director of Forum for the Future said, "Shipping has reached a crossroads. After years of focusing on a commodity-focused 'boom and bust' business model, leaders in the industry have aligned to ask more of themselves - emphasising the urgent need to take the lead in reshaping the entire industry ahead of regulation."

The presentation will take place today in London at 6:30pm GMT and breaks the vision down into five main subjects: Communities, Employment, Energy and Environment, Governance and Innovation.

The communities aspect of the presentation represents becoming a more trusted and responsible partner in the local communities that they operate in while the employment subject is about providing a high standard of work environment for the 2 million people working in the shipping industry and making sure that health and safety are a priority.

In Energy and Environment, the vision is to diversify the mix of energy used in the shipping industry to increase efficiency and reduce the impact on the environment.

In Governance, it is suggested that there is greater transparency and accountability at corporate and industry levels and on the innovation subject there is a vision on future technology innovations that will improve performance and sustainability of the shipping industry.

Maersk Line Chief Operating Officer, Morten H. Engelstoft, said: "We are in business for the long - term and therefore take an active role in defining the future we want to be part of. Delivering on a joint vision for our industry will help drive a needed change in operating models - thereby allowing economies to grow, trade to develop and social wealth to spread."

It is recognised that the impact of today's meetings can heavily impact on the future of the industry and the way it is seen by the public as well as the long term impact on people's lives, jobs and the environment and therefore great consideration and time has been taken over all the elements involved.

Royal Sun Alliance Marine Director, Richard Turner, said: "As one of the world's leading marine insurers, we are delighted to be part of the coalition. A framework of this kind will prove invaluable in safeguarding the future of the industry and helping to mitigate the environmental impact of shipping."

The Chief Supply Chain Officer at Unilever, Pier-Luigi Sigismondi, said: "Unilever has a bold ambition to double its business and halve its environmental impact and has underpinned this ambition with the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan; nothing less than the basis of a new business model. Quite simply, the only way we will achieve our ambition is by working in partnerships with all our stakeholders - from suppliers to NGOs. With shipping being an increasingly important part of supply chain, the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) represents a unique opportunity to reduce environmental impact not only for Unilever, but right across the industry."

There were various other comments of note from SSI partners including the Bunge Managing Director Ocean Freight Giovanni Ravano said: "Bunge is committed to improving the sustainability of the global food and agricultural production chain. To do so requires attention to our own operations, but also the promotion of better agricultural practices and more sustainable logistics. Shipping is a natural focus, and we believe the multi-stakeholder approach of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative is an excellent way to design and promote positive ideas and solutions. Bunge is proud to sign off on this vision and participate actively to the work stream."

The heads of the companies in this essential sector have all come together to provide a long-term plan. The shipping sector has changed drastically over the years and with more expectations from customers combined with more pressure from rising costs and environmental factors, it is recognised that the industry will have to make a lot of big adaption's to stay competitive. The first steps will being at 6:30pm tonight when the ideas and goals are made public.

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Topics: Sustainability