More companies sign up to Sustainable Shipping Initiative

Global specialty chemicals company Akzonobel has joined the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI), a global coalition of companies and shipping leaders from around the world.

AkzoNobel will join more than 18 global companies already involved, including key industry players such as Maersk Line, Lloyd’s Register, Cargill, DNV, Unilever and Wärtsilä.

According to the SSI facilitator, global sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future, it is the first time the shipping industry has joined forces on such a cooperative global scale to tackle big sustainability issues.

The aim is to show that collaborative action is possible, and to mobilise support across the industry, demonstrating that shipping can contribute to and thrive in a sustainable future, it added.

AkzoNobel corporate sustainability director, Andre Veneman, said: “Our membership of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative supports our vision of working in partnership with other supply chain experts to apply sustainability thinking through the full value chain. Together we can make a real difference to our industry for the future.”

In addition to Akzonobel, U-Ming Marine Transport Corporation – a major Taiwanese marine transporter of cement dry commodities and raw materials with 44 ships – has also joined the initiative.

President of U-Ming, C. K. Ong, said: “As one of the world’s major shipping lines we felt it was critical to take part in sharing ideas and knowledge for the future and to encourage widespread adoption of new thinking to solve mutual problems.”

Forum for the Future added that the SSI’s members are now setting out their vision and aspirations for how the industry needs to respond to its global challenges- backed up by specific commitments to action.

The key areas for action include becoming a more trusted and responsible partner in communities in which shipping operates, diversifying the industry’s energy mix and ensuring greater resource efficiency to make dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas intensity.

It will also look to enable the financing and large scale uptake of technological and operational innovations that will lead to a step-change in the industry’s performance on sustainability.

Four initial SSI workstreams, run by member companies, are currently underway which focus on tackling issues including energy technologies, financing sustainable ship building and reviewing ship materials and sustainability ratings and standards.

The workstreams will run over the next twelve months and the results will be announced at an international press conference in September this year.

Director of system innovation for Forum for the Future, Stephanie Draper, said: “The Sustainable Shipping Initiative is delighted to welcome such industry-leading organisations to join what has become a powerful force for change. Together we have recognised the major issues facing shipping and we welcome new partners who can help us on this journey so we can create a tipping point for wide spread adoption of sustainable practices.”

Leigh Stringer

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