The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) is a multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together like-minded and leading organisations with shared goals and equal determination in improving the sustainability of the shipping industry in terms of social, environmental and economic impacts.

It was founded in September 2010 by Forum for the Future in collaboration with WWF and industry leaders ABN Amro, BP Shipping, Gearbulk, Lloyd’s Register, and Maersk Line. Today, SSI has 14 members spanning the entire shipping value chain, from charterers, shipowners and shipyards, to banks, classification societies and technology companies.

The SSI’s work aims to meet the goals outlined in its vision and the Roadmap to a sustainable shipping industry.

Our vision for a sustainable shipping industry


SSI members commit to working towards this vision in all our own operations and/or activities that involve shipping, and in all our dealings with and support for the shipping industry to make our vision a global reality. We will vigorously pursue action both individually and collectively to work towards the vision. We will also seek to influence national and international standards and policies to support the achievement of this vision, by working with others in our industry, governments and other relevant stakeholders around the world.

SSI members recognise the importance of shipping to the global economy, with commercial ships transporting 90% of global trade. To guide our work toward a sustainable shipping industry, we developed the Case for Action in 2011, which identified the principal global trends profoundly affecting the maritime sector over the coming decades.

New patterns of trade, shifting global powers, rising fuel costs and changing customer demands indicate that the industry needs to change radically in the coming years and decades.

As industry leaders, SSI members want to show the way toward a better future – for our own success and for wider society, with sustainable shipping serving a genuinely sustainable economy.

In our Vision for 2040 document, released in 2011 and updated in 2014, SSI members set out their hopes for the industry, backed up by specific commitments to action. They recognise that committing to a sustainable shipping industry means:

  • Changing to a diverse mix of energy sources, using resources more efficiently and responsibly, and dramatically reducing greenhouse gas intensity
  • 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
  • Earning the reputation of being a trusted and responsible partner in the communities we live, work and operate
  • Developing financial solutions that reward sustainable performance and enable large-scale uptake 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.

The Case for Action and SSI Vision form the basis for the Roadmap to a sustainable shipping industry, which lays out the pathways and defines tangible milestones to be collectively achieved in the coming decades.

Our History


The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) was founded in 2010 by Forum for the Future in collaboration with WWF and industry leaders ABN Amro, BP Shipping, Gearbulk, Lloyd’s Register, and Maersk Line.

Since then, SSI has worked to accelerate progress and collectively address industry gaps in areas ranging from closed loop materials management, to sustainable finance, and shipping’s decarbonisation. We have grown to 14 members spanning the entire shipping value chain, from charterers, shipowners and shipyards, to banks, classification societies and NGOs.

See our timeline