Vision 2040

Shipping plays a critical role in the global economy. Recognising that the challenges of the future demand significant change, SSI members have developed a shared vision – a vision in which sustainability equals success.

We understand that this 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 where 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.

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Global leaders of shipping industry present plans for sustainable future

LONDON, 31st October – The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI), a coalition of global companies and NGOs, will today present their collective Vision for the sustainable future of international shipping. It is the first time such a wide-ranging approach has been taken to the challenges facing an industry which carries 90% of world trade.

The Vision for 2040 has been signed into action by the Initiative’s seventeen members, which have a combined market value of half a trillion dollars, to address the three principal challenges facing the industry: rising oil prices, structural shifts in world trade and growing scrutiny of the industry’s social and environmental performance.

Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director of Forum for the Future, the global non-profit organisation co-ordinating the Initiative, 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 Vision, supported by four implementation work streams, will be presented to representatives of the shipping industry at a launch event in London this evening, at 6.30pm GMT/ 2.30pm ET (US). It has five key objectives for the industry:

Communities --- To become a more trusted and responsible partner in the communities in which the industry operates;
Employment --- To provide a safe, healthy, secure and rewarding work environment to the over 2 million people working in shipping;
Energy & Environment --- To diversify the industry’s energy mix and ensure greater resource efficiency, make dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas intensity and ensure responsible governance of the oceans;
Governance --- To promote greater transparency and accountability at corporate and industry levels;
Innovation --- 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.

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."

The Vision involves the set-up of work streams tasked with kick-starting implementation of the objectives. The first of these address the following areas, which offer the greatest potential to accelerate change:

  • Innovative financing models – developing new finance mechanisms to enable faster roll-out of new technologies and innovation.
  • Enabling a step change in energy technology innovation and uptake – identifying and overcoming key non-financial barriers to the uptake of low-carbon and energy efficient technologies.
  • Reducing the life-cycle impact of ship materials – by developing a system for tracking and monitoring materials used and reused in ship building, with the aim of progressively phasing out unwanted materials and increasing opportunities for and the efficiency of recycling – as well as weeding out poor working practices.
  • ‘Standard of standards’ – producing an overarching framework and governance structure to manage and align the growing number of beyond-compliance standards and rating systems.

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 SSI invites organisations in the wider industry wishing to participate in the four work streams. These will start work in March and report to the SSI Steering Group on a regular basis. The overall Initiative will report publicly on a biannual basis.

In developing the Vision, the Initiative drew on its members’ expertise in ship owning, chartering and operations, shipbuilding and engineering, marine finance, technical standards and the global supply chain.

Unilever Chief Supply Chain Officer, 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."


Case for Action launch

In May 2011, the SSI members launched a Case for Action. It analyses the social, environmental and economic challenges shipping faces and how best to react to them, and it calls on the industry to take far-reaching action.

At the launch event, the SSI members announced: “Our goal is to transform the global shipping industry and the wider maritime sector, establishing a new, sustainable approach as the norm.”

The SSI members called on industry leaders to:

  • Create a shared vision of how the industry should develop over the next 30 years;
  • Prepare for greater scrutiny and demands from customers and society with regard to social and environmental performance;
  • Build and convert ships to the highest standards of energy efficiency in anticipation of high and volatile fuel prices and demands for low-carbon performance;
  • Drive the development of co-ordinated, progressive legislation that rewards sustainability;
  • Develop innovative business models that encourage long-term investment and take into account social and environmental obligations.

Global shipping leaders call for action to create sustainable industry

17th May 2011

Jointly issued with: ABN Amro, BP Shipping, Cargill, DSME, Gearbulk, IMC, Lloyd’s Register, Maersk Line, Morgan Stanley, Rio Tinto Marine, RSA, Tsakos Energy Navigation, Wartsila and WWF

Some of the biggest names in shipping today called on the industry to take far-reaching action to create a maritime sector which is socially and environmentally responsible and profitable.

Members of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, a global coalition drawn from across the sector, launched a Case for Action analysing the global trends which will shape the future of shipping, and announced: “Our goal is to transform the global shipping industry and the wider maritime sector, establishing a new, sustainable approach as the norm.”

They called on industry leaders to:

  • create a shared vision of how the industry should develop over the next 30 years;
  • prepare for greater scrutiny and demands from customers and society with regard to social and environmental performance;
  • build and convert ships to the highest standards of energy efficiency in anticipation of high and volatile fuel prices and demands for low-carbon performance;
  • drive the development of co-ordinated, progressive legislation that rewards sustainability;
  • develop innovative business models that encourage long-term investment and take into account social and environmental obligations.

Soren Stig Nielsen, Head of Sustainability, Maersk Line, said: "By creating a shared vision for sustainable growth, we can plot a new ambitious course. A course where shipping is viewed as a key enabler of responsible and sustainable economic development."

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.

Tom Boardley, Marine Director at Lloyd’s Register, emphasised the importance of commercial interests working with technical expertise. “One of the real strengths of this initiative is the marriage of ship operating and ship engineering capability – we all need to work together to help make shipping more sustainable,” he said.

Board level representatives launched the Sustainable Shipping Initiative Case for Action today at a summit chaired by Jonathon Porritt, founder director of Forum for the Future. It is designed as a resource for the entire industry and warns that companies should be ready for three key challenges over the next 30 years.

  • Continued growth of free trade and strong global governance cannot be guaranteed. A decline in global trade would lead to greater competition and magnify competitive advantages. Companies should be prepared for this and work with the IMO on progressive regulation to anticipate future challenges.
  • Shipping is likely to face increased scrutiny of its social and environmental performance, mirroring trends seen in other industries. Companies which can demonstrate a strong record on working conditions, fuel efficiency, prosecutions and similar factors are likely to be favoured bv customers and suppliers, including ports, financiers and insurers.
  • Volatile and rising oil prices will push up costs significantly while climate change is increasing pressure on shipping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Companies can gain competitive advantage by investing in energy efficiency and the transition to new fuels.

The Sustainable Shipping Initiative Case for Action explores the risks and opportunities around each of these three challenges. It also warns that companies which do nothing may face serious consequences. The US auto industry came close to collapse in 2008, partly by failing to adapt to rising oil prices, and was only saved by a $25 billion government bailout.

In the next stage of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, members will create a shared vision of an industry in 2040 which is resilient, socially and environmentally responsible and profitable, and will commit to a set of actions to achieve this. The ultimate aim is to mobilise industry support for an action plan to achieve this vision, including engineering and technical initiatives, policy proposals and marketing and communications plans.

Jonathon Porritt 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.”


SSI Case for Action

In May 2011 we launched a Case for Action which explored the social, environmental and economic challenges the industry faces and how best to react to them. Leading businesses, including fleet operators, their suppliers, customers and financiers, have looked ahead to 2040 and drawn up a Case for Action to create a flourishing industry with much higher social and environmental standards.

The Case for Action was based on interviews with experts from across the maritime sector, it is not an attempt to predict the future but to raise awareness and start the debate surrounding how the operating environment of the shipping sector needs to change.

We identified 7 global trends, the global economy, ocean governance, demand for transparency, the future of energy, sustainability regulation, advancing technology and adapting to climate change all of which will profoundly affect the maritime sector over the next 30 years. The interaction of these global trends and three key challenges for the industry were examined, this along with numerous activities set the agenda for the second phase of the SSI, which produced our Vision for a sustainable shipping industry in 2040.

In 2013 the SSI published a progress report called ‘A Case for More Action’ which describes both the individual and collective practical outputs and outlines how they can be used by the wider industry.

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Press Release: SSI membership grows

15 December 2010 (press release)

Jointly issued with: ABM Amro, Gearbulk, Lloyd's Register, Maersk Line, BP Shipping, Cargill, DSME, Rio Tinto Marine, RSA, Tsakos Energy Navigation, Wärtsilä and WWF

An ambitious global taskforce charting a course to a sustainable future for the shipping industry received a major boost today with the announcement of six elite new members.

The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) is joined by: Cargill, which runs a charter fleet of more than 300 vessels; South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, one of the world’s biggest shipbuilders; Rio Tinto Marine, the shipping arm of the mining giant; RSA, one of the world’s top four marine insurers; the high-profile Greek tanker operator Tsakos Energy Navigation; and Wärtsilä, one of the world’s top providers of shipping solutions and equipment.

The new members join SSI founders ABN Amro, BP Shipping, Gearbulk, Lloyd's Register and Maersk Line, which are working with Forum for the Future and the WWF.

“The Sustainable Shipping Initiative has set out to transform an industry which plays an essential role in global trade and affects the lives of billions of people," said Jonathon Porritt, founder director of Forum for the Future. "The growing number of elite international companies coming on board shows that industry leaders understand sustainability is crucial to their future success.”

“The quality of these new members is a testimonial to the growing importance of promoting sustainable shipping, both to the industry and to society at large" said, Tom Boardley, Marine Director, Lloyd’s Register. "Their addition will deepen the expertise of the group as we look for solutions that will help the industry to improve its business performance, while at the same time lessening our collective carbon footprint.”

The SSI will focus on the strategic megatrends which will profoundly affect the industry, including: climate change and new weather patterns; oil shortages and carbon taxes; changing markets and cargoes; labour standards and skills shortage; piracy and marine governance; new ship designs and other technological developments. It will help participants to prepare for, influence, and take advantage of these trends, and play a leading role in shaping the future of the industry.

Members, drawn from throughout the sector, will explore how best to react to these megatrends and prepare a case for action as a resource for the entire industry. This will set the agenda for creating a vision of a sustainable shipping industry and a plan to create a step change in its social, environmental and economic sustainability.

“The shipping industry is a global community that currently supports 90 percent of the world’s international physical trade,” said G. J. van den Akker, President, Cargill Ocean Transportation. “In a world of finite resources, we recognise that the vitality and conservation of our natural resources is extremely important. We look forward to working with our industry partners to help tackle key challenges which our industry will face in the journey towards creating a sustainable shipping industry.”

CEOs and board-level representatives will launch this case for action at a members' summit in 2011, chaired by Porritt. The ultimate goal is to mobilise support across the industry for an action plan, which may include technical and engineering initiatives, policy proposals, development programmes for industry leaders and marketing and communications plans.

“Wärtsilä powers every third ship and services every second ship sailing the world’s seas. Providing sustainable solutions is the cornerstone of Wärtsilä’s commitment to the shipping industry,” said Jaakko Eskola, Group Vice President, Wärtsilä Ship Power. “This initiative is an excellent opportunity for Wärtsilä to contribute to ensure that shipping remains the most sustainable way of transporting goods over long distances in the future.”

"Given the prominent role of sustainability in our operations, Rio Tinto Marine is proud to join the Sustainable Shipping Initiative and looks forward to working with Forum for the Future and other member organisations to shape a more sustainable future for the global shipping industry," said Michael Harvey, Chief Operating Officer of Rio Tinto Marine.

Richard Turner, Marine Director at RSA said: "The aim for RSA and Codan Marine, is to keep our customers' business moving at all times. This fits well with the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) agenda, to ensure that the shipping industry successfully navigates through the challenges of global trade and environmental change."

Oh-Yig Kwon, Director of DSME’s Basic Design Group, said: “Building sustainable ships will be fundamental to a sustainable industry and, as a leading shipbuilder, DSME is keen to contribute to the Sustainable Shipping Initiative. Our econology programme is developing high-performance ships with greatly reduced CO2 emissions.”


Press Release: SSI is launched

21 September 2010

Maersk Line, Gearbulk, BP Shipping, Lloyd's Register and ABN Amro are working with Forum for the Future and WWF in an ambitious project designed to chart a course to a sustainable future.

The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) will examine the challenges and opportunities which face the industry over the next 30 years and what it needs to do to ensure that, by 2040, it is robust and profitable with a strong record of social and environmental responsibility.

"Shipping plays a vital role in global trade and affects the lives of billions of people around the world," said Jonathon Porritt, founder director of Forum for the Future. "Smart shipping companies can see the way the wind is blowing in terms of today's pressing sustainability issues, and leadership of this kind is crucial to the future success of the whole industry."

Climate change and new weather patterns; oil shortages and carbon taxes; changing markets and cargoes, particularly in Asia; piracy and marine governance; new ship designs and other technological developments: strategic megatrends like these will profoundly affect the industry. The Sustainable Shipping Initiative will enable participants to prepare for, influence and take advantage of these trends and play a leading role in shaping the future of the industry.

Jacob Sterling, head of Climate and Environment in Maersk Line, said: "Climate change is a huge challenge for all, and we believe that shipping is not only part of the problem, we can also be part of the solution. We hope that the SSI will deliver an action plan that can strengthen the role of the shipping industry in shaping a low-carbon future".

The founder members aim to bring other leading organisations from across the industry into the SSI, including global shipping firms, shippers and financiers. Members will identify the key megatrends which will affect shipping, explore how best to react to them, and prepare a case for action as a resource for the entire industry.

"Shipping is the least energy-intensive form of trade transport but, to create a truly sustainable model, we still have to find ways to lessen our impact on the planet. The members of the SSI are proven industry leaders with a clear view of how to manage the challenges ahead," said Tom Boardley, Marine Director, Lloyd's Register.

"Our involvement in the SSI supports our sustainability vision which is 'To take responsibility for the future through the choices we make today'," said Kristian Jebsen, Chairman and CEO of Gearbulk. "Our work with the Forum for the Future is a way of ensuring that shipping is able to operate in a manner which takes all stakeholders into consideration, as well as to evaluate and reduce the impact human activity has on the planet."

CEOs and board-level representatives will launch this case for action at a members' summit in 2011, chaired by Jonathon Porritt. This will set the agenda for creating a vision of a sustainable shipping industry and a plan to create a step change in the social, environmental and economic sustainability of the shipping industry.

The ultimate goal is to mobilise support across the industry for this action plan, which may include technical and engineering initiatives, policy proposals, development programmes for industry leaders and marketing and communications plans.