SSI Impact: News from our journey to sustainable shipping - 02/2021

The SSI Newsletter is published quarterly and is the place to find news from the SSI community, our partners and the impact of our collective work along our journey to a sustainable shipping industry.

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IHRB Voices: Delivering on Seafarers' Rights

This Day of the Seafarer podcast brings together Andrew Stephens of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI), and Simon Bennett of Swire Shipping to reflect on the ongoing maritime crew change crisis and wider human rights issues among the world’s 1.6 million seafarers.

In conversation with IHRB’s Francesa Fairbairn, they discuss the impact on seafarers of being unable to disembark ships, sometimes for many months beyond the end of their contract, due to national government-imposed COVID port restrictions. A former seafarer, Simon Bennett emphasises the actions that need to be taken to ensure their wellbeing at sea – such as increasing connectivity for better contact with loved ones.

Andrew and Simon also discuss the development of an upcoming industry Code of Conduct (CoC) and accompanying implementation tools, an initiative between IHRB, SSI and Rafto Foundation, with Simon among a number of industry stakeholders on the Working Group. This project sees charterers, shipowners and operators come together to address the wider underlying and systemic issues creating labour and human rights risks for seafarers worldwide.

Stream below, or listen on Apple, Spotify, Google or your favourite podcast player


Ship lifecycle: Exploring shipping's transition to a circular industry

Time period: 2021-Present

Members involved: Forum for the Future, Oldendorff Carriers, Maersk

Partner: 2BHonest

While there is a growing interest in sustainability across a ship’s lifecycle, it remains unclear how circular economy principles can be applied in concrete terms to shipping. Industry growth and ageing tonnage pose a challenge for the coming decades as shipowners and operators consider their vessel transition plans as part of their decarbonisation strategies. Compliance with regulation around recycling and waste management, the price of used steel and the incentives for reducing, reusing, refurbishing, and recycling of a ship’s components are a few examples of the economic, environmental and social factors at play.

The project represents an initial exploration of the circular economy in relation to the ship lifecycle, aiming to better understand the barriers and opportunities and raising awareness of the untapped potential for shipping’s circularity transition.

  • Explore the role of circular economy principles in shipping, further developing awareness and understanding of its potential for optimisation in the ship lifecycle, taking into consideration learning from similar experience in other sectors such as automotive
  • Understand the process at end of life and rates of reuse, repurposing and recycling for a ship’s materials, taking used steel as a case study and considering associated infrastructure and facility requirements
  • Consider the business case for circularity in shipping and the market opportunities it presents, taking into account the role that industry actors, including businesses, regulators and others can play in facilitating the transition to a circular maritime economy
  • Understand how global and regional regulation related to waste, recycling and circular economy impact and incentivise a circular maritime industry

Exploring shipping’s transition to a circular industry presents the findings of an inquiry commissioned by the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) and authored by circularity and sustainability consultancy 2BHonest. The report builds on previous research around the role of circularity in shipping, including SSI’s 2013 Closed Loop Materials Management work, the Circular Shipping Initiative, and other examples both within maritime and in comparable industries such as automotive and aviation.

Prepared based on academic knowledge, industry insights, and a range of stakeholder interviews, this report works to explore how circular economy principles can be applied to shipping, raising awareness and understanding among shipping stakeholders through evidence-based research, and setting out the opportunities and barriers across the vessel lifecycle for the transition to a circular shipping industry.


Sustainable Shipping Initiative report explores opportunity for circularity as shipping works to decarbonise

LONDON, 22 June 2021 – The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) has today published the report Exploring shipping’s transition to a circular industry, discussing the potential of circular economy principles for shipping and identifying four main building blocks: knowledge and awareness, business model innovation, technological advancement, and a global regulatory framework.

As shipping undergoes rapid shifts in the coming decades to achieve its decarbonisation and sustainability goals, now is the time to rethink the industry’s approach to resource use and consider the entire lifecycle of a vessel in its design, building, operations and recycling phases. Authored by sustainability and circularity consultancy 2BHonest, the report points to the potential for circularity principles to enable the transition to a sustainable shipping industry.

Over 95% of current lifecycle CO2 emissions take place during the operational stage of a ship’s life. However, as the industry works to decarbonise, the need to address and reduce emissions at other lifecycle stages will increase. By incorporating circularity principles of designing out waste, maximising the useful life of materials, and leveraging increased reuse of materials and components, shipping can reduce CO2 emissions, lower costs, and retain value whilst minimising waste. The 4R model of Reduce – Reuse – Refurbish – Recycle presented in the report highlights the pathway for shipping to understand how circularity can be applied to its activities and takes the first steps towards common language and understanding in this area.

The report further explores how current vessel recycling practices provide a starting point for shipping’s journey to a circular industry. From a materials perspective, a high percentage of a vessel’s materials and components will be recovered at end of life and be reused or recycled, and steel recycling can contribute to a three- and six-fold reduction in energy use, presenting an opportunity for increased circularity. Fleet transition plans and the upcoming waterfall of vessels to be recycled – as global recycling volumes are expected to double by 2028 – present a short-term challenge and showcase the need to demystify, incentivise, and apply circularity principles to vessels entering the merchant fleet in coming decades.

Pieter van t’Hoff, Responsible strategy and supply chain consultant at 2BHonest: “The world needs to pivot away from a linear to a circular economy. For shipping this means working to create awareness, policies, business models and technologies towards an industry that is circular by design. We are excited to work together to untangle the challenges and success factors laid out in this report, which represents an important first step in accelerating the transition to a circular industry.”

Captain Prashant S. Widge, Head of Responsible Ship Recycling, Fleet Technology at A.P. Moller-Maersk: “Growth in the shipping industry coupled with an aging tonnage poses a challenge for the next decades as shipowners and operators consider their vessel transition plans as part of their decarbonization strategies. The global recycling volumes are expected to double by 2028 and nearly quadruple by 2033. In the short term, global solutions aimed to resolve the outlined ‘stalemate’ regulatory, capacity, and capability challenges are necessary for responsible ship recycling, especially of the larger size vessels. These are likely to emerge in countries with an inherent demand for steel scrap and existing strong downstream markets that support the implementation of the circular economy principles and reduces carbon emissions.”

Scott Jones, Director of Communications at Oldendorff Carriers: “The maritime industry has a crucial role to play in supporting the circular economy. The design, construction, operation and decommissioning of vessels needs to move away from the traditional “take, make, use, dispose” model and shift towards comprehensively encompassing sustainability throughout each stage of a vessel’s lifecycle.”

Oriana Brine, Trustee at the Sustainable Shipping Initiative: “Over 90% of global trade is moved by ships at sea and with the global fleet having grown rapidly over the past two decades, it is essential for the industry to address end-of-life sustainability challenges, going beyond compliance-driven approaches to create new business models. By investing early to build circular economy principles into every stage of the ship’s lifecycle, the industry will realise the potential for transformation including the social, environmental, and economic rewards. Consumers and investors will look to the shipping industry for practical examples and inspiration about how to future-proof the maritime supply chain.”

Andrew Stephens, Executive Director of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative: “A sustainable shipping industry needs to connect the dots through the lifecycle of a vessel, considering and addressing all activities as part of a whole – whether it is the design, construction, repair, or recycling. We see this report as the first step towards shared understanding of the way circular economy concepts can be applied and how they can enable a sustainable maritime industry that considers its impacts on oceans, communities, people, and the environment.”

– ENDS –

Notes to Editors

For more information, interviews or comment please contact Elizabeth Petit, Head of Communications, Sustainable Shipping Initiative (e.petit@sustainableshipping.org).

About the Sustainable Shipping Initiative

The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) is a multi-stakeholder collective of ambitious and like-minded leaders, driving change through cross-sectoral collaboration to contribute to – and thrive in – a more sustainable maritime industry. Spanning the entire shipping value chain, SSI members are shipowners and charterers; ports; shipyards, marine product, equipment and service providers; banks, ship finance and insurance providers; classification societies; and sustainability non-profits.

www.sustainableshipping.org | @SustShipping

Download this press release as a PDF


Exploring shipping's transition to a circular industry

Exploring shipping’s transition to a circular industry presents the findings of an inquiry commissioned by the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) and authored by circularity and sustainability consultancy 2BHonest aiming to demystify the concept of the circular economy, which has a key role to play in the shipping industry.

This report builds on previous research around the role of circularity in shipping, including SSI’s 2013 Closed Loop Materials Management work, the Circular Shipping Initiative, and other examples both within maritime and in comparable industries such as automotive.

Prepared based on academic knowledge, industry insights, and a range of stakeholder interviews, this report works to explore how circular economy principles can be applied to shipping, raising awareness and understanding among shipping stakeholders through evidence-based research, and setting out the opportunities and barriers across the vessel lifecycle for the transition to a circular shipping industry.

By focusing on steel as the primary component of a vessel, this report is anchored in today’s take-make-waste-recycle model, providing an opportunity to discuss the future of the industry and key levers for change moving forward.


World Oceans Day: Blue Economy and the shipping sector’s impact

This piece originally appeared in Ship Technology.

By Ilaria Grasso Macola

To celebrate the 29th World Oceans Day, the UN has held a series of conferences to raise awareness about the challenges facing our ocean. One of the panels ,‘Blue Economy and Private Sector’s Impact’, focused on industries such as shipping that depend on the ocean. Here are some of the lessons we learnt.

The UN celebrated the 29th World Oceans Day on 8 June 2021, through a series of virtual conferences celebrating the world’s waterways and to raise awareness of future challenges.

“Many of the benefits that global oceans provide to humankind are being undermined by our own actions, [as] our seas are choking with plastic waste, which can be found also in the deepest ocean trenches,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in his initial remarks. “The theme of this year’s observance, ‘The Ocean Life and Livelihoods’, underscores the importance of oceans for the cultural life and economic survival of communities around the world. Let’s end our war on nature.”

Even though it was attended by personalities from the diplomatic world as well as actors and activists, the Day included conferences specifically tailored to ocean industries’ stakeholders.

The ‘Blue Economy and Private Sector Impact’ conference saw panellists from ocean-related industries such as shipping and offshore discuss what the blue economy means for each sector as well as their priorities for the future.

Here is what we learnt in regards to shipping.

The blue economy is a system view involving different stakeholders

The ocean makes a significant and growing contribution to the global economy, as it drives growth and economic activities, jobs, innovation and business opportunities, explained The Economist Group World Ocean Initiative head Martin Koehring.

“The value of the blue economy is estimated at $2.5tn annually,” he said. “That’s the equivalent of the world’s seventh-largest economies.”

For shipping, in particular, oceans are fundamental as they enable 80% of global trade. According to Sustainable Shipping Initiative head of communications Elizabeth Petit Gonzalez, the blue economy is a system’s view of oceans that aims to achieve sustainable shipping.

“Despite having the lowest carbon footprint of any mode of transportation per tonne transport, shipping accounts for 3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, decarbonisation is a huge challenge as the industry is only expected to grow”, Petit Gonzalez commented.

“A sustainable shipping industry is a big part of what we need for a sustainable blue economy, both in terms of reducing emission but also addressing and mitigating shipping impact on the oceans.”

The project needs a lot of stakeholders, as it doesn’t only involve decarbonisation but touches upon seafarers’ rights, the impact on coastal communities, transparency and finance.

“All of these areas are really elements of a broader system which can help us see the bigger picture for what a sustainable blue economy can be.”

In shipping, there is a lot of momentum building for the blue economy

Especially as it comes to decarbonisation, the shipping industry has seen a lot of momentum building, with many initiatives exploring how to decarbonise shipping.

“From our perspective, to see the industry coming together around this challenge, it has shown us that it can be done, that change is possible,” continued Petit Gonzalez.

Of course, a lot of work needs to be done to achieve the total decarbonisation of shipping, but the industry’s effort is commendable.

“It’s certainly been inspiring to watch it come together through for example the Getting to Zero Coalition or sustainable finance, which is becoming more and more the topic where we have sustainability loans and bonds which are linked to companies’ decarbonisation targets and performance.”

There is a need for transparency and collaboration across the value chain

Given its global nature, shipping has always struggled when governance was made on a national or regional level.

“A ship will be built in Japan or South Korea and then owned by a company based in Canada that operates under the flag of Panama and travels all over the world with seafarers from India and the Philippines,” she explained. “What we learnt is that governance needs to be global and apply to everyone and need to be multi-stakeholder.”

What is also needed, Petit Gonzalez added, is transparency and collaboration – not only when it comes to sustainability but also seafarers’ rights.

“A sustainable blue economy [needs] to really consider health and wellbeing of its people, tackling the social at the same level as the economic and environmental factors.”


Availability of sustainable biofuels

This report on the availability of sustainable biofuels for shipping is a follow-up to SSI’s 2019 inquiry into the role of sustainable biofuels for shipping. Commissioned by SSI and authored by GreenFuelHub, the report draws on  academic research, industry reports, and publicly available data to outline the current landscape for biofuels in shipping, covering biofuel types and production methods, use and trials in shipping, as well as the challenges surrounding availability and shipping’s role in the broader bioeconomy.

The report explores the availability of sustainable biofuels issue, noting several reasons why estimating exact numbers (in terms of volume) can be a challenge. Sustainable biofuels production requires a sustainable biomass feedstock which is a limited resource that many sectors seeking to move away from fossil-based production will be competing on. The report thus highlights that the availability of sustainable biofuels for the shipping sector must be seen in the context of the overall bioeconomy.

This report concludes SSI’s current work on biofuels, which began in 2018 with the report Zero Emission Vessels: What needs to be done? and continued with the 2019 inquiry on The Role of Sustainable Biofuels in the Decarbonisation of Shipping.


Kristina Kunigenas

Kristina Kunigenas


Head of Partnerships & Development

Kristina joined the Sustainable Shipping Initiative in April 2021, where she is responsible for stakeholder engagement and development of the SSI. Her background is in corporate responsibility, namely policy and strategy development and implementation, human rights and biodiversity risk assessments, responsible supply chain management and ESG, anti-corruption and climate impact reporting. A majority of Kristina’s career has been in governance issues and sustainability in various sectors including advisory services, finance, pharma and latest shipping.

Originally Danish, Kristina lives in Copenhagen with her (American) husband and son. She holds a Masters’ in English from the University of Copenhagen and a certificate programme in CSR reporting from UC Berkeley.


SSI Impact: News from our journey to sustainable shipping - 01/2021

The SSI Newsletter is published quarterly and is the place to find news from the SSI community, our partners and the impact of our collective work along our journey to a sustainable shipping industry.

Subscribe to SSI Impact: News from our journey to sustainable shipping


Lloyd's List Shipping Podcast: Why sustainable shipping is about more than just carbon reduction

In a podcast moderated by Lloyd’s List managing editor Richard Meade, the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) and Lloyd’s Register bring together industry experts to talk about why the sustainability of marine fuels needs to be taken into account alongside price, availability and technical feasibility considerations.

Panelists:

  • Katharine Palmer, Global Sustainability Manager at Lloyd’s Register
  • Simon Bennett, General Manager for Sustainable Development, The China Navigation Company
  • Mark Lutes, Senior Advisor on Global Climate Policy, WWF Climate and Energy Practice

The panel of SSI members discussed the sustainability principles to be taken into account on a well-to-wake basis – from social, labour and human rights, to safety, to land use change and more.

Listen below, and read the white paper Defining sustainability criteria for zero and low carbon fuels which sets out thirteen sustainability principles surrounding the marine fuels under consideration for shipping decarbonisation.