Tuesday 27 February 2024 – Shipping experts and students convened at Liverpool John Moores University for the YoungShip Liverpool “BattleShip: Industry v Academia” challenge. SSI CEO Steven Jones discussed the challenges and set the scene for the change-making power of young people to be the driving force for a brighter future. The spotlight was on sustainability, the pulse of the shipping industry, and the crucial role that the younger generation plays in shaping its future as the inseparable connection between sustainability and shipping grows ever more significant.

Steven delved into the challenges of building a sustainable future for maritime, with the ‘Roadmap to a sustainable shipping industry’ marking a journey through oceans, communities, people, transparency, finance, and energy and how these topics relate to shipping. The Roadmap serves as a foundation upon which we can build a brighter and more responsible future for shipping. The discussions looked beyond decarbonisation, into the wider issues of sustainability. For example, key issues such as freedom of navigation took precedence, and it was stressed that prosperity and peace are threatened without the ability to move freely across the oceans.

The concept of Green Corridors became a focal point, exploring the psychology behind them and making them a reality. Fundamental to this is questioning who is driving change and identifying those missing from the transformation journey – for example, most existing Green Corridor projects include only Global North. The audience also discussed whether seafarers felt brought along and considered part of the solution, or whether they were cut out of the conversation.

It was emphasised that there is no option but to change, evolve, and make improvements across shipping. While there are many first movers, and thankfully leading shipping companies have pushed themselves to the fore, there is hope for laggards in the industry.

There is no slowing down of the need to embrace sustainability, and so it is hoped that whether first or last, whether fast or slow, that change is now relentless, remorseless, and will deliver the results the planet and people need, for the peace and prosperity we want. Shipping is the connective tissue of continents, driving commerce, and underpinning modern life. It comes with an environmental cost, but the tide is turning towards sustainable practices. There remains a need for action, a desire for change, and progress. Sustainability must, therefore, stand as the better angels of shipping’s nature.