Plans presented as part of Singapore Maritime Week: highlights Singapore’s position as a key player in the global shipping industry

SINGAPORE, 26thApril – The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) is at Singapore Maritime Week today, launching a series of practical, collaborative action plans aimed at developing a sustainable shipping industry for the future.

The SSI is a cross-sector coalition of 16 global companies and two non-governmental organisations working together to tackle some of the sector’s greatest opportunities and challenges.

Facilitated by Forum for the Future, in conjunction with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), members include key industry players such as Maersk Line, Cargill, Lloyd’s Register, DNV, Wärtsilä and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).

The action plans are a significant step for the SSI as it works toward achieving its vision of a shipping industry that is both profitable and sustainable by 2040. They will develop new knowledge, tools and processes for the industry over the next 18 months, utilising its members’ extensive expertise spanning ship owning, chartering and operations to shipbuilding and engineering, marine finance and insurance, banking, technical standards and global supply chain.

Mr Lam Wee Shann, Director Communications and Community, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, who is overseeing the coordination of Singapore Maritime Week (SMW), said he was happy that Singapore is hosting the meeting at this critical stage of SSI’s development.

“We are happy to welcome the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) as part of this year’s SMW. The SSI’s decision to announce their plans here during SMW demonstrates the global significance of the initiative.”

The four plans address areas with the greatest potential to accelerate change:

  • Closed Loop Materials Management: The China Navigation Company (CNCo), DSME, Maersk Line and Carnival, together with Lloyds Register are focused on developing systems and practices to enable widespread adoption of closed-loop management of materials in the ship building processes. The goal is to achieve full transparency and accountability for the social and environmental impacts of all materials, from construction through to recycling of ships. Work will also focus on developing a process to manage these impacts, help companies realise the true value of ships at the end of their life and establish ways to further reduce the use of finite resources in future shipbuilding. Over the next 18 months, the group will develop a strong prototype for closed loop materials management of ships to be shared with the industry.
  • Financing sustainable shipping: ABN AMRO, Cargill, Wärtsilä and RSA are partnering with other leaders in finance, insurance and shipping to develop new approaches for the financing of sustainable ships. This includes piloting at least one new financial model that will reward sustainable performance.
  • Energy technology: Bunge, Gearbulk, Rio Tinto, Lloyd’s Register, together with BP Shipping, Maersk Line and Cargill are leading efforts to make low energy technologies more affordable and available. Focused on the implementation gap – many lower-energy technologies available but are not being implemented at scale – the work stream will develop robust business cases, providing the information companies need to adopt large-scale eco-efficient technologies and techniques.
  • Credible Benchmarking: How to use and improve Sustainability Rating Schemes in Shipping: WWF, Carnival, Lloyds Register, Maersk Line, DNV, RSA and Unilever are helping the shipping industry navigate the growing number of beyond-compliance rating schemes, which will enable greater uptake and drive improved sustainability performance. Over the next 18 months, the group will develop a clear and comprehensive guide for how the industry uses these standards, including recommendations on which schemes to adopt to suit the needs of individual shipping companies.

Aaron Bresnahan, Vice President, Special Vessels, Wärtsilä comments: “Our customers are increasingly demanding greater efficiency and better sustainability for all of their operations. Only last month the Government of the Republic of Korea demonstrated the importance of sustainability when choosing our dual-fuel technology for a new guide ship for their port authority. Developing a sustainable industry is vital for our future and there is a lot of potential for practical improvements which we can help materialise through initiatives such as the SSI.”

It is clear that Asia has an increasingly significant role to play in the global shipping sector and a number of Asian companies are already leading the way towards developing a more sustainable industry. Korea’s DSME is setting new standards in fuel efficiency, building MAERSK’s new EEE container ships, which emit 20 per cent less CO2 per container shipped than any other vessel and CNCo is currently involved in a fleet renewal programme which will sustainably recycle ships that have come to the end of their lives.

Soren Stig Nielsen, Senior Director, Maersk Line explains: “Asia has always been a key market for Maersk Line and is becoming an increasingly important customer as well as producer. Our EEE ships being built by Korea’s DSME and the new Daily Maersk service from four Asian ports are good examples of innovative products with new customer benefits that will help drive a needed change in global operating models – allowing economies to grow, trade to develop and social wealth to spread.”

Mr O.Y. Kwon, vice president DSME adds: “Shipping is the lifeblood of global trade, transporting more than 90 per cent of the world’s products. To ensure we protect the future of our industry and our environment, we need to work together to find greener, financially sound solutions. That means developing reliable and affordable cleaner fuel supplies and realistic technologies that can be integrated into vessels cost effectively and on a global scale.

“Due to the complexities of the issue, there has been on-going debate about what combination of alternative fuels, technologies and operations are the most commercially and environmentally sustainable. Now is the time to put it to the test.”

Jonathon Porritt, Forum for the Future’s Founder Director concluded: “The SSI has committed to an ambitious vision for the industry, and these action plans are a vital step in us achieving this vision. Work is focused on creating a clear framework that the wider industry can use to adopt more sustainable practices. Over the next 18 months, members will be developing new prototypes, technologies and financial models that promote sustainability as well as the guidelines that businesses need to implement change.

“This is an exciting step for the SSI and we are pleased to be able to unveil these plans at Singapore Maritime Week – it’s one of the premiere events in the global Maritime calendar.”

For further information about the SSI and the four work streams, or to download the Vision 2040 please visit