This piece originally appeared in the December issue of Lloyd’s Register Horizons. The full issue can be downloaded here.

The sustainable road ahead

Shipping faces major global challenges: from a changing social and volatile economic context; to increased demand for transparency from customers through to investors; to the climate crisis and the need for rapid decarbonisation. These challenges coupled with industry trends will reshape the industry, while bringing opportunities across and beyond the shipping value chain.

The future is never certain – 2020 has been a case in point – but a strong plan can help underpin one’s ambitions. This is particularly true for the global drive on sustainability and all sectors – marine and offshore included – stand to benefit from clear objectives on how to get there.

Developed by members of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI), the Roadmap to a sustainable shipping industry lays out the pathways and defines tangible milestones to be collectively achieved for a sustainable and successful shipping industry.

The Roadmap consists of six vision areas – Oceans, Communities, People, Transparency, Finance, and Energy – each with its own set of objectives and interrelated milestones to be attained along the industry’s sustainability journey over the coming decades.

It is a resource for stakeholders across the shipping value chain, to be used by companies and organisations to identify and understand their present and future sustainability challenges, as well as the steps and milestones to overcome them. The Roadmap deepens individual and collective understanding of sustainability barriers and opportunities and empowers stakeholders to find innovative solutions.

A roadmap for the shipping industry, by the industry

The Roadmap was initially developed in 2016 as a way to provide an overview of the defining factors, milestones, and priorities needed to achieve a sustainable shipping industry. SSI members identified global challenges and trends expected to affect the industry, publishing the Roadmap as a call to action and kickstarting the debate on how the industry would respond.

In light of rapid and complex changes since its launch, SSI commissioned Lloyd’s Register (in collaboration with SSI members) to review progress against the Roadmap in the first half of 2020. Consisting of a desktop review, expert interviews and stakeholder consultations, the review considered changes in the industry landscape, highlighting progress and identifying gaps. The update process resulted in the consolidation and review of milestones to ensure their ongoing relevance and robustness as indicators of industry progress.

A living document

While we are confident that the outcomes of the recent review will resonate with many, we know that for the Roadmap to remain relevant and track how shipping moves further along in its sustainability journey, it must be a working tool for every stakeholder across the value chain.

As a living document, the Roadmap will continue to evolve with the industry, celebrating successes, pausing for reflection and identifying areas where further work needs to be done. Through a periodic review and update process led by the SSI in consultation with industry stakeholders, we will ensure that progress against the vision areas and milestones is tracked while also capturing changes in the landscape.

But we need your help to do this. Enable us to track industry progress by sharing what you are doing for a sustainable shipping industry.