Last week we celebrated World Maritime Day and its theme of ‘Shipping – Indispensable to the World’. For centuries, shipping has been a cornerstone of global trade, and without it the import and export of goods on the scale necessary to sustain the modern world would not be possible.

World trade’s most important conduit is ocean shipping. Without it much of the last century’s economic and social development would not have taken place, and it’s the foremost reason that we enjoy ready access to such a diverse array of low-cost goods. Put simply, the economies of scale, comparative low cost and environmental efficiencies enable trade that would not be practical with alternative means of transport.

The world fleet consists of over 89,000 merchant vessels (UNCTAD, 2015) which are registered in 150 nations, and they employ more than a million seafarers from almost every corner of the globe. This gives our sector an enormous opportunity to drive changes that can increase employment, prosperity and sustainability.

From NGOs and Ship-owners to Class Societies and Industry Bodies we all have a role to play. As a member-led organisation we understand the critical importance of working together with partners to help facilitate understanding and change in key areas, and by setting norms, raising global standards and investing in the responsible development of the blue economy we can further shipping’s progress towards sustainability.

We look forward to working with our members, as well as those within the industry who are committed to actively engaging and collaborating to drive change, and achieve our Vision of a sustainable shipping industry by 2040.


About the Sustainable Shipping Initiative

The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) is an independent charity, comprised of ambitious leaders spanning the whole shipping value chain from charterers and ship owners, to ship yards, class societies and technology companies.

The SSI’s objective is to make sustainability mainstream; working with its members and other shipping stakeholders to create a more environmentally responsible, socially conscious, safer, accountable, and more economically profitable industry.  One that is truly sustainable by 2040, as outlined in its Vision.

The SSI was founded by global sustainability non-profit organisation Forum for the Future in conjunction with WWF, the global conservation NGO and a number of leading shipping industry companies. Forum for the Future and WWF remain as SSI NGO members.