28 March 2023 – SSI members and guests gathered in Geneva on 22 – 23 March 2023 for the bi-annual SSI in-person member meeting, kindly hosted by SSI member Bunge at their Geneva offices.

The two days presented an opportunity for members to meet and learn from each other, especially for the new additions to the SSI family: Klaveness Combination Carriers, Swire Bulk, and Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. Members explored the sustainable shipping landscape and discussed ongoing and potential focus areas, and shared their own companies’ initiatives, challenges and successes, cultivating a supportive environment to generate progress.

Member Insights

SSI members in Geneva.
SSI members at the in-person member meeting hosted by Bunge in Geneva

Being a third of the way through this decade of action, there was an increased focus on short and near-term challenges and actions – especially those that can assist the maritime sector in aligning with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. Bunge facilitated an open discussion on the opportunities and challenges for near-term sustainability, generating frank conversations between members on current and emerging issues faced – from issues of transparency and human rights within the supply chain to the acute and chronic environmental risks from climate change – and ways to overcome these challenges.

A spotlight session on member action surrounding the Roadmap to a sustainable shipping industry’s vision areas saw members Swire Bulk, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, RightShip, Standard Chartered Bank, Klaveness Combination Carriers, and Lloyd’s Register present on their sustainability successes and perspectives pertaining to each of the Roadmap vision areas: Oceans, Communities, People, Transparency, Finance, and Energy respectively.

Roadmap to a Sustainable Shipping Industry
Roadmap to a Sustainable Shipping Industry

Roadmap to a Sustainable Shipping Industry

From highlighting members’ work in each vision area to a workshop on the future of the Roadmap, both days provided ample opportunity for inspiration. At the end of 2022, SSI embarked on the process of evolving the Roadmap to make it more dynamic. Members participated in a workshop that challenged them to reimagine the future, generating narratives of possible futures. An opportunity to test different methodologies, this workshop gathered greater knowledge on member perception of the future of Oceans as SSI reviews the Ocean vision area to kick off the next evolution of the Roadmap.


Systemic Sustainability

The maritime industry is currently facing multiple challenges at once, from increasing momentum around decarbonising shipping to rising seafarer abandonment cases. At the meeting, members shared their insights on current and emerging sustainability challenges. A significant focus of this was the upcoming Marine Environment Protection Committee 80 (MEPC 80) at the International Maritime Organization, which has implications for the global community’s and the industry’s ability to smoothly align its climate ambitions with the Paris Agreement.

Shipping has the opportunity to future-proof the sector and ensure that its journey to decarbonisation takes place on a 1.5°C-aligned pathway and is done in a systemically sustainable manner that supports all stakeholders. Members heard about the need for an increased level of ambition going forward and the action needed to ensure an efficient and effective transition that respects all stakeholders.

Additionally, Jean-Marc Bonello from Universal Maritime Advisory Series (UMAS) joined virtually for a discussion around the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) guidance and target-setting tools for the maritime industry showing a clear pathway in which the private sector can align with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.

Finally, day 2 also saw a joint workshop with Anne Katrine Bjerregaard from the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping and Martha Selwyn from the United Nations Global Compact, around applying just transition principles across green corridor value chains. Raising awareness of the power of each stakeholder, the meeting increased member confidence in their ability to demand change throughout the supply chain.

Future Focus

Hearing and learning from each member’s perspectives is crucial to progressing action within the SSI. The meeting was an opportunity for guests to get a glimpse of the collaboration and openness that SSI membership cultivates. It also provided members and guests with ample opportunity to reflect on and share insights to enable progress for each working group.

2023 will see SSI’s work continue across the three current working groups: from publications in Ship lifecycle to increased focus on transparency and verification for both Delivering on seafarers’ rights and Sustainability criteria for marine fuels.

At the same time, SSI is making changes to the Roadmap so that it becomes a dynamic, living tool to better navigate the constantly evolving sustainability challenges and emerging issues across the shipping value chain. Kickstarting this process is a pilot within the Oceans vision area. If you would like to provide insights or otherwise get involved in this work, please email info@sustainableshipping.org.

SSI members engaging in a discussion.

Marcio Moura, Global Logistics Director, Bunge –It was an honour for Bunge and a personal pleasure to host colleagues and peers from SSI at our Geneva office. The productive discussions helped reinforce our shared commitment to developing a more sustainable shipping landscape built on a foundation of reliable science, transparency, and collaboration.”