Members’ initiatives are recognised for their contribution to advancing the sustainability of the shipping industry

London – 30 April 2015 – The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (“SSI”), a pioneering coalition of companies from across the global shipping industry focused on uniting commercial growth with sustainable behaviours, has won the Guardian Sustainable Business award for ‘Consultancy of the Year’. Members were commended for delivering multiple projects that have brought new innovation and insight to help the shipping industry accelerate progress towards a more robust, responsible and profitable future.

Alastair Fischbacher, chief executive, the Sustainable Shipping Initiative said: “With responsibility for transporting 90% of the world’s goods, shipping is integral to the sustainability of the global economy as well as touching the lives of communities where we operate and the lives of those who choose the maritime industry as a career. Improving the performance of how we operate environmentally, socially and economically is a win-win for everyone involved.”

He continues: “We are delighted to receive this award as it recognises the progress our members are making collectively and practically. The collaborative nature of the SSI sees members working together in the spirit that, although they have their own individual initiatives, sharing best practices and learnings between members can promote broader and swifter changes as well as sharing some of the risks. Although we are not a consultancy in its truest sense, we do aspire to be a sounding board for interested parties on key shipping sustainability issues as well as actively sharing the experiences of our members with the wider industry to help drive change and the award shows our progress towards this.”

Several initiatives captured the judges’ attention including the SSI’s Save as you Sail financial model that demonstrates how charterers, owners and financiers can model ROI and profits from more efficient vessels; three pilot projects on closed-loop materials management which collected data on more than 96% of all the materials used on two new vessels and a cruise ship cabin to test the feasibility and value of using a database system to track ship materials; and analysis and recommendations on ship rating schemes to draw a closer link for charterers and operators between vessel efficiency and commercial incentivisation. The SSI was also recognised for its members’ agreement to sign up to a series of measurable shared commitments that set a baseline for industry sustainability practices, as well as its Case for Action report series that set out a clear agenda for change and the co-development of a roadmap to plot the steps required over the coming decades to achieve this.

The Guardian’s internationally prestigious awards programme is highly respected among sustainability opinion leaders, with a judging panel including some of the most influential thinkers from the world of sustainable business such as Cambridge University, University College London, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the International Institute for Environment and Development and The Rainforest Alliance. The awards recognise companies and organisations that combine innovation and effectiveness to make a positive impact through their corporate sustainability initiatives.

Gust Biesbroeck, Head of Shipping at ABN AMRO Bank concluded, “ABN AMRO Bank is a Dutch International bank, a partner in ship finance and a founding member of Sustainable Shipping Inititiave. The open and frequent dialogue with SSI members brings us closer to sustainability issues that the shipping industry is facing.”

More information on the winning projects is available here.

Photo available to download here. From left to right: Carolyne Okeijn (Project Manager), Stephanie Draper (Chair SSI Board of Trustees) and Alastair Fischbacher (SSI Chief Executive).


About the Sustainable Shipping Initiative

The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) is an ambitious coalition of shipping leaders from around the world that is taking practical steps to tackle some of the sector’s greatest opportunities and challenges. The group is working to achieve a vision of an industry in which sustainability equals success.

It is the first time the shipping industry has joined forces on such a cooperative global scale to tackle big sustainability issues. The ultimate goal is to show that collaborative action is possible, and to mobilise support across the industry, demonstrating that shipping can contribute to – and thrive in – a sustainable future.

The cross-industry SSI has members from 15 companies representing ship owners and charterers, shipbuilders, engineers and service providers, banking and classification societies. Member companies include Bunge, Cargill, Carnival Corporation, China Navigation Company, Gearbulk, IMC, Maersk Line, U-Ming Marine Transport Corporation, Namura Shipbuilding Co, Wärtsilä, ABN AMRO, Lloyd’s Register, American Bureau of Shipping, AkzoNobel and Unilever.

In September 2013 the SSI became an independent charity. The SSI was initially facilitated by global sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future in conjunction with WWF, the global conservation NGO. Forum for the Future and WWF remain as SSI NGO members.

About the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards

Now in their fifth year, the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards set out to reward innovation and impact in sustainable business. There are plenty of people working in both large and small organisations who deserve recognition for helping build sustainability into business.

The Awards recognise that the challenges are different depending on the organisation. Large businesses grappling with embedded structures and dispersed control face unique challenges in driving sustainability. Ambitions and time scales may sometimes not seem stretching enough to those of us hungry for progress. However, should large businesses achieve their sustainability goals, the scale of the impact they can make is significant.