Shipowners, banks and charity organizations including the Sustainable Shipping Initiative and non-profit Forum for the Future launched the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative on March 7, in Hamburg.
The initiative comes as a response to the lack of transparency across ship recycling policies that leads to bad practices and related health, safety and environmental hazards.
Namely, existing legislation, enforcement mechanisms and internationally-agreed standards are not applied consistently or can be circumvented, while owners who comply with the regulations are not rewarded for their efforts.
The initiative aims to improve transparency in the global ship recycling value chain by facilitating voluntary disclosure of recycling practices and related data by ship owners, and to support the use of this information by cargo owners, investors and financial stakeholders to make better decisions.
“We see increasing levels of transparency as a key lever for change in ship recycling. If shipowners share their practices then it raises awareness of what’s happening, puts pressure on under-performers and allows customers and owners to reward good performance. Ultimately this will lead to better social and environmental outcomes which are so critical for ship recycling,” Stephanie Draper, Chief Change Officer, Forum for the Future, said.
The SRTI’s initial signatories are A.P. Moller Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, Wallenius Wilhelmsen, The China Navigation Company and Norden; financial stakeholders Standard Chartered Bank, Nykredit and GES; and classification society Lloyd’s Register.
“Ship recycling is a dangerous undertaking. The industry is characterized by widespread use of sub-standard practices and lack of access to information on ship owners’ policies and practices. Therefore, it’s difficult for cargo owners, investors and civil society actors to know what ship recycling practices are in place. The Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative is an excellent response to overcome this information gap,” John Kornerup Bang, Head, Sustainability Strategy, Maersk, said.
“Hapag-Lloyd strongly encourages all players and competitors to support full transparency and contribute to a level playing field when it comes to ship recycling. Seeking sustainable solutions for green ship recycling will not only have a major positive impact for the well-being and sanity of workers affected, but also for our environment,” Anthony Firmin, COO, Hapag-Lloyd, said.
“This initiative is helpful to any investor who wants insights to the very complex question of ship recycling. With key information on a company level this initiative will enable investors to better assess related risks and opportunities,” Head of ESG at Nykredit, Søren Larsen, added.
The group is said to be working with stakeholders to develop a common set of disclosure criteria and an independent, user-friendly online platform where shipowners will be able to share critical information that will be accessible to investors, customers and the wider public.
The aim is to bring other organizations from across the industry into the initiative, including ship owners, cargo owners, cash buyers and financiers.
Out of a total of 835 ships which were dismantled globally in 2017, 80.3 pct or 543 large ocean-going commercial vessels reached the tidal beaches of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, data provided by NGO Shipbreaking Platform shows.
Greek owners were responsible for the highest absolute number of ships sold to South Asian ship breaking yards in 2017 with 51 ships in total, while German owners, including banks and ship funds, beached 50 vessels out of a total of 53 sold for demolition, the Platform said.