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LONDON: The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI), formed in 2010 by 19 shipping companies and NGOs Forum for the Future and WWF, recently released its first progress report on its goal of a sustainable and profitable shipping industry by 2040.

Jonathon Porritt, founder director of the Forum for the Future, which has been facilitating the SSI, said: “The achievements of the individuals and organisations involved … have been impressive. The findings that have been reported and the tangible results that have been accomplished in the areas of ship financing, ship recycling, energy technology and sustainability benchmarking have taken us a way towards our carefully formulated sustainability vision.

SSI“The efforts have highlighted the range of challenges and barriers to sustainability and ways to overcome by more openness and collaboration. We call on more organisations to become members of the SSI and join our mission.”

Helle Gleie, SSI director added: “Following the progress achieved since the creation of the initial Case for Action’ the SSI and its members felt that there was an urgent need to map out the strategy for the next phase of our journey towards a sustainable industry. From new vessel types, and new financial models to propulsion through kites and bacteria-based fuels, it is clear that the maritime sector is driving innovation and our new tools and recommendations for future action will accelerate this even further.”

Examples of sustainable business practices by SSI members so far, include Maersk achieving its CO2 targets several years ahead of schedule and replacing these with even more ambitious targets for 2020; the China Navigation Company (CNCo) insisting on industry-leading health, safety and environmental standards in the ship-breaking yards it uses; customers AkzoNobel, Unilever, Rio Tinto and Cargill have incorporated ship efficiency performance criteria into their chartering and procurement decisions; Namura, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and UMing are developing ambitious energy- saving designs and technologies for new ships; and Wärtsilä is doing the same, plus driving innovations of natural gas in shipping.

SSI says it is the first time the shipping industry has joined forces on such a cooperative global scale to tackle major sustainable issues.  The group says its collaborative approach enables members to share their knowledge and “scale up actions beyond the usual ‘one-off’ approach, accelerating the rate of change within the industry.”

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