The debut of the first ESG Shipping Awards globally, took place at the Athens Concert Hall on Tuesday, 30 May 2023. The impressive Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony brought together the Greek and global shipping community.
The ESG Shipping Awards as an idea were “conceived” long before they were even established. Greek shipping companies have been leading the way for decades, developing actions and practices to protect the environment, promote social cohesion and the principles of corporate governance. The need of the Greek shipping community to remain pioneers in the face of today’s challenges, and not just to be honored, is what brought to life the ESG Shipping Awards.
This array of actions that are already being implemented was the starting point for the joint efforts of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy and the organizers to proceed with the establishment of the first ESG Shipping Awards. The first global ESG Awards, specifically for the Maritime industry.
The Greeks and the sea have been inseparable since the beginning of history. A union which unites worlds and spreads ideas and values across the globe. It is therefore no coincidence that the first ESG Shipping Awards globally are Greek.
In his opening greetings, Mr. Manolis Koutoulakis, the Secretary General of the Aegean and Island Policy of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Island Policy, among other things, stated:
“This event is a global statement about Greek shipping and its ecosystem proving it can innovate, adapt and lead in every new thing and every challenge, especially when it concerns people, the environment and society. Greek shipping is almost in full force here tonight because it’s not afraid to be assessed, it’s not afraid to be compared and it knows how to win.”
Mr. Koutoulakis then presented the reasons why the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Island Policy wishes to participate in the discussion on ESG and the evolution of the role of ESG indicators.
The President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, Dr. Georgios Pateras in his welcome speech emphasized among others: “It is hugely impressive to have had over 200 entries for the first ever ESG awards event. This goes to prove that as an industry, Shipping is fully engaged in the reality of ESG. Today’s awards give companies a chance to contemplate, reflect and celebrate the progress shipping companies are making in ESG. The ESG shipping awards is a further opportunity to see where we stand as an industry, how we are performing within our peer-group and where; if anywhere we should go next.
I am very proud that this initiative was the joint idea of the Ministry of Merchant Marine and Island Policy, the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping and the ESG Shipping Awards, proving once again that Greece is a leader in all aspects of our industry.
These ESG awards for outstanding practices, are invaluable insights and useful information for further progress and understanding of the ESG concept. Together with the organizers it is the intention of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping to embed the best ESG practices into practical ESG Guidelines for the Shipping industry.”
On behalf of the organizers, Ms. Helena Athoussaki and Ms. Katerina Stathopoulou pointed out in their introductory comments the purpose of the ESG Shipping Awards. “For us, the principal organizers, the ESG Shipping Awards aspire to be the guide for the adoption of good shipping practices that will promote the sustainable development of the industry and practices that will improve companies’ environmental, social and corporate governance. The real benefit is therefore nothing more than the interaction and exchange of good practices which will effectively lead to the transformation and transition of shipping to a new era of sustainable development. Winning through sharing, is tonight’s motto!”
The Managing Director of the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, David Livingston in his key note speech pointed out that: “This is our night to meet, be inspired, and promote the best practices, innovations, and policies that the maritime sector needs to keep 1.5 degree Celsium alive and to foster a new generation of green shipping.”
Mr. Livingston also had the opportunity to announce that the Ocean Conference 2024 will take place in Greece: “Our Ocean Conference 2024 comes to Greece. As you all know this is a conference that is focused on action, not talk. It is about real commitments and real solutions, of the kind we are honoring tonight.”
Next, Ms. Athoussaki, in her capacity as the person responsible for the technical supervision of the ESG Shipping Awards, described the evaluation process of the participants.
The speeches concluded with Jan Fransen, Chairman of the Judging Committee, which is made up of internationally recognized professionals in the field of shipping and ESG. Moreover, Mr. Fransen presented the Motivation Awards outside the main award categories.
With more than 200 nominations in 11 award categories, the debut of the first ESG Shipping Awards globally, illustrates its acceptance by the Greek shipping community and lays the foundations for the transition of shipping to a new era of sustainable development.
During the Awards ceremony, analytical presentations of the winning actions were made and relevant videos were shown. All the participants stressed the value of the ESG Shipping Awards as a process of learning through sharing, which once more proves the leadership role that the Greek shipping community has globally. The evening included exceptional music and fantastic visual creations.
Analytically, the 11 award categories and the winners are:
The person responsible for the wonderful organization of the event was Ms. Stelina Markoulaki and for the perfect production was Ms. Katerina Vasilaki