Maritime Economies

April 19, 2024

The ESG Shipping Awards, in collaboration with the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, hosted a compelling side event titled “ESG Strategies for Sustainable Shipping” as part of the esteemed 9th Our Ocean Conference 2024 in Greece. This event served as a pivotal platform for industry leaders and experts to engage in insightful discussions and share invaluable perspectives on the integration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into the strategy and decision-making processes within the shipping industry. With a focus on critical topics such as alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), addressing environmental challenges, promoting social responsibility, and exploring economic benefits in the maritime sector, the event aimed to promote sustainable practices and investments, foster collaboration, and drive positive impact on ocean sustainability.

As the cruise industry pursues net zero emissions by 2050, collaboration will be key to unlocking future potential and achieving our ambitious commitments. We need to work together – cruise operators, suppliers, terminals, ports, and destinations – as we strive for cruise to become an ever more sustainable way of discovering the world. Key areas of focus among CLIA member lines include climate action, sustainable tourism, conservation, diversity, and inclusion, with the health, safety and security of passengers and crew foremost. People are at the heart of our industry. We offer an inclusive, multicultural work environment, with often more than 60 nationalities working onboard, and 94% of women seafarers working on cruise ships.” stated Maria Deligianni, Regional Director, Eastern Mediterranean, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)

Rose Easton, Chief Responsible Investment Ecosystems Officer, UN PRI stressed that “Investors have a key role to play in supporting the adoption of sustainable practices in the
maritime sector. Responsible investment is now becoming mainstream, and investors are increasingly incorporating frameworks like the UN Sustainable Development Goals when aligned with their fiduciary duties, expecting companies to incorporate responsible practices into their day-to-day business practices. Companies that adopt good sustainability practices, are governed well, and prioritize doing due diligence on their own supply chains should be rewarded by increased demand and that in turn generates better shareholder value. Capital is available to fund innovation and transition as the industry is progressing its decarbonization journey”.

Mrs. Vivi Kolliopoulou, President, WISTA Hellas emphasized the significance of ‘Diversity – including but not limited to gender diversity – is key in providing a sustainable future for the shipping industry internationally. An environment with reduced inequalities promotes the wellbeing of its employees and contributes towards sustainable economic growth.’

The shipping industry faces significant challenges in complying with environmental regulations, including the complexity and inconsistency of regulations across regions, high costs associated with implementing environmentally friendly practices, and the global nature of the industry that complicates enforcement and monitoring.’, said Mrs. Eleni Polychronopoulou, President, Hellenic Marine Equipment Manufacturers and Exports (HEMEXPO).

Moderator of the panel was Helena Athoussaki, Principal Organizer, ESG Shipping Awards The event facilitated in-depth discussions on the following topics:

Alignment with SDGs: Exploring how the maritime industry aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the commitments of participating organizations to contribute to these global objectives.

Environmental Challenges: Identifying the key environmental challenges facing the maritime industry and discussing the measures necessary to address these challenges effectively, ensuring the long-term health of marine ecosystems.

Inclusivity and Social Responsibility: Discussing strategies for promoting inclusivity and social responsibility within the maritime industry, both in terms of workforce diversity and engagement with local communities, and highlighting specific social aspects supported by participating organizations.

Successful Examples of ESG Practices: Showcasing successful examples of companies or organizations in the maritime industry that have implemented ESG practices, and examining the economic benefits and opportunities that arise from such initiatives, including improved operational efficiency and enhanced stakeholder trust.

Support from Investors and Financial Institutions: Exploring how investors and financial institutions can support the adoption of ESG practices in the maritime sector and identifying key components that typically capture their interest when evaluating such practices, such as transparent reporting and measurable impact metrics.

The side event, “ESG Strategies for Sustainable Shipping,” underscored the importance of collaboration and innovative solutions in advancing sustainability within the maritime industry.

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