Sustainability in shipping is important due to the sheer size of our industry. Our industry consists of 1.5 million seafarers that deliver 80-90% of the world's traded goods on 50,000 merchant vessels. We need to be aligned on global sustainability targets such as the SDG's and Paris agreement.
2. What can shipping companies do to reduce carbon footprint in line with regulations?
In the short term there are several tactics companies can test includingslow steaming, effective antifouling, using batteries on auxiliaries, planning routes based on virtual ETA's, and using digital fleet management platforms. For the longer term, firms should look towards the next generation fuels such as bio/e-fuels.
3. What are the benefits of being sustainable for shipping owners & operators?
It's a shared responsibility for all of us. The alternative is not an option worth considering.
4. What are risks or pitfalls to avoid in developing more sustainable solutions?
The unknown. Fear. Even if we all share the same goals for each an individual business it can be challenging and frightening to make the first move. There may not be a first mover advantage.
5. Name two or three obstacles for achieving sustainability in shipping (e.g. Standards? Culture? Uncertainty in regulations?) and describe why they matter?
I can think of several but here are two that come to mind. One, shipping is a male dominated industry which means we are limited in terms of ideas on how to solve these problems. Two, industry fragmentation is an obstacle because it makes it difficult to create scalable solutions. Each vessel takes on its own special characteristics which inhibits application of knowledge from one to another. Fragmentation has led many owners to outsource many aspects to third parties such as the technical management, crewing and commercial management. This means lack of operational control to impose either direct behaviour change or use financial incentivestop achieve the same.
6. How can technology be leveraged to support sustainability?
Technology can help better utilize existing tonnage in the short term and help improve decision making in the medium to long term.
7. What's the one thing that you'd want our readers to take away from this roundtable?
Sustainability is a broad topic. There is more to sustainability than carbon emissions even if that is one of the main challenges present.