Customer demand and industry competitiveness are the main drivers of CSR today, writes JAAJ (Jan) Fransen, Executive Director, Green Award Foundation. CSR principles should, in fact, be commonly accepted as business as usual, he insists
CSR and maritime industry
The Hong Kong convention on ship recycling, the type and quality of fuel used for propulsion, innovations on energy conservation, labour employed on board ships, cargo operations and navigational routes are just a few examples to be considered when developing CSR policies in shipping.
Some are dealt-with by international regulations, although this is not at a desirable speed. Therefore, from an ethical point of view, shipping companies, shippers and charterers could decide to go the extra mile in the early implementation of upcoming regulations or to maintain high standard policies on issues that are not regulated.
On the other hand, for ports, the implementation of CSR policies becomes more complex, since they deal with both the wet and dry sides of the industry, along with their direct relationship to the society. It is a real juggling act, concerning the demands from the local industries, society and shipping companies, with the ports sitting right in the centre of the maritime supply chain. For this reason, the impact of the ports made on the social aspects of the maritime industry is immense, regardless of the complexity of their implementation.
Green Award as a CSR Platform
There are various ways to promote the best practices: providing guidelines and recommendations, promoting newest technology, regulating air emissions, educating and training for awareness, etc. The certification/ incentive scheme of Green Award Foundation is one of the tools to motivate the shipping industry to go the extra mile in addressing the aforementioned topics in a holistic approach.
One of Green Award’s main objectives lie in creating a network of incentive providers (ports and non-ports), who reward the ships certified by the Foundation either financially or operationally. From ports, pilot organisations, ship routing companies, training organisations, manufacturers, to banks, there are diverse forms of organisations granting incentives. These organisations altogether support the shipping industry to remain sustainable, in terms of hardware quality, safe operations and protection of environment. These in return, act as risk reduction in port area and ports’ contribution to a true CSR on a global scale.
Green Award is continuously developed by the partners in the maritime industry, with over 125 entities involved in the Green Award Programme and 750 ships certified.
The 39 port incentive providers are representing 12 different countries around the world. The Netherlands being the initiator and early adopters, the latest additions are Hamburg Port Authority from Germany and Port of Kitakyushu from Japan, the first port in Far East Asia.
Contribution from India
India, as a growing economy, growing maritime nation, and having large number of ports and seafarers, is most natural for Indian stakeholders to work together with Green Award to share, contribute and influence the shipping/maritime industry and its future. KARCO from Mumbai, a company developing comprehensive safety videos for ships, became the first Indian company to partner with Green Award.
In early 2015, a delegation from Green Award attended India. The visits included Joint Secretary of Ministry of Shipping, Gujarat Maritime Board, Central Pollution Control Board, DG Shipping, Chennai Port Trust, Adani Ports, Essar Ports, and L&T Kattupalli Port. Based on the solid talks the delegates had with these heart-warm welcoming organisations, Green Award would like to continue talks with various stakeholders in India.