Earlier this month, it was my honor to be invited to join select maritime industry…
Sea Cargo Charter Increases Transparency Within Shipping Industry
The Global Maritime Forum announced the creation of a Sea Cargo Charter in October. The Sea Cargo Charter brings together a group of the world’s biggest energy, agriculture, mining and commodity trading companies, increasing transparency and awareness in the shipping industry by assessing and disclosing their shipping activities’ climate alignment for the first time.
The coalition will set a benchmark for responsible shipping by having transparent climate reporting and being in line with the United Nations (UN) decarbonization targets. It’s founding signatories are Anglo American, ADM, Bunge, Cargill Ocean Transportation, COFCO International, Dow, Equinor, Gunvor Group, Klaveness Combination Carriers, Louis Dreyfus Company, Norden, Occidental, Shell, Torvald Klaveness, and Trafigura.
Like the rest of the planet, the shipping industry is battling the effects of climate change and taking steps to have a more sustainable future. The UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) has plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by at least 50 percent and carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2050. The Sea Cargo Charter establishes a common baseline to assess and disclose whether shipping activities align with those goals.
This Charter is vital to increase transparency within, as well as outside of, the maritime industry. Many companies and organizations coming together will help the industry be in line with greener goals for the future as key industry players use their influence to enable change. Leading industry players helping to develop the Charter include Euronav, Gorrissen Federspiel and Stena Bulk. The Global Maritime Forum, Smart Freight Centre, University College London Energy Institute/UMAS and Stephenson Harwood are also providing expert support.
The charter consists of four principles: assessment of climate alignment, accountability, enforcement, and transparency. These principles benefit the industry not only by only outlining goals and quantitatively measuring emissions but by having a real way of making a difference and driving change in the industry.
In the maritime industry, there are many challenges to be met; there are environmental concerns but also concerns about how to stay competitive and economically savvy. Regulations are subject to change and can vary widely around the globe. There has been a call for increased transparency and collaboration among the maritime and shipping industry members for several years. Much like the Sea Cargo Charter, the Global Maritime Information Forum (GMIF) was founded to bolster transparency and communication among those in the industry and global society.
Despite being responsible for the transportation of 90 percent of goods, the shipping industry remains mostly invisible to the public eye. The GMIF was founded to foster more collaboration among stakeholders and increase the maritime sector’s visibility.
As the global society becomes increasingly interconnected, so does the importance of increasing the shipping industry’s effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability. Though the shipping industry provides the world with the vast majority of goods, it also is responsible for roughly three percent of global carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.
Organizations like the Sea Cargo Charter and the GMIF push companies to align themselves with policies through collaboration as well as through competition. Transparency is necessary for the shipping industry to stay up to date with the latest innovations in technology, the latest regulations, and companies need to hold one another accountable should enforcement of regulations be necessary. Therefore, organizations such as the Sea Cargo Charter and the GMIF are not only a benefit to the industry but a necessity.