Earlier this month, it was my honor to be invited to join select maritime industry…
Inside the E, the S and the G: What it Means for Maritime
On June 8th, World Ocean Day, NAMEPA and Connecticut Maritime Association (CMA) teamed up to present how the maritime industry is addressing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) programs. Joe Hughes, Chairman & CEO of Shipowners Claims Bureau (The American Club) and Chairman of NAMEPA, kicked off the webinar reminding us how current this issue is. ESG has become a major priority in the maritime industry over the past few years. This can be seen in both the drastic uptick of NAMEPA members in the past 14 years, now embracing the message to “Save Our Seas”, as well as the tremendous shift of focus from the maritime industry regarding sustainability.
Jeff Pribor, CFO of International Seaways, shared his experience in the industry shifting into a sustainable future; not only embracing regulations but going beyond them. Through the Poseidon Principles, investing in the energy transition, and documenting progress (to name a few), International Seaways is well on its way to a sustainable future. By embracing ESG, this is possible for the entire shipping industry.
Captain Anuj Chopra, CEO of ESGplus, took over to explain the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and what’s pushing it forward. Capt. Chopra covered the societal demand for CSR (driven by the younger generations), why CSR is profitable, and especially why CSR is ethical. CSR/ESG has become a priority in more than just shipping. In many industries, we can see how best practices are a requirement for the future of corporations. Capt. Chopra went on to reveal how NAMEPA’s CSR/ESG program creates a program for companies to stay on track in this major transition.
In assessing the “S” of ESG, Andrew Baransky, a licensed deck officer who graduated from King’s Point, sailed, and returned there to support their Diversity and Inclusion efforts, explained how creating a supportive social culture in the maritime industry, and throughout the entire supply chain, is essential. Fostering a healthy culture for ship’s crews requires diversity, promotes personal well-being, provides employees with opportunities for growth, and an acceptance of diverse viewpoints. The grueling work our mariners endure should not also be plagued by a poor work environment. Baransky suggested the key forward to a healthy maritime culture relies on a robust education program from the top down that creates a positive culture change in the maritime industry. While this is the most important step, the industry should also be focusing on how to strengthen communities, embrace diversity, and improving the quality of life for mariners.
Cynthia Hudson, Founder and CEO of HudsonCyber, addressed cybersecurity for the shipping industry as essential to the “G” of governance. Cybersecurity has become a focus for any business, with a similar rapid transition in comparison to ESG itself. Protecting the environment has become a potential hostage for cyber threats such as ransomware, therefore the ability to maintain data privacy is necessary for sustainability. On top of this, and in relation to the previous presentation, cybersecurity also relates to the safety of the workplace, employees, and also customers. In many ways, this relies on CSR as well as the Governance within ESG. Even for cybersecurity, ESG covers that necessary ability for a company to maintain constant accountability, oversight, and management.
In every way possible, ESG is a part of the future for the maritime industry. Companies need to embrace this future, and the NAMEPA CSR/ESG Maritime Sustainability Program is one very effective way to do so. To view this fascinating webinar on the future of shipping visit, click here!