Online initiative aims at transparency in ship recycling

Paul Gunton
Paul Gunton
ShipInsight

11 December 2018


Less than a week after the EU published its latest list of approved ship recycling facilities, industry leaders and non-profit organisation the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) announced the launch of the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative’s (SRTI) online platform for sharing information on ship recycling.

The website comes nine months after a group of shipping industry leaders, including LR and six leading shipowners, first announced their collective effort to adopt a market-driven approach that uses transparency to make responsible ship recycling the norm. Demanding transparency holds the shipping industry to account, raising the bar for current practice as well as creating fair competition among shipowners.

Announcing the new platform, SSI said that in 2017, 835 ships were recycled out of a world fleet of 50,000 and highlighted that ship recycling is a risky undertaking, impacting the environment, occupational health and safety as well as other risks related to poor social standards. Yet – and despite these known risks – the industry operates without any internationally agreed standards; nor is there global regulation currently in force.

Shipowners, ship recyclers and other stakeholders in the shipping value chain have different approaches to ship recycling that often are not clearly defined, and information on these approaches is not always available. Meanwhile, investors lack information to inform their decisions to mitigate risks when using ships as collateral for loans or when seeking financing for shipbuilding; and cargo owners are under increasing pressure to take responsibility for their products’ entire supply chain – from factory to customer.

Neither a standard nor a means of measurement, the SRTI online platform allows ship recycling data to tell its own story. Shipowners use the platform to share information on their approaches to ship recycling on a set of disclosure criteria. Customers and cargo owners, investors and financial stakeholders as well as the broader public can access and use this information to make better decisions.

The SRTI is hosted by the SSI and brings together leading shipowners, investors, banks, insurers, cargo owners and other key stakeholders from across the maritime industry. Along with LR, its founding signatories include shipowners The China Navigation Company, Hapag-Lloyd, AP Moeller-Maersk, NORDEN, Stolt Tankers and Wallenius Wilhelmsen; financial stakeholders GES, Nykredit and Standard Chartered Bank; and NGO Forum for the Future.

“We are really proud to be launching the SRTI site this week. At the SSI we see responsible ship recycling as a critical issue that needs to be addressed through smart interventions like increasing transparency,” said SSI Co-Chair Stephanie Draper. “The SRTI is an opportunity for shipowners, cargo owners, investors and others to collectively demand transparency and through that better standards. We think that the industry can lead by working across the supply chain to change itself and it is great to be shaping this positive example of that.”

“The SRTI is unique in that it tells a positive story, shining a light on what is actually possible in terms of responsible ship recycling,” said Andrew Stephens, Executive Director of the SSI. “We’ve seen what transparency has done in other sectors, in some cases prompting immediate and transformative change.”

Nick Brown, LR's Marine & Offshore Director, said: “Ship recycling is a complex issue, Lloyd’s Register has worked with a number of responsible vessel owners who want to take action and improve their own responsible recycling practices. To make this the new norm, it requires wider collaboration across the value chain. The Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative platform provides the knowledge and information to enable informed decisions to be made to support improvements in the safety and environmental practices of recycling ships.”

The SRTI online platform can be accessed at www.shiprecyclingtransparency.org.