Collaboration driving sustainability in shipping

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In 2023, we can expect increased collaboration across the maritime industry to drive sustainable shipping initiatives. As a result of the extreme transformation and increased complexities experienced in 2022, organizations have recognized that they can overcome supply chain issues, respond effectively to geopolitical tensions, and navigate ongoing COVID-19 restrictions by working together.

The green transition presents significant challenges to the shipping industry, from logistical capabilities in reducing emissions to meeting new regulatory requirements, all of which can have a commercial impact on businesses’ bottom line. To make meaningful progress towards more sustainable outcomes, organizations are embracing data-driven technologies that deliver one true source of data, connecting different stakeholders and providing access to the same data points.

By using data-driven insights to drive efficiencies, organizations are collaborating on maritime energy efficiency, renewable propulsion, and auxiliary technology, known as clean technology. This collaboration between clean technology companies and shipowners, as well as between shipowners themselves, will be crucial to the shipping industry’s decarbonization efforts.

Despite the need to collaborate, significant barriers to cooperation remain in practice. However, there is a willingness to collaborate, and it is critical to achieving rapid, fundamental change. By sharing good quality and relevant operating data and seeking independent corroboration for the claims made by technology vendors, collaboration can overcome these barriers.

Investments in clean technology offer a clear opportunity to reduce emissions and costs through lower fuel use, making it cost and time efficient to fit whether retrofitting the existing fleet or integrating technology into new builds. Moreover, vessel efficiency improvements can help shipowners navigate the complex maze of decarbonization regulations, including the International Maritime Organization’s Carbon Intensity Indicator (IMO CIII) implemented in January 2023.

Effective collaboration needs leaders to safeguard participants and break down barriers. Leaders can act as a central black box, bringing sensitive information together to paint the full picture while protecting the confidentiality of the data owners. They can also help shipowners share the cost of trialling a new technology while giving them all access to the benefits.

Collaboration is more than just shipowners sharing technical data on a new technology. It encompasses all stakeholders and often supply chains as well. Flag states, national chambers, the international chamber, industry coalitions, and independent consultants all have a key convening role to play if significant barriers are to be overcome. By collaborating effectively, organizations can promote sustainable shipping initiatives and achieve their mutual environmental and commercial goals, driving green, efficient, and profitable operations.

Net Zero Analytics is an advisory firm that assists businesses in creating, communicating, and implementing their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and sustainability plans. We aid in areas such as reporting on sustainability performance using different ESG frameworks, creating strategies, and evaluating what issues are most relevant to the company. This not only helps companies comply with disclosure regulations like CSRD but also allows them to proactively share their plans with stakeholders such as lenders, investors, customers, and the communities where they operate. Our primary focus area is South-East Europe.