Lately, the industry has been driven by raised ambitions and accelerated actions with respect to sustainability. More and more shipping companies are moving toward long-term CSR practices; in this context, latest SAFETY4SEA survey 'Shipping CSR500 Survey’’ highlighted that these result in many benefits for all maritime stakeholders, illustrating proper practices for effective CSR implementation in the maritime industry.

Here are ten key practices for shipping organizations to ignite a new era of leadership:

  1. Focus on decarbonization targets

With regards to CO2 emissions, IMO is going to implement its strategy while already many organizations are revealing their ambitious plans toward full decarbonization by 2050. Start by setting strategic objectives and an action plan for reducing environmental footprint, guide your employees' efforts, justify your upcoming activities and define performance standards.

  1. Provide education to mobilize action

Ensure that your personnel are familiar with your policies on sustainability. Each of your employees interprets sustainability through their own value lens. Promote, therefore, your policies by organizing training sessions; specific introductory sustainability seminars to deeper educate your employees and mobilize action.

  1. Unleash innovation

Creating a culture of innovation is not an easy task. Organizational innovation means new organizational methods; changes in business practices; changes in management strategy; customization; regular seasonal and other cyclical changes, mergers and acquisitions.

  1. Say yes to diversity

Your corporate resolution could also offer new opportunities for women, ethnic minorities and even workers without an academic degree. In that way you can make business sense; enhance innovation, personnel satisfaction and overall organizational performance. Maritime industry is constantly showing an increased interest in augmenting the role and presence of women in a traditionally male-dominated industry

  1. Embed the SDG

The UN’s sustainable development agenda can be used as a model for shipping companies. In 2015, 193 countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), calling for action by all countries to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development on global scale by 2030.

  1. Be transparent

This concept proposes that, by having an engaging environment, every shipping company will improve performance and increase profits. This can be attained through open communications with industry stakeholders characterized by clarity, and accuracy and reporting outcome. CSR and sustainability reporting is of outmost importance as it further enhances the communication and engagement status of the stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement plays a vital role throughout the reporting process since their viewpoints and interests contribute to ensuring the report’s relevance, accessibility and credibility to external audiences.

  1. Create partnerships

It is of great importance to integrate different stakeholders and develop coherent policies regarding sustainable development, but also generate engagement and buy-in among potential partners. Cooperation can help achieve the 2030 Agenda and the aforesaid SDGs.

  1. Aim towards a circular economy

In order to achieve a transition to a more circular economy, the 3 Rs help us: Reduce; Reuse; Recycle. However, Ichin Cheng in "Designing for the Circular Economy" says that these are not enough. In fact, twelve Rs are needed to fully achieve a circular society.

  1. Get nominated for an award

Recognition can ensure the success of your organization. By getting nominated for a sustainability award, organizations can receive the internal recognition they deserve. In this regard, the distinguished short-listed nominees of the 2019 GREEN4SEA Awards have been recently announced with the aim to demonstrate considerable sustainability efforts and green practices.

  1. Envision the future

Thinking ahead enables ship operators to generate fresh ideas for implementation with a broader scope to reduce costs, increase profits and provide a better image for the organization.