As companies watch out for actual or potential losses, such as oil and gas leaks, they analyse the causes, and then establish systems to reduce or eliminate such loss. In order to improve their management systems, they can compare it with others, thus identifying gaps and take measures to mitigate them.


Considering these factors, DNV GL focuses on its International Sustainability Rating System (ISRS). ISRS provides scrutiny and guidance of management systems, aiming to help organizations apply a sustainable business.

The ninth edition (ISRS9) was published in 2019, giving emphasis on more loss categories and concepts that can apply across varied sectors. The risk categories that were added include some that are relatively or entirely new to certain industries, such as cyber security.

ISRS is a systematic, qualitative method for ranking management system performance against that of other organizations, while it also complements quantitative risk assessment techniques. Performance is measured by assessing how much work is done by the organization in:

  • Identifying risks;
  • Implementing and managing risk controls;
  • Investigating the causes of loss;
  • How it measures and analyses consequences such as incidents, injuries, and losses.

Talking about the importance of incident investigation Fenna van de Merwe, Principal Consultant, DNV GL, explains that what is needed is a standardized, systematic and traceable investigation methodology that allows companies to identify the root causes of incidents and derive the necessary cultural changes.

The incident investigation process should be embedded in a safety management system that unearths underlying causes, explaining both how and why processes in the safety management system succeed or fail. When this is clear, systemic measures for improvement can be identified

She added that the purpose of an investigation should always be to maximize the lessons learnt from unintended events and to prevent re-occurrence. DNV GL therefore looks for indications that organizations exhibit a continuous improvement mindset as well as:

  • A reporting culture – what gets reported when people make errors or experience near misses;
  • A fair culture – how people apportion blame when something goes wrong;
  • A learning culture – how adequately people can convert the lessons learnt into new assumptions, frameworks and action;
  • A flexible culture – how readily people can adapt to sudden and radical increases in pressure, pacing and intensity.

What is more, as digitalization evolves, more opportunities are being created for companies to improve HSEQ management. ISRS9 takes this into consideration, and contains a new app to improve incident reporting, and streamline investigations.

Improved digital benchmarking services and new dashboards are incorporated for greater efficiency. They add to the customer experience and interaction

said Selva Subramaniam, senior consultant and head of ISRS Product Centre at DNV GL.

Except for DNV GL, MPA Singapore launched the first sector-specific Maritime Sustainability Reporting Guide. The Guide provides a practical framework, including best practices for creating a maritime sustainability report, for both listed and non-listed maritime companies.

The need for the Guide was spurred by industry feedback on the growing need for sustainability reporting guidelines, given that sustainability development practices bring various benefits to businesses. The Guide also features MPA’s own sustainability reporting journey as a case study, including its internal sustainability initiatives through the years

MPA Singapore notes.

However, ECSA as well has launched an initiative to advance sustainability. It specifically kick started n ambitious Maritime Growth plan for “Sustainable Maritime Jobs, Growth and Competitiveness”, aiming to ensure a thriving EU shipping industry, a strong skills base and the development of a world-class maritime cluster.


  • Enhance the social sustainability of shipping –‘to maintain and further develop attractive and smart, safe, social and sustainable quality shipping’;
  • Promote the training, competitiveness and employment of EU seafarers § Enhance the skill base of EU seafarers § Enhance the growth and competitiveness of the EU fleet;
  • Deal with demographic developments § Ensure a sufficient supply of competent staff for the European maritime clusters with the right mix of skills and competencies - ‘World-class maritime cluster’.

Problem definitions: 

  • In order for the maritime industries in Europe to recruit and retain the required quantities and qualities of people and stay competitive in changing times with technological and environmental developments, it will be imperative to find ways to attract more people to careers in the maritime sector, with a particular focus on under-represented groups, including women;
  • Business-as-usual is not an option if the industry is going to reinforce its workforce and attract younger people of this generation;
  • Employment prospects for EU nationals in the maritime industries are closely linked to the strength, competitiveness and prosperity of the EU maritime industry in its entirety.