First Report from Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative

The first report of the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative was published at the Tradewinds Ship Recycling Forum 2019 held this March in Hong Kong. The data presented was collected through a disclosure questionnaire circulated among shipowners as part of the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative. The report clearly indicates that there is a growing movement stepping up the pressure on shipowners to disclose their approaches to ship recycling.

Since the online platform went live just over two months ago eight large shipowners – operating a combined total of more than 1800 vessels – have voluntarily shared data on their company’s ship recycling policies and practice, according to SRTI. All disclosing shipowners have a written policy on ship recycling for their own vessels covering issues related to the environment, labour and human rights in accordance with the Hong Kong Convention.

“We’re seeing increasing pressure on shipowners from key stakeholders including investors, retailers and manufacturers,” said Andrew Stephens, Executive Director of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative who was presenting at Tradewinds in Hong Kong. “Conversations with retailers and manufacturers, investors, lenders and insurance companies have highlighted that they too want more information on ship recycling to inform their decision-making.”

“The beauty of the SRTI is that it can easily be incorporated into their existing sustainability strategies, such as building into supplier codes of conduct and used as a requirement in procurement processes. Shipowners feel the effects of the market as they are being held accountable; the simple act of being transparent about their approach to ship recycling is leading to improved policy, practice and performance,” he continued.

Cargo owners such as major vehicle manufacturers BMW and Scania have recently signed up to the SRTI, demonstrating their willingness to be held to account for their supply chain. Financial stakeholders make up one third of those involved in the SRTI – including recent signatories MP Pension and PBU – reflecting a continuing trend for investment funds to scrutinise shipowners’ ship recycling practices.

The SRTI report also revealed how shipowners implement their responsible ship recycling commitments through the use of standard contracts such as BIMCO’s RECYCLECON for the sale of vessels for green recycling; and/or explicit requirements for ship recycling facilities to follow a specific ship recycling plan. All disclosing shipowners monitor facilities’ compliance during the ship recycling process, mostly by way of ongoing supervision and assigning a company representative. Shipowners also conduct follow-up onsite and spot checks.