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ESG Index for shipping launched at LISW

Photo: Seatrade Maritime ESG-index-launch.jpg
As shipping companies face mounting pressure to introduce or strengthen their environmental, social, governance (ESG) strategies, a new framework has been developed to assist in this process.

Speaking at The Time for Change is Now, a joint WISTA UK and Seatrade Maritime event held at Informa Markets Blackfriars headquarters last week, Dr Stavros Karamperidis, Head of Maritime Transport Research at the UK’s University of Plymouth, revealed details of the new scheme.

Released on 11 September, the new ESG Index is based on detailed analysis of 70 public ESG and Sustainability reports from shipping companies. The aim of the project has been to develop and launch a holistic ESG reporting framework and indexing methodology to assist shipping companies in drawing up accurate and measurable ESG profiles with a standardisation of reporting.

The mounting regulatory challenge facing many companies has added urgency to the project. Standardisation of reporting and indexing to develop accurate and measurable ESG profiles is designed to assist shipowners and operators by amassing relevant and robust information to aid decision-making and visibility of sustainability rankings across specific ESG focus points, including issues such as fleet decarbonisation and crew welfare.

Karamperidis has worked on the project with other academics and advisers. They include Dr Michael Tsatsaronis and Professor Theodoros Syrioupoulos, quantitative analysis and ship finance experts respectively at the National and Kapadistrian University of Athens, and a PhD student, Georgia Boura, at the same institution. Advisors include Gina Panayiotou, ESG Manager at the West of England P&I Club, and Christopher Fee, Oldendorff’s Director, Global Engagement & Sustainability. 

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“The ESG Index is a tailormade tool to support the industry through the transitional and challenging period,” Karamperidis explained, “reducing the time and complexities required for companies to efficiently assess where they stand. We are very excited to be presenting this first ESG Index for maritime during LISW 2023 especially, which will gather a diverse range of stakeholders from around the globe.”

Tsatsaronis highlighted new and upcoming environmental regulations from the IMO and the EU. The monitoring and reporting of ESG good practices is now more important than ever, reinforcing the interest of stakeholders in adopting transparency rules in the maritime, fuel, and energy industries, he said.

Shipping companies can now review the proposed framework, available at a dedicated website provided that they upload their data to support the research initiative.