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Sustainability in Shipping—Acta non verba

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With a not very sincere apology to the US Merchant Marine Academy which made this Latin phrase popular, I wanted to address the “actions not words” approach to the maritime industry’s plans for sustainability.  As a media and communications person, I am acutely aware of the growing public scrutiny of our industry and our need to positively project all that we are doing to be good stewards and follow ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) best practices.  I am also acutely aware of the constraints on our ambitions in actualizing them.

Over the course of the past couple of years, I have been delighted to see dozens of announcements about initiatives to mitigate our environmental footprint, improve our treatment of mariners, and reduce the corruption in our industry. Yet, our sector is still perceived to be a rogue industry with a penchant for polluting and abandoning our mariners in their time of need.

I recently tasked one of my non-maritime staff members to write an article on the maritime industry’s environmental achievements, confident that she would produce a piece that would require extensive editing to shorten it.  Her response was that while there were plenty of initiatives and plans, she couldn’t find any working applications of actual outcomes.

While I know that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, let’s not be shy about what we are achieving.  Let’s start demonstrating our new approach to running our sector with products, programs and practices which are having real impacts.  Let’s “Acta AND Verba”!!

Keep Optimizing,


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