RightShip has a long-standing relationship with SSI, given the organisation has many shared values. In fact, RightShip’s General Manager, David Peel, has worked closely with SSI for seven years. In 2020, SSI developed several innovative initiatives designed to respond to the unfolding Covid 19 crew change crisis. It was at this time that we could do more to provide support and invoke industry change.
To formalise the partnership and show our commitment, we donated to the ‘Human Side workgroup – Delivering on Seafarers’ Rights’ project, which aims to enhance the support available for seafarers who are unable to access basic workers’ rights, particularly in the past 18-months.
What is the link between human rights and sustainability?
Often when we think of sustainability, there is an emphasis on environmental management endeavours. While this is the case, the people who keep our industry running smoothly are just as important – we cannot sustain our work without them. With people protected, we stand a much better chance of developing a complete view of what maritime sustainability looks like, now and well into the future.
With more than 300,000 seafarers stranded on vessels, working beyond contracts and being exposed to repatriation failures, our industry has faced very real threats to its reputation and capacity to effectively manage supply chain activities. There is additional pressure to improve safety and wellbeing standards for workers, with calls from investors, associations, governments and consumers to put an end to these human rights violations.
We believe this partnership can make a difference
There is a strong team committed to the success of this project, including The China Navigation Company, Forum for the Future, Louis Dreyfus Company, Oldendorff Carriers, South32 and Standard Chartered Bank. We believe that by working with this group, we will be able to have a productive conversation and help to develop a framework that results in a mandated code of conduct. With enforceable protocol in place, we can expect labour rights transparency, clearer contractual expectations and better standards across the entire supply chain.
RightShip CEO Steen Lund is pleased to announce that we have formed this partnership, which supports our integrated approach to sustainability, which spans the spectrum of human rights through to environmental protection.
“As a member of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, RightShip aims to contribute thought leadership together with a diverse ranges of stakeholders, canvass different perspectives, convene debate and feed into the ongoing and wider dialogue on human rights to ensure that we see an end to the unacceptable practices taking place at sea,” he says.
“In addition, as part of a wider approach to sustainability, we seek to find realistic solutions for decarbonisation, zero-emissions shipping and the role of sustainable biofuels in energy transition. Therefore, we see a natural and ongoing partnership with SSI,” he adds.
We want to see significant change now
David Peel points out that it’s unfortunate that it took a global pandemic for seafarer welfare to come into sharper focus, with some works on vessels for up to 18 months. “This is not sustainable, it leads to long-term fatigue, which impacts decision-making and focus,” he says, and highlights high-profile incidents such as the Gulf Livestock off Japan, which sailed into a typhoon – an avoidable disaster that should not have occurred.
“RightShip is committed driving lasting change and I am pleased that we are partnering with SSI to make significant strides forward,” he concludes.
Learn more about the Sustainable Shipping Initiative