West P&I Club has launched its inaugural ESG & Sustainability Report, revealing how the marine insurance leader supports green shipping and healthy oceans. Additionally, the report, released during London International Shipping Week 2023 (LISW23), demonstrates the Club’s commitment to seafarer wellbeing and investing in talent.
Environmental regulatory compliance for an industry under pressure to reduce its carbon footprint and the expectation from financial institutes that shipping companies make ESG a core strategic objective also features. This issue is increasingly important to maritime stakeholders, according to the report, which was launched at West’s LISW23 event, ‘No ocean. No shipping’, hosted in association with the Club’s charity partner, the National Oceanography Centre.
West’s report explains the changing nature of shipping, with cargo carrying capacity doubling since 2005 in an industry that accounts for up to 90% of global trade. This creates three challenges for the Club’s Members: people and safety, environmental impact, and technology / digitalisation. The Club’s first ESG and sustainability report outlines the progress made by West, its future aims and how it plans to help Members on this journey.
The report also focuses on West’s ESG-related initiatives, showing how in recent years it has committed to the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals (UN SDGs). Actions include supporting seafarers’ physical and mental wellbeing, accelerating gender diversity and introducing training programmes for West employees. Moreover, the Club has moved to more sustainable premises to help combat climate change, provided Members training on new fuels and technologies to support their decarbonisation transition, and advised them on how to protect the marine environment.
Other actions taken by West include creating a dedicated ESG Department and ESG Committee exclusively made up of staff; establishing its operational carbon footprint by commissioning carbon emissions reports on all offices; introducing the West Mentoring Programme; and taking a zero-tolerance stance to greenwashing. The Club contributes to ESG investment funds, promotes ethical business practices among its workforce and is a member of the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network.
Commenting on West’s inaugural ESG report, Tom Bowsher, Group CEO (pictured), said: “The maritime industry is going through a period of great transformational change and it is crucial that during these times of uncertainty and increased demands, we continue to support our Members in all areas of their business to confidently navigate through the challenges and opportunities this presents. As part of the various initiatives the Club has underway, I am delighted to present our first ESG & Sustainability Report. Every business has a crucial role to play in the transition towards a sustainable future and West’s strategy places emphasis on the environment, social responsibility, legal integrity and a commitment to maritime resilience.”
Gina Panayiotou, ESG Manager at West P&I, added: “The increasing number of ESG-related regulations and requirements in shipping is a reflection of the emphasis that clients, investors and other stakeholders now place on the maritime sustainability agenda. Shipping is paramount for a sustainable world and we have a duty to sustain it sustainably. At West, we aim to proactively guide and support Members on this journey and our first ESG and sustainability report aims to highlight how ESG and sustainability is not only a moral case, but also a powerful business one.”