Commentary provided by Victor Restis
I am deeply passionate about the topic of this article. Sustaining global supply chains and making sure there is not a lapse in moving products along with manufacturing to consumers around the world. Victor Restis, a Greek shipping magnate, says in the article that there is a growing awareness for implementing more sustainable measures to ensure safety and security to supply chains.
These measures, it seems, not only affect how supply chains are operated, but how the maritime industry as a whole protects the environment. After all, large cargo vessels traversing the seas and oceans of the world can’t be good for the environment, but it seems there are targets to ensure corporate responsibility as well. To address climate change and its use of fossil fuels, the shipping industry agreed to several goals to improve shipping efficiency by 40 percent and a 50 percent reduction in CO2 emissions in about 30 years – that is ambitious but a firm target. The world needs to keep international supply chains growing strong. Global trade is great for the economy, keeps people fed with foods from around the world, and fills our stores with goods.
It seems that these goals were well in place before the events of 2020. COVID came along and accelerated these plans – well, at least there is one silver lining. The threat COVID-19 caused to international supply chains was enough to scare the maritime industry – and every other industry – into action. The biggest threat to the supply chain was COVID’s effect on human resources. With people getting sick and under stay at home orders, there were fewer people to run the shipping vessels, the docks, the warehouses, and every other touchpoint along this critical chain.
But the idea of sustainable action in shipping relies on industry initiatives to strengthen human resources and reduce the environmental impact of the shipping industry. Sustainable programs to ensure the health of more than 2 million seafarers in the industry is vital. There are new technologies that are helping the crew stay healthier while on duty. For the vessel’s impact on the environment, it is good to know that an official initiative has been launched, The Sustainable Shipping Initiative. This initiative servers to explore alternative power sources to help ships operate efficiently and much cleaner.
With so much going on in the world today, I, for one, am glad to see responsible executives like Victor Restis, taking the helm in assuring our systems of global trade and shipping continues firmly into the future. The maritime industry must do everything it can to strengthen its systems in case any potential global events like COVID that threaten our way of life.