Statement 3: Achieving sustainability targets is less important in the current climate.
2020 has been a watershed year for the industry. Breakbulk’s Editorial Advisory Board of industry leaders offer their perspectives on a range of topics and where we go from here as the new year dawns.
AGREE:John Amos: “During the current climate, which has more factors than the pandemic, the industry has struggled to stay in business. Bankruptcies, mergers and insufficient cargo has resulted in many companies having difficulty in ‘staying afloat.’ ”
Dharmendra Gangrade: “Survival has become the first priority, over ensuring sustainability targets.”
Ulrich Ulrichs: “The shipping industry and especially the multipurpose vessel/project segment has been in crisis mode for years, and carriers have been struggling to survive; many have disappeared. The industry segment has been undervalued and ‘underpaid’ for years, and therefore has had to focus on short-term issues and ‘survival’ rather than sustainability or the climate. Carriers need to be paid more ‘fairly,’ deliver better margins to shareholders in order to invest in new technologies, systems and assets to set and achieve new sustainability and environmental targets.”
DISAGREE:Anders Maul: “As an industry we must constantly strive to contribute. One climate doesn’t rule out the other climate.”
Dennis Devlin: “Achieving sustainability targets is and will remain vital.”
Murray Cooper: “Supply chain sustainability is extremely important during the Covid-19 period of uncertainty.”
Margaret Vaughan: “Achieving sustainability is neither less nor more important in the current climate. It is a goal that needs to be reached. Schedules must be maintained or the goal will never be achieved because there will always be some setback that must be overcome.”
Roger Strevens: “Industry leaders realize their stakeholders’ views on sustainability targets are at least as important as their own. Those stakeholders, who include customers, investors and regulators, are all increasing their focus and expectations on sustainability. For some it has to do with addressing the climate imperative, while for others performance on sustainability – especially now – is a surefire indicator of good corporate health and resilience.”
Grant Wattman: “All targets and plans may need to be modified because of our current business climate. I see no rationale for moving sustainability lower in the priority than it currently holds.”
Johan-Paul Verschuure: “Disagree, but not all targets can be forced upon the industry in the short term given the business climate at the moment. The sustainability focus may even offer an opportunity for the industry, where clients of the sector are increasingly looking at sustainability to differentiate themselves and where public bodies and regulators also seem to be moving towards more focus on sustainability. Disregarding these trends in the short term will make business more difficult in the longer term.”
Samuel Holmes: “All supply chain partners and stakeholders including project logistics companies are working towards sustainable initiatives to protect the environment. I think it is becoming more important than ever for companies to strive and achieve sustainability targets. It is good for the environment and good for the company image.”
“The breakbulk and project cargo industry is underserved by sector-specific digitalization tools.”
“The industry is flexible enough to adapt to the post-Covid operating environment.”
“Achieving sustainability targets is less important in the current climate.”
“The breakbulk and project cargo industry is not taking enough responsibility for the climate.”
“Remote working in the breakbulk and project cargo industry is not maintainable long term.”
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Will geopolitics play a greater or lesser role on project cargo trade in 2021?
Are you expecting more public or private projects in 2021?
Is the industry delivering on diversity objectives?