During the leading european maritime NOR Shipping event in Oslo on May 30th ABN AMRO, ING and NIBC presented the Responsible Ship Recycling Standards (RSRS) for ship financing and called upon other financial institutions to unite in endorsing these. In doing so the banks hoped to raise awareness of the importance of improving the end-of-life stage of ships.
Inventory of Hazardous Materials and sustainable recycling practices
Recycling of a ship at the end of its lifecycle poses the largest social and environmental risk challenges for the industry. To help improve the end-of-life stage of ships ABN AMRO, ING and NIBC joined forces several years ago to develop responsible standards for ship financing.
RSRS aims to promote responsible ship recycling and minimize the dangers associated with hazardous materials on board of ships. For that purpose, through the standards the Banks seek to engage in an active dialogue with ship owners and encourage them to prepare and maintain an Inventory of Hazardous Material (‘IHM’) on board their ships. It describes the materials present in a ship’s structure and equipment that may be hazardous to human health or the environment. The presence of an IHM will contribute to the safety of crewmembers during the ship’s working life, minimise the adverse effects on the environment and contribute to the safety of workers during the recycling process. In addition, the standards promote that IHM and ship recycling practices meet the standards as defined in the EU Ship Recycling Regulation.
Decisive moments for Ship Owners
Michael de Visser, Global Head of Shipping & Intermodal at NIBC Bank: “NIBC wants to make a difference for its clients at decisive moments. With the extensive lifecycles of ships, the decision to scrap a ship is often taken by future ship owners. Therefore, we feel that with RSRS we now have the opportunity to influence this future decisive moment for both the shipping sector and the environment.”
Higher standards in shipping welcomed by NGOs
Internationally active expert labour union FNV, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform and the Bellona Foundation endorse the initiative and see it as a good first step towards more sustainable practices and safe & healthy working places for workers.
Continued efforts to improve the value chain of International Shipping
“We welcome the leading role taken by the banks to ensure a departure from the unnecessarily risky, dirty and dangerous practice of beaching, and expect that investors and clients of shipping that are increasingly pushing for higher standards for ship recycling will join the initiative,” said Ingvild Jenssen, Founder and Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.
The standards form the guiding principles in the dialogue on responsible ship recycling between the financial sector and targeted stakeholders in international shipping.
To support and accelerate positive change the RSRS members will continue to increase awareness of risks associated with recycling of ships, promote the standards and invite ship financing banks to join the initiative.