Guide for maritime firms to report sustainability efforts

Companies in the maritime sector will get more help in becoming sustainable with the launch of a new guide by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

The Maritime Sustainability Reporting Guide details a practical framework and lists examples of best practices to help maritime firms create a sustainability report. Firms can download the guide for free from the MPA's website.

It was jointly created by the MPA and partners such as the Singapore Exchange (SGX), Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS) and sustainability consultants. GCNS is the national lead agency in promoting corporate sustainability.

A sustainability report maps out the different threats posed by environmental, social and governance issues and lists how companies plan to handle them.

In 2016, SGX introduced sustainability reporting for all publicly listed companies on a "comply or explain" basis.

This means that all listed companies must do it or explain their decision not to do so by a stipulated deadline.

But the MPA said the guide will also seek to help companies that are not listed to tackle sustainability challenges.

 
 
 
 

In a joint statement yesterday, the MPA, SGX and GCNS said: "The need for the guide was spurred by industry feedback on the growing need for sustainability reporting guidelines, given that sustainability development practices bring various benefits to businesses."

The guide breaks down the reporting process into five stages, such as identifying potential issues and performance management. It then explains in detail how to successfully complete each step.

Mr James Tham, managing director of marine and offshore services provider Penguin International, said the guide will be useful in helping firms come up with a sustainability reporting plan.

He added: "Many companies like ours are intuitively living out our lives in a sustainable manner, but most of us have not really sat down to think about how to document our sustainable activities, how to set goals and how to actually plan for the future in a sustainable way."

MPA chief executive Quah Ley Hoon said more efforts can be expected from the maritime industry on this front. She added: "I think we can do our small bits so that our children... can have the optimism that this world is worth living in."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2019, with the headline 'Guide for maritime firms to report sustainability efforts'. Print Edition | Subscribe