CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) lost its novelty as a unique selling point for businesses
Many businesses raved over United Nations’ (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as part of their CSR initiatives. The SDGs were formulated in 2015, and targeted to be achieved by 2030. However the tides turned after COP26, with Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) becoming the new buzzword.
What it means for the maritime industry
CSR used to influence company reputations as investors preferred socially-accountable enterprises. When the climate crisis sounded earth-shaking alarm bells, ESG became the primary concern for most shipping businesses, and catalysed the hype about climate-friendly energies. COP26’s recent conclusion was disappointing due to the deafening dilemma of commercial interests versus multilateral relations. This underscored the fact that balancing the imbalance would be a long shot.
Nonetheless, Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) announced a long-term business ESG plan in September 2021. In its campaign “KOGAS 2021: A New Era”, the company planned to lead the energy source conversion. It entailed creating an eco-friendly coal and petroleum ecosystem that provides green energy in all value chain areas concerning consumers. In a nutshell, KOGAS (through this initiative) strives to ensure their product quality corresponds with costs, and to establish sustainable, socially-responsible, and environmentally-sound business practices.
KOGAS also presented specific targets such as annual supply plans for hydrogen projects, and strategies for promoting 4 new liquefied natural gas (LNG) based ventures through business convergence. The company currently has the world’s largest LNG storage capability, and built 4 facilities dedicated only to LNG shipments at Tongyeong LNG Base in the South Gyeongsang Province.
Compared to prevailing marine fuels, LNG can completely eliminate sulphur oxide, dust, and carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent and particulate matter by 99 per cent — improving air quality at sea. Large ships running on LNG are becoming popular as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulated the sulphur content of marine fuel to less than 0.5 per cent. The demand prospect for green energy varies between research institutes and is expected to reach 20 million – 30 million tonnes by 2030. Multinational energy companies like Shell and TotalEnergies projected that LNG bunkering will account for 20 – 30 per cent of the total marine fuel market in the next decade.
Marine Online Media Team
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