A report issued last week on Lloyds list suggested that Maersk are reluctant to recycle a percentage of their vessels in South Asian ship recycling beaches.
Discussions were held between Dr Nikos Mikelis, head of ship recycling for the environment division of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and Helene Regnell, head of corporate social responsibility at Maersk Line. Dr Mikelis suggested at the first Capital Link Annual Shipping and Offshore CSR Forum (held in London on Thursday 27th October 2011) that large shipping companies are needed to support South Asian breaking yards in the industry in order to support their gradual health, safety and environmental improvements. It was not his argument that all end of life vessels should be recycled there, but that if companies such as Maersk Line sent one or more vessels to such yards, this would support their improvements and the extra $50 per ldt could go to a fund ran by a UN agency that could create a waste management infrastructure for the safe disposal of hazardous waste materials such as asbestos. Crucially, he asked, “If these yards are not positively favoured by the socially responsible ship owners, then how will safety, environmental and welfare improvements be fuelled in the countries that need them most?”
Maersk currently demolish all their vessels at one specific ’green’ ship recycling yard in China, where environmental and safety standards are regularly monitored. Ms Regnell was open to say that Maersk’s CSR ship recycling policy was not socially responsible enough. However, she argued that it would take time and evidence of improvement to persuade Maersk as a company to change the system.
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27th Sep 2012
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