Making your sustainability efforts known – getting ahead with sustainable financing

Financiers in the maritime industry today advocate sustainability almost in the same breath as profitability.

Lloyd’s List in their 4 June 2019 article affirms this by speaking to senior finance industry experts who recognise that “Rapidly tightening restrictions from capital market lenders and banks linked to environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets will further squeeze available financing for smaller shipping companies and trigger another round of consolidation within the next two years.”

With an intense focus on ESG standards set by banks – shipowners will have no choice but to bite the bullet to change now.

So change it is. With Sulphur 2020 and IMO ambitious goal of cleaner oceans in 2040 – most shipowners have taken this in stride and have undertaken many initiatives to become greener and to give back to the communities they serve. The next question to ask is, “What next?”

Well, the first step you can take is to announce it.

Start from the inside

• For a start, be clear in your communications on your organisation’s direction on sustainability. Doing so encourages people to speak openly and passionately about what the organisation is doing on sustainability – and your employees will be champions for the change.
• Start with simple tools such as employee e-newsletter, your intranet, lunch and learn sessions and employee focus groups to spearhead change and spread the word.

1. Website – Website is one simple (and free!) way to embed your sustainability statement and vision
• Dedicated page – Create a page to describe the initiatives that you’re undertaking, milestones achieved and your vision for the industry
• Blog – Have a regular feed on your blog to write about your sustainability journey – a behind-the-scene on the steps you are undertaking. Humanise it, make it visual and tell the story of why your organisation is doing what it’s doing.
• Sustainability report – Make your sustainability report creative and engaging. Having visual graphics, videos, and interactive PDF are all ways you can make your sustainability report more interesting.
• Sales materials – Incorporate your green story into your sales materials – brochures, trade show display and apply certifications, when applicable, to all marketing materials to give credibility

2. Social media – Harass the power of social media
• Distil 10 key points from your sustainability report and drip out on social media. This can be through a variety of media such as infographic and videos
• Create a social media calendar where you can plan and prepare your posts pertaining to sustainability

3. Reach out to appropriate media partners
• Find a newsworthy angle and pitch it to the press. If you are incorporating some new tech or partnering with some big names in the market – then it’s worth doing a news release and a video announcement of your new tie-up. Approach your targeted media and pitch it to them – some media engagement can certainly help give the initiative a push and more importantly cementing your efforts in the sustainability space.

These are all very manageable tasks that you can undertake yourself – but if you feel you need a little more help – please just feel free to drop us a line.

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