Besides the cost of greener shipping, sustainability policies and ’sustainable contracting’ are moving to the front of the agenda for some shippers.
As recently as two years ago, shippers were just starting to ’ask questions’ and to gather information about environmental and decarbonisation issues in shipping.
Now, more shippers are including detailed questions in both their Request for Information and in their bid sheet concerning sustainability, as part of their procurement tenders. Can my preferred carrier(s) ship products with a lower or zero CO2 emissions? Does the carrier use bio-fuels? At what cost? Does the carrier have a sustainability strategy?
The next step will be to define and implement sustainability Key Performance Indicators, including the measurement of carbon footprint and – the final goal – actual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
This is a complex journey, which can be summed up as follows:
Drewry has partnered with the Smart Freight Alliance on sustainability in shipping and can offer advice to support strategy development. Part of this support involves the establishment of sustainability related filtering questions and the modelling of sustainability related KPIs.
Our discussion with other industry stakeholders and our assessment of the planning of sustainability measures is that now is the time for shippers to think about how they include “green contracting” in KPI monitoring.
Companies are planning to include contract language around green surcharges and the monitoring of KPIs for the first time.
Speaking to our shipper/BCO customers, we know sustainability is still not seen as a short-term, top-of-the-agenda concern. However, for a growing number, green contracting is starting to happen at both procurement and carrier management levels and is something we expect to see a good deal more of in the coming years.