Sustainable Maritime Interiors - 2022 Report

19 The United Nations Global Compact enshrines 10 principles, three of which apply specifically to the environment. These are that business should: support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges; undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.1 Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, countries and organisations were grappling with the climate emergency and the countdown to the 2030 deadline for achievement of the SDGs. For the global recovery to be sustainable, there needs to be a focus on developing resilience against future shocks, not least those that the shift to green and renewable technologies will bring. As part of the travel and tourism sector, passenger shipping companies have a unique opportunity to participate in cross-cutting sustainability initiatives, thanks to diverse global supply chain connections, which the World Tourism Organization has referred to as ‘positive multiplier effects’. Tourism is entering a period of unprecedented interest in sustainability among its customers. The World Travel & Tourism Council’s Trending in Travel report notes that: “While sustainability has been a priority for the Travel & Tourism sector for some time, it became even more prominent through the pandemic. Indeed, consumers pay closer attention to their human impact on the environment and seek more sustainable options in how they live and travel. Increasingly, the private sector is offering sustainable alternatives, and the public sector is more eager to finance sustainable tourism and development.”2 Having a sustainability policy is a good first step but the Travel Foundation warns that sustainability efforts cannot be effective in the long-term if they are not genuinely rooted in the company’s philosophy. Its Best Practice Guide says: “Management should not only strive to set an example but set up the structures and procedures to facilitate a company culture committed to sustainability. Every employee should be aware of the underlying ‘why’ and want to be a part of it.”3 The passenger shipping sector has unique opportunities to take the lead in terms of sustainable ship design and operations that achieve SDG targets and go above and beyond current and imminent IMO requirements. Newbuilds in particular offer the chance for designers to leverage new materials and technologies in order to clean up aspects as diverse as fuel choice and catering equipment, or lighting and waste impacts. As the world grapples with the challenges of climate change, there has never been a better time for cruise and ferry companies to commit to leading the necessary changes for the sector. There is evidence that cruise and ferry companies are increasingly considering the impacts of their design decisions when planning newbuilds or refurbishments, in particular regarding how they manage the materials and fittings they choose in ways that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (one of the key definitions of sustainable development). 1 Source: United Nations Global Compact, The Ten Principles 2 Source: World Travel & Tourism Council, Trending in Travel 3 Source: The Travel Foundation, Best Practice Guide