Singapore's port authority helps fund sustainability reports for shipping firms

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has announced an initiative to help publicly-listed shipping companies with the cost of their sustainability reports.

Tanjong Pagar Harbour
Tanjong Pagar harbour in Singapore. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore introduced a co-funding initiative to encourage listed maritime companies to adopt sustainable reporting. Image: Jirka Matousek, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Good news for publicly-listed maritime companies in Singapore.

To encourage more companies in the industry to publish credible sustainability reports, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will co-fund half of the sustainability report costs up to a maximum of S$50,000 for each company.

The new co-funding initiative was announced on Monday at a maritime sustainability workshop organised by MPA, which drives the city state’s port and maritime development. It is part of MPA’s new Green Awareness Programme, which aims to raise sustainability standards in the shipping industry.

Companies which take up MPA’s offer will have to publish their sustainability reports before December 31 next year and it will have to meet international reporting standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative.

The MPA said that it will be looking at company initiatives to reduce negative environmental and social impacts, and corporate governance will also be considered before it agrees to co-fund their report.

Only the first 10 applications which are approved by MPA will receive the reimbursements.

Andrew Tan, chief executive of MPA, shared that MPA was the first local maritime organisation to publish both an Integrated Report and Sustainability Report last year.

“We hope to encourage the rest of the maritime industry to adopt the best practices and mitigate any risks to the environment arising from their operations,” he added.

In May, Singapore’s local bourse, the Singapore Exchange (SGX), launched its first ever set of sustainability indices, which identify listed companies that meet sustainability reporting requirements and are considered sustainability leaders with high environment, society and governance (ESG) performance.

This was followed, in June, by the introduction of the its official guidelines for sustainability reporting - which accounts for an organisation’s ESG performances and impacts.

With the SGX making sustainability reports mandatory for all listed companies on a ‘comply or explain’ basis from financial year 2017, this scheme is expected to support maritime companies in their sustainability efforts.

“The triple bottom line - people, planet and profits - will enhance their shareholder value,” noted Tan. 

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