ABN AMRO, ING and NIBC call to unite in setting standards on responsible ship recycling

Press release -

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During the leading maritime NOR-shipping event in Oslo on May 30th 2017 ABN AMRO, ING and NIBC will present the Responsible Ship Recycling Standards (RSRS) for ship financing and call upon other financial institutions to unite in endorsing these. In doing so the banks hope to raise awareness of the importance of improving the end-of-life stage of ships.

Inventory of Hazardous Materials and sustainable recycling practises

Recycling of a ship at the end of its lifecycle poses the largest social and environmental risk challenges for the industry. To help improve the end-of-life stage of ships ABN AMRO, ING and NIBC joined forces several years ago to develop the RSRS for shipfinancing. The RSRS (please see attachment) aim to promote responsible ship recycling and minimise the dangers associated with hazardous materials on board of ships. For that purpose, through the standards the Banks seek to engage in an active dialogue with ship owners and encourage them to prepare and maintain an Inventory of Hazardous Material (‘IHM’) on board their ships. It describes the materials present in a ship’s structure and equipment that may be hazardous to human health or the environment. The presence of an IHM will contribute to the safety of crewmembers during the ship's working life, minimise the adverse effects on the environment and contribute to the safety of workers during the recycling process. In addition, the standards promote that IHM and ship recycling practices meet the standards as defined in the EU Ship Recycling Regulation.

Internationally active expert labour union FNV, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform and the Bellona Foundation endorse the initiative and see it as a good first step towards more sustainable practices and safe & healthy working places for workers.

Continued efforts to improve the value chain of International Shipping

The standards form the guiding principles in the dialogue on responsible ship recycling between the financial sector and targeted stakeholders in international shipping. 

To support and accelerate positive change the RSRS members will continue to increase awareness of risks associated with recycling of ships, promote the standards and invite ship financing banks to join the initiative.

Quotes:

Gust Biesbroeck Global Head of Transportation of ABN AMRO states “We recognise that ship recycling is part of the shipping value chain. Many stakeholders in that chain agree that current recycling practises can and should be improved. With RSRS we hope to bring more awareness on the need to make that change." 

ING’s Global Head of Shipping – Stephen Fewster – states “ING finds it important to engage in discussion with our clients on the importance of responsible ship recycling in order to raise industry awareness and encourage regulatory bodies to take decisive action.”

Michael de Visser, Global Head of Shipping & Intermodal at NIBC Bank: “NIBC wants to make a difference for its clients at decisive moments. With the extensive lifecycles of ships, the decision to scrap a ship is often taken by future ship owners. Therefore, we feel that with RSRS we now have the opportunity to influence this future decisive moment for both the shipping sector and the environment.” 

“We welcome the leading role taken by the banks to ensure a departure from the unnecessarily risky, dirty and dangerous practice of beaching, and expect that investors and clients of shipping that are increasingly pushing for higher standards for ship recycling will join the initiative,” said Ingvild Jenssen, Founder and Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

Bellona Foundation: “Shipbreaking is an unavoidable part of global shipping that we all benefit from. The initiative from this group of banks to address the environmental and human cost, is highly appreciated.”

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