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AHHIC’s 2019 Sustainability Report

As a marine insurer, American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company (AHHIC) provides hull and machinery services to the international shipping industry that is currently called upon to adapt to a wide range of challenges. Not least among these are new requirements deriving from the International Maritime Organization ’s regulations aimed at reducing industry’s impact on the environment and new risks related to sustainability.

Since June 2019, American Hellenic Hull supports the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, Principles for Sustainable Insurance (UNEPFI – PSI), being among the leading signatory companies of the initiative and a member of the global community of banks, investors and insurers of UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative.

As the exclusive marine insurance company to sign the United Nations agenda, American Hellenic Hull, adopts all four of the Principles for Sustainable Insurance, as mentioned in the company’s “2019 Sustainability Report” which provides an overview on the key facts and figures.

“Looking ahead, the coming decade is the decade of sustainability and as a maritime community we should all do our utmost to successfully confront the challenges involved”, commented Mr. Ilias Tsakiris, CEO of AHHIC.

See the 2019 AHHIC’s Sustainability Report: AHHIC_Progress Report 2019

 

Reinventing the maritime business for a sustainable future

Sustainability is not different than reinventing the wheel, as we are asked to do the same things in a different way. So, we need to re-use, re-evaluate, re-assess the impact, re-act in a responsible way. However, how responsible are we at the end of the day?

How committed are we to meet the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs?

In other words, how do we embrace sustainability in economy, society, environment and Re-jig our maritime industries to align them with these goals?

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), as part of the United Nations (UN) family has adopted the Sustainability Strategy and is actively working towards the 2030 target. The IMO has made the World Maritime theme for 2020 “Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet“.

Shipping plays a pivotal role in the global economy as 90% of world trade is carried by sea. We cannot consider a sustainable future without a sustainable maritime industry.

Supporting the maritime adventure as a whole is a wider maritime cluster in which every participant, from shipowners to marine insurers, has responsibility for its continuity.

All decisions made by UN bodies affect member states, but the IMO is the only organization that through its guidelines and regulations has a direct effect on the shipping industry.

We all embrace the sustainability.  However, the IMO should seek closer dialogue with the global shipping community, as regulations should be decided and implemented on a more realistic basis aiming to protect the marine environment and contribute to the battle against climate change.

How do the IMO’s regulations and guidelines affect the marine insurance industry?

Low Sulphur Cap Limit – IMO 2020

IMO 2020 is old news for the sustainable planning of the IMO, but uncharted waters for the marine insurance industry.

We have seen many claims arising out of the IMO 2020, which are related to scrubbers and non-compliant fuels.

Already two months since IMO 2020 came into force and we do face a wide variety of problems in terms of delays in bunkering and cases of possible engine damages due to low quality of compliant fuel.

The marine insurance industry relies on Classification Societies. What happens if the vessel breaches its warranty due to non-compliance with Low Sulphur Fossil Oil fuels? Most probably the shipowners in its effort to comply will be rendered uninsured.

Reduction of Green House Gas Emissions by 50% by 2050

The next big challenge for the shipping industry is halving GHG emissions by 2050.

Until now, we have no clear path as to how this will be achieved. LNG technology can make a major contribution to the energy system of the future and to play a key role in seaborne transportation, but still this is not enough.

We may agree to introduce alternatives to fossil fuels, such as biofuels, biogas and other renewables such as electricity, as well as

cold-ironing.

As marine insurers, however, we are not able to insure vessels using fuels that have not been tested. We do not insure certainties. Engine damages arising from non-tested fuels are risks that we cannot undertake.

Another question is: How responsible and sustainable shall we be if we choose to use biofuels that consume more energy to produce than the fossil fuels they will replace? Who are we to decide to sacrifice sustainable practices ashore in the cause of sustainability at sea?

A truly sustainable culture is based on a holistic approach spanning environment, society and economy.

We believe in a strategic Re-approach where all activities in the insurance value chain, including interactions with stakeholders, are carried out in a responsible and forward-looking way by identifying, assessing, managing and monitoring risks and opportunities, associated with environmental, social and governance issues.

It is time for action

Building a resilient future for all should not only be focused on implementation of regulations developed by international or national organizations.

We need to fully embrace sustainability and this will occur only if all stakeholders related to the maritime adventure – the Organizations and Regulators, the shipping industry, and the services related to the maritime industry such as the marine insurance community – all sit at the same table and enhance the dialogue that will lead to regulations, targets and best practices that can actually be implemented by the industry.

Looking ahead, the coming decade is the decade of sustainability and as a maritime community we should all do our utmost to successfully confront the challenges involved.

It’s time for action

Opening the first panel at the 2020 SAFETY4SEA Limassol Forum, Tuesday March 10th, Mr. Ilias Tsakiris, CEO, of American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company, highlighted that it is time for action for a more sustainable shipping industry.

Furthermore, he shared the key pillars of focus for the industry to reinvent the way it does business in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Discussing also how the International Maritime Organization’s regulations affect the marine insurance industry, he focused on how marine insurers should respond to environmental, societal and governance risks arising from these regulations.

“Building a resilient future for all should not only be focused on implementation of regulations developed by international or national organizations”, Mr. Tsakiris told the audience.

In addition he stressed that we need to fully embrace sustainability and this will occur only if all stakeholders related to the maritime adventure – the Organizations and Regulators, the shipping industry, and the services related to the maritime industry such as the marine insurance community – all sit at the same table and enhance the dialogue that will lead to regulations, targets and best practices that can actually be implemented by the industry.

“Looking ahead, the coming decade is the decade of sustainability and as a maritime community we should all do our utmost to successfully confront the challenges involved” he concluded.

 

Striving for a more sustainable future

The world around us is changing and at American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company (AHHIC) we believe in being proactive to achieve a more sustainable future. This is particularly important in our sector, given the essential role of insurance in the maritime adventure. Thus, AHHIC is the exclusive marine insurance company to sign the United Nations agenda and support the UNEPFI Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) prioritizing at the same time the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth by the UN at all levels of the company activity.

The SDGs lay out a clear vision for a sustainable future, representing an opportunity to shape a new era for responsible business. Insurance is a vital commodity for the maritime community and we stand ready to respond to all unexpected risks, not least those related to sustainability issues.

We align with the 2030 United Nations Agenda, as we believe that the SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. For this reason, we have joined the United Nations Global Compact community adopting the SDG Action Manager. The SDG Action Manager is a tool that helps organisations assess their impact relative to the various SDGs and to help them improve.

American Hellenic Hull’s global impact assessment shows an outstanding sustainability performance according to the SDG Action Manager, with significant progress towards 12 out of 16 goals. As for the 17th, related to the partnerships for the goals, we have launched institutional partnerships and co-operations with the World Maritime University and the UNEPFI PSI.

AHHIC’s official Impact assessment is as follows:

Global challenges in the maritime industry

The Global Maritime Forum conducted its first Future Maritime Leaders Essay Competition, which gave young people (aged 18-30) a chance for their voice to be heard in the debate about the future – and companies a chance to listen.

Eirini Gerani, Account Executive at American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company Ltd, participated in the competition stating the global challenges facing the maritime industry.

The global maritime industry is currently facing a wide range of challenges stemming from geopolitical changes, the new IMO regulations, technological evolution including Artificial Intelligence, threats to global trade growth and the need for greater sustainability. While the world is undergoing profound transformation, we consider these changes as bringing opportunity, especially from the perspective of sustainability.

Geopolitical changes that must be navigated by the maritime industry are many and various. They include the crisis in the Persian Gulf, instability in the Middle East, the widening of the Suez canal, the situation of states in Latin America, the trade war between USA and China, the rise of extremists in countries important for shipping such as Nigeria, the emergence of new maritime centers such us Singapore with the EU trying to upgrade its presence as a single maritime cluster. These are only some of the developments we currently have to deal with.

In addition, the new regulations introduced by the International Maritime Organization aim to make the shipping industry a sustainable conduit for global trade. The regulations imposing a low sulphur cap for fuel emissions from 01/01/2020, the 50% reduction of carbon emissions by 2050, proposals for slow steaming that are being discussed in the IMO’s working groups, and growing interest in cleaner fuels such as LNG, LPG, MGO and biofuels constitute a historic challenge for the maritime adventure. The transformation of the maritime industry towards a more eco-friendly environment is a path we all must walk.

Meanwhile, it is a fact that the shipping industry is one of the most proactive industries, investing more in new technologies than any other market. Smart technologies are central to many discussions. The maritime industry focuses on investments in technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), automation and the new unmanned vessels being trialled in the North Sea, big data analytics and cloud services. Such investments aim to modernize the industry increasing efficiencies and sustainability.

“Facing the 21st century as a “millennial”, it is a fact that our generation wishes to bring innovation that will drive the shipping industry forward. In terms of globalization, we also declare that we need a more sustainable environment. We bet on inclusive growth with a more holistic perspective on the industry and the human well-being. We have the opportunity to set a long – term sustainable economic environment, but hard work globally will be required to achieve and maintain such a goal. The investment in new talent and the safety and protection of the staff is another crucial issue we have to deal with, if we aim to consider ourselves as pioneers in the industry. To gain a more sustainable environment we shall all strengthen the pillars of Environment, Society and Economy”,  mentioned Eirini Gerani.

Furthermore, she underlined: “Personally, I am working in the marine insurance industry, one of the most sustainable industries in the entire maritime adventure. The marine insurance services shall be considered as a commodity serving the maritime industry. American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company provides hull and machinery services to the international maritime industry. My colleagues and I are committed to incorporate social, environmental and business issues into a sustainable holistic strategy towards our insurance business. Working closely and transparently with our clients, we intend to serve the UN Sustainable Development Goals to achieve inclusive growth in our business, and promote at the same time human well-being and talent”.

Read more: The global challenges facing the maritime industry

AHHIC: Ambassador of the UN Agenda at the Maritime Cyprus 2019

The Maritime Cyprus 2019 Conference and Exhibition, under the theme “Sea Change” held from 06-09 October 2019, celebrated its 30th anniversary since it was first held in 1989.

American Hellenic Hull was the official ambassador of the UNEP FI – Principles for Sustainable Insurance, during the Maritime Cyprus 2019 Conference and Exhibition.

Endorsed by the UN Secretary-General and insurance industry CEOs, the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) serve as a global framework for the insurance industry to address ESG risks and opportunities—and a global initiative to strengthen the insurance industry’s contribution as risk managers, insurers and investors to building resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities and economies.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues—or sustainability issues—pose a shared risk to insurers, communities, businesses, cities, government and society at large, providing a strong incentive for innovation and collaboration. Examples of sustainability issues relevant to the marine insurance industry include climate change, ecosystem degradation, pollution, illegal fishing, negative impacts on heritage sites, human rights violations, poor health and safety, lack of transparency, and corruption.

The PSI is the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the insurance industry. Today, 140 organisations worldwide have adopted the four Principles for Sustainable Insurance, including insurers representing more than 25% of world premium volume and USD 14 trillion in assets under management.

“American Hellenic Hull is the exclusive Cypriot marine insurance company to sign the United Nations agenda and support the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance, prioritizing at the same time the Sustainable Development Goals at all levels of the company activity. For the first time since its inception, the Maritime Cyprus Conference and Exhibition, endorses the United Nations agenda, upgrading at the same time the marine insurance services within the Cyprus Maritime Cluster. We firmly support the endeavor of the Deputy Shipping Ministry to enhance Cyprus’ role as an advanced, proactive, competitive maritime nation both in Europe and Internationally”, stated Mr. Tsakiris.

Read more: The PSI and the marine insurance industry (October 2019)

AHHIC supports the UNEP’s Finance Initiative Principles for Sustainable Insurance

American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company is among the leading signatory companies to the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) and a member of the global community of banks, insurers and investors of UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).

Endorsed by the UN Secretary-General and insurance industry CEOs, the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) serve as a global framework for the insurance industry to address environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities—and a global initiative to strengthen the insurance industry’s contribution as risk managers, insurers and investors to building resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities and economies.

As a marine insurer, American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company provides hull and machinery services to the international shipping industry that is currently called upon to adapt to a wide range of challenges. Not least among these are new requirements deriving from the International Maritime Organization’s regulations aimed at reducing industry’s impact in the environment and new risks related to sustainability.

“At American Hellenic Hull, we fully support the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance, aiming to incorporate the social, environmental and business emerging issues into our sustainable and holistic approach, while working together with the insurance industry and the United Nations. In addition, we acknowledge that signing the PSI is a concrete example of sustainability leadership and commitment and we stand ready to adopt all four of the Principles for Sustainable Insurance.

Since inception, our company has sought to be a leader within our sector in offering greater transparency, responsiveness to clients, greater reliability and more awareness of risk to the shipping market. We are prioritizing Sustainable Development Goals at all levels of company activity. Safety, security and sustainability are at the heart of our underwriting and claims processes.” stated Mr. Ilias Tsakiris, CEO of AHHIC, to the Board Members of the PSI initiative.

AHHIC believes in being proactive to achieve a more sustainable future. This is particularly important in the marine insurance sector, given the essential role of insurance and the pivotal role that maritime transport plays in global sustainability.