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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.