Dispelling the myth that sustainability means reduced profit 

The maritime sector makes a significant contribution to global emissions and is responsible for 2–3% of global greenhouse emissions annually. The sector also contributes to climate change in other ways, for example in its use of plastics, through poor waste management and in its reliance upon fossil fuels. Fortunately, things are changing and significant steps are now being taken to mitigate the impact that the maritime sector is having on the environment. For example, under the International Maritime Organisation’s strategy, greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced by at least 50% – relative to 2008 – by 2050. 
As businesses and governments across the globe focus on addressing climate change, shipping companies are feeling the pressure to respond and sustainability is now being prioritised by many in the sector, with very positive outcomes. For example, Freddy Ingemann, Founder and CEO at Moscord, the online ship supply platform, reports that the maritime sector is beginning to see a reduction in the use of plastics and other kinds of materials that damage sea life. 
In addition, Stephen Alexander, Chief Operating Officer and Secretary General of the IMPA SAVE Council for Maritime Supply Chain Sustainability, states that he’s seen a mindset shift within the sector and that in the past three years shipping companies have started to invest in making their businesses more sustainable. Whilst the adoption of more sustainable practices represents a significant opportunity for the maritime industry, it’s often resisted by shipping companies because of the many challenges presented by going green. 
Moving to a sustainable agenda is not a quick or simple process and often requires substantial financial investment and changes to established operating practices. For these reasons some shipping companies can be understandably reluctant to commit to sustainable initiatives. However, it’s not necessarily the case that improved sustainability means increased costs and, in fact, having a greener agenda very often results in increased profits over time. Indeed, there may well be heavier costs to bear in the long term if a company does not start to move towards a greener agenda now. 
Whilst the idea that going green is expensive does have some truth to it (for example, there are lots of eco-friendly products that are a little bit more expensive than the regular ones), when it comes to sustainability, the long-term benefits always outweigh the short-term costs. 
It’s also important to note that quite often green solutions do work out cheaper than regular alternatives, especially when considered over the lifetime of the business. David Evans MBE, Founder at Matilda’s Planet, believes that making a profit and being green are not mutually exclusive and that it is possible to achieve both. 

“I think that making a profit and being green is possible. It’s not going to affect what you’re doing if you simply refocus on the way you’re delivering something to make it more sustainable”. David Evans 

Some proven ways that maritime businesses can reduce their carbon footprint without losing money include: 

Reducing Emissions Maritime transport emits around 940 million tonnes of CO2 annually and these emissions are projected to increase significantly if mitigation measures are not put in place swiftly. 
Renewable Energy As world trade grows, more and more energy is required to power the increasing numbers of vessels on the sea. If ships were designed more efficiently and harnessed wind or solar power, some of this energy use could be reduced. 
Reducing the use of plastics The maritime sector does contribute significantly to the problem of plastic waste and reducing the industry’s reliance upon plastics is key to making the sector more sustainable as a whole. 
Sustainable Waste Management It’s been estimated that in the most polluted areas of the sea, around 300,000 items of debris can be found in each square kilometre. Unsurprisingly, concern is growing about the damage that marine waste is having on the environment. 

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