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Shipping sector must view environmental issues holistically

pwc esg shipping (1)
Energy transition expert Chris Angelides during a panel discussion on ESG matters

PwC Cyprus CEO Philippos Soseilos this week explained that the correct application of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria in the shipping industry requires a holistic approach by the companies and organisations involved in this sector, noting that many parameters must be taken into account.

The various factors, indicators and parameters concern a wide range of areas, including decarbonisation efforts, green finance rules and regulations, as well as the sector’s wider societal footprint.

“Given the important role of the shipping industry in implementing the ‘Vision 2035’ plan for Cyprus, significant investments should be made in initiatives and policies to upgrade the sector,” Soleilos said.

“This includes issues related to sustainability and utilisation of technology, new investments in Research and Technology as well as the upskilling of the employees,” the PwC Cyprus chief executive added.

Soleilos’ comments were delivered during an event held by PwC Cyprus on ESG practices in the shipping sector.

The event, which was titled ‘Decoding ESG – Moving from theory to practice in the Shipping sector’, involved the participation of numerous executives from the Cypriot maritime sector, who had the opportunity to exchange insights and have a meaningful discussion on the aforementioned issues.

“The shipping sector is one of the most important in the international economy and among those that have been particularly affected in recent years due to the effects of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine,” PwC Cyprus said in a statement.

“At the same time, the adaptation of the sector to the requirements of criteria related to the Environment, Society and Corporate Governance (ESG) is becoming more imperative than ever,” the company added.

Moreover, PwC Cyprus explained that it “supports its clients in meeting their regulatory obligations in relation to ESG issues and furthermore advice and guides them with the goal of creating integrated ESG strategies that will lead to improved operational performance and enhanced business value”.

Meanwhile, Chris Angelides, an Energy Transition and Sustainability global expert who teaches ESG for Industry at the University of Houston and an advisor to PwC Cyprus on ESG issues, explained during a panel discussion that it is necessary for organisations to move from just compliance to improving operational efficiency in order to upgrade their business model.

“The correct application of ESG criteria by shipping companies can lead to a reduction in costs, can facilitate the protection of the companies themselves, as well as lead to an improvement of their value,” Angelides said.

Later during the event, Cleo Papadopoulou, Partner at PwC Cyprus and head of Transportation and Logistics, as well as Constantinos Taliotis, PwC Cyprus Partner and responsible for the ESG division, stressed that shipping is of great importance to the Cypriot economy, noting that a quick and smooth transition to the new normal is crucial.

What is more, they explained that shipping’s significant role in Cyprus is further elevated when taking into account the persisting problems in the international supply chain and the energy sector.

Finally, a panel discussion covered a number of topics like the pace of energy transition in the current geopolitical environment, sustainable fuels, the impact of ESG on ports, as well as diversity and inclusion matters in the shipping industry.

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