Recently, we have written about the effects of green technology and carbon reduction measures on the global shipping industry. We have outlined cases where the growth of green technology has revolutionised marine engineering, such as the e-Voyager vessel that is the UK’s first electric ferry.
The trend of carbon reduction measures in the maritime industry has been growing in recent years. A 2014 study by the IMO showed that shipping accounted for 2.2% of global CO2 emissions in 2012. The study also states that global shipping emissions could increase by 250% by 2050.
Indeed, the push towards a zero-carbon future in the global shipping industry is a focal part of contemporary political discourse. This is reflected in the recent IMO agreement of carbon reduction measures, which has drawn praise and criticism from various political and environmental groups.
Of course, carbon reduction does not only affect the maritime industry. It is a global concern encompassing such issues as climate change, geo-engineering, and pollution. But how can maritime businesses use the increasing popularity of green technology to further their objectives? Can promoting green technology and carbon reduction help with business perception and expansion?
Going Green to Be Seen
The IMO’s carbon reduction agreement originally incorporated proposals to penalise ships that did not comply with the carbon reduction measures. Naturally, such penalties would negatively affect the business of those ships engaged in non-compliance. However, despite the removal of legal penalties from the agreement, non-compliance can still affect the perception of your maritime business.
According to the IMO, stakeholders are encouraged to provide incentives to ships rated as either A or B in terms of their carbon intensity performance. From a marketing perspective, you wouldn’t want your business to be rated D or E on this scale. This is because people are likely to seek the services of businesses that are environmentally conscious.
Indeed, regulatory ratings can have a significant impact on business reputation, regardless of legal penalties or industry. For example, eateries that have low Food Standards Agency ratings will suffer reputational damage in the eyes of diners. The same will be true for maritime businesses hit with low performance ratings. No matter your business, showcasing a higher performance rating will help you increase your reputation.
Therefore, you should use your commitment to carbon reduction measures as an opportunity to promote your maritime business as socially and environmentally responsible. As a result, more people will see your business as an attractive service. Furthermore, by keeping abreast of the latest industry developments and adhering to the necessary standards, your maritime business will more likely be seen as credible and professional among your clients and industry colleagues.
This underscores the importance of promoting carbon reduction measures as part of your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Use your commitment to these measures as a way of showing how your business stands out from your competitors. In doing so, you should see an increase in business as you begin to attract more clients.
Staying Ahead of the Curve
Despite the introduction of global carbon reduction measures, environmental groups have criticised organisations such as the IMO for the perceived failure to tackle the issue effectively. Transport & Environment, for example, have criticised the IMO for ‘ignoring the Paris Agreement’. And in the UK, the Labour party has called on the government to take responsibility for the UK’s shipping emissions.
The global debate surrounding carbon emissions reinforces it as a primary political issue for decades to come. It is therefore important that your maritime business remains ahead of the curve by staying informed on the issues, as the debates around zero-carbon emissions will only increase.
Committing to carbon reduction measures is a progressive move that will enhance the credibility of your business. You will also be making a positive difference for future generations. There are several ways businesses can showcase their green policies. The Green Growth Pledge, for example, is a UK initiative that encourages businesses to take steps to improve their environmental impact. You may want to consider including this in your marketing and communications strategy.
Ultimately, your maritime business should highlight whatever actions you are taking to embrace green technology and tackle carbon emissions. If you want to expand your business, promote these actions as part of your USP.