5th Annual Capital Link Shipping & Offshore CSR Forum “Best Industry Practices- A competitive advantage”
Doing “good”, and the “right thing” are fine and noble concepts, but for an industry as diverse as shipping, it is unclear what can, should and will be done in the name of corporate social responsibility. HRAS spoke to Steven Jones on the latest thinking on the challenges, but also the opportunities ahead.
HRAS: It is positive to hear issues of social responsibility being discussed, but do you think there is a widespread understanding of CSR?
It is fantastic that CSR is being brought to the forefront of discussions, but that is only the beginning. The very concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in shipping is perhaps as nebulous as the concept of the shipping industry itself. With so many different players, trades, and stakeholders, challenges, and opportunities across the industry, finding a united front is hugely difficult.
Since CSR first came into vogue it has been a thorny and difficult concept for shipping. Companies, academics and all kinds of associations have wrestled with definitions – but it is hard to find the message that resonates with all. There is clearly no current one-size-fits-all answer to this issue.
As such there is both a need and desire to do the “right thing” –but deciding what they actually constitute is proving nigh on impossible. Ultimately until the industry is either compelled or cajoled into universally doing these “right things” and understanding what they are and what they need to deliver, then there will be no real change.
Without the levers to drive an evolution, to provide a real catalyst for change and to provide tangible benefits for doing good – then shipping will continue to be trapped in its paper bag of compliance, without trying to collectively punch its way out.
HRAS: The Capital Link events bring together a diverse mixture of interests, do you feel there is progress with CSR as a result?