Maritime Executive – Report Examines Dutch Banks and Shipbreaking

Access the original article

6 September 2014 - The NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a global coalition of human rights, labour rights and environmental organisations working to prevent dangerous and dirty ship recycling practices worldwide, has made available a report titled Case study: Dutch banking groups and shipbreaking on its website. This is the English version of a report initially published by the Dutch consultancy Profundo, on behalf of the Eerlijke Bankwijzer (Fair Bank Guide), an initiative that aims at providing information to the public on how banks invest their funds, and FNV Mondiaal, a trade union organisation.

The report highlights the dangerous working conditions in the shipbreaking yards in South Asia (India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan) and remaining challenges in ship recycling yards in China, and calls on Dutch banking groups and asset managers to pay more attention to shipbreaking, particularly when screening shipping companies in which they choose to invest.

The report thus analyses how the 11 leading Dutch banking groups and asset managers take into consideration international labour rights standards, and explains whether the banking groups and asset managers keep these in mind when screening companies. It mentions the risk assessments the 11 banking groups and asset managers have in place, and what instruments they use to get in touch with shipping companies so that eventually working conditions in the shipbreaking yards can be improved.

“This study clearly explain how banking groups and asset managers in the Netherlands deal with a sensitive issue like shipbreaking,” said Patrizia Heidegger, executive director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. “We hope it will be a good example of what banks and investors can do to ensure that the shipping companies they work with develop a clean, safe and fair ship recycling policy which encompasses the principles of corporate social responsibility. Responsible investors must use their power to influence the business practices of the companies they invest in.”

The report is available here.