Shipping companies will need to process and analyse terabytes of data to improve reporting for environmental social and governance (ESG) within two years for upcoming regulation compliance
IT specialists from shipping companies, insurance and satellite communications firms urged organisations involved in maritime logistics to implement data collection and analysis now to be ready for the new environmental regulations.
Gearbulk business analyst and ESG lead Shahn Bothma said companies will be expected to report metrics from shipping for regulatory bodies by 2023. “Companies need to ensure core metrics are reported on,” he said at a seminar during London International Shipping Week 2021 on 13 September.
These metrics, which will also be of interest to other stakeholders, will be used to report emissions and efficiency. “Companies need to start now as they will need to have sufficient data to give to stakeholders,” Mr Bothma said.
He said the types of data to be collated and analysed would be “diverse and dynamic”, but it will be “difficult and complex” to implement. “There will be ESG scorecards and opportunities for companies ahead in ESG,” said Mr Bothma.
Ardmore Shipping chief executive Anthony Gurnee said data analytics and ESG reporting should also be driven by performance improvement. He said Ardmore started its ESG drive in Q1 2021 by investing in data collection from its tankers.
Mr Gurnee recommended other shipping companies make similar investments. “Sift through this data to find the answers,” he said. Information gleamed from this data can then be used to change ship operations to improve efficiency and reduce emissions, Mr Gurnee said.
Deepsea Technologies co-founder and chief executive Roberto Coustas urged shipowners and operators to start reporting key performance indicators (KPIs) to create transparency and benchmarking. “You need to know what you are measuring and not just collect data,” said Mr Coustas. “Otherwise, it could be a contaminated pool of data.”
He said Deepsea is starting to find value from data. It is analysing hundreds of vessels and recognising how operations could be lagging in terms of fuel consumption and emissions. Many ships are being operated with “suboptimal voyages, engines and ship performance.”
Marsh head of sustainability and climate change strategy Amy Barnes said insurers will be looking at the ESG performance of companies in their portfolios. “By 2023, data will be needed for ESG… being data-ready is critical,” she said.
A huge challenge will be complying with new regulations driving companies to work differently, she added.
Data transmissions in real-time or through regular reports will require faster connectivity. OneWeb head of maritime Carole Plessy said faster satellite communications from OneWeb’s low Earth orbit constellation will be ready for testing in 2022 and commercially available in 2023.
“Connectivity is changing at sea,” she said, “and we will bring low latency and high bandwidth to ships, which are US$100M assets at sea.”
As an analogy, Ms Plessy said data has become the world’s crude oil and actionable insight from analytics is similar to refined fuel, with OneWeb being the pipeline. “From 2023 onwards, technology will no longer be a barrier to shipping” for data transfer and analytics.
As for the social element of ESG, Ms Plessy said shipowners will need to ensure crew have low-cost connectivity on vessels. “Seafarers are demanding to be connected at sea as they would on land,” she said. “Connectivity is seen as a human right. There will be regulation to provide connectivity free or at-cost to seafarers.”
Crew use connectivity to communicate and carry out training to improve their competencies.
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