Maersk supports a global agreement on responsible ship recycling. Since 2009, when Maersk introduced a responsible recycling policy and expressed its support for the UN’s Hong Kong Convention, Maersk has put great effort into pushing for its universal ratification. The convention was negotiated in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and defines a set of global minimum standards on safety and environmental issues related to ship recycling.
Maersk supports recycling yards in Alang, India, that demonstrate a willingness to change, and their efforts have already led to significant progress. As a minimum, yards that Maersk collaborates with must be certified according to the Hong Kong Convention. Since sending two vessels to the Shree Ram yard at Alang for the first time in May this year, Maersk has witnessed significant progress in several areas.
In the yard, 70% of the workers have received intensive safety training and instructions from the independent British assessment services provider, Lloyds Register Quality Assurance, and other organisations. The remaining 30%, who perform less dangerous tasks, have also received safety training specially targeted towards their tasks.
Other examples of the progress achieved are:
- As opposed to practices used elsewhere in the local area, the environmental recycling plan outlined by said convention means that the majority of a vessel is dismantled on a surface whereby there is no contact between ship parts and the surrounding sand or water.
- Use of appropriate personal protective equipment is available and required.
- All workers are paid the minimum wage plus 200 % in overtime payment and they have a contract—neither of which are otherwise practiced by the industry in the local area.
- For the vast majority of the shipyard’s employees, housing conditions have been significantly upgraded and the yard is in the process of improving the housing conditions of the remaining employees.