SRTI 2020 Report

The Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative (SRTI) report is published annually and presents data collected through the SRTI online platform. As the second issue published since the SRTI’s launch in 2018, this report aims to provide industry stakeholders with a snapshot on the SRTI’s progress. This report was launched at the Tradewinds Ship Recycling Forum in London on 4 March 2020.

The report presents a compilation of data[1] on the ship recycling approaches of nine major shipowners that combined operate a total of 2,433 vessels. Describing progress since the last SRTI report, it highlights trends in sustainability and updates on ship recycling regulation. The report also shares the perspectives of shipowners, financiers and shippers on how transparency contributes to raising the bar on responsible ship recycling.

Download full report in pdf (4 MB)

What is the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative?


The Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative (SRTI) uses transparency to drive progress on responsible ship recycling by way of a one-stop-shop online platform to share information on ship recycling. Through transparency the SRTI aims to accelerate a voluntary market-driven approach to responsible ship recycling – informing, influencing and improving the supply chain-related decisions made by key stakeholders and ultimately leading to an industry-wide level playing field.

An independent initiative hosted by the Sustainable Shipping Initiative – a non-profit organisation and UK registered charity – the SRTI reflects a collective effort that brings together stakeholders across the shipping value chain to improve ship recycling policy, practice and performance. The SRTI is governed by a Steering Group, composed of representatives of the following organisations: The China Navigation Company Pte Ltd, CMA CGM (joined March 2020), Forum for the Future, Hapag-Lloyd AG, Lloyd’s Register Group Services Limited, A.P. Moeller-Maersk, NORDEN, Nykredit, Standard Chartered Bank, Stolt Tankers B.V., Teekay Corporation and Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

The SRTI is financed through the annual fees paid by SRTI signatories, as well as from funding sought from foundations and philanthropic organisations.


Our vision is of a world where ships are recycled responsibly – socially, environmentally and economically – going beyond international conventions and setting a new norm for responsible ship recycling.

The SRTI online platform is a tool that allows shipowners to share information on their ship recycling policies and practices that in turn helps key stakeholders make informed decisions. It provides shipowners with the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to transparency by voluntarily disclosing information on their respective approaches to ship recycling, against a series of criteria developed by industry stakeholders.

The SRTI is not a performance standard nor a rating exercise and SRTI data is neither audited nor verified by any third party; this report therefore does not rank nor assess individual shipowners’ policies and practices.

Assessing progress

“An ambitious multi-stakeholder initiative wielding transparency as a market-driven tool to drive change in a hugely important industry. Bravo!” 2019 Responsible Business Awards – Judges’ feedback


Since going live in December 2018 the SRTI online platform has attracted more than 7,400 visitors, averaging 500+ users/month. The SRTI has been covered by a range of media, including a diverse range of maritime and sustainability titles such as Tradewinds; BusinessGreen; Maritime Risk International; and Renewable Matter, among others. Maritime stakeholders have also highlighted the SRTI in their publications including those of the UN Global Compact’s Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform and Global Maritime Forum as well as SRTI signatories Gard, NORDEN and Wallenius Wilhelmsen.


The SRTI has been recognised across and beyond the maritime industry, winning the 2019 SAFETY4SEA Sustainability Award and Highly Commended at the 2019 Responsible Business Awards under the category Partnership of the Year. SRTI Steering Group member Wallenius Wilhelmsen was also awarded the Customer Innovation Award at the Finished Vehicle Logistics North America Awards and the Greener Supply Chain Award at the Automotive Logistics Europe Awards for its founding role in the partnership. The SRTI was also shortlisted for the 2019 Green4Sea Initiative Award and 2019 BusinessGreen Award.

2019 Sustainability Award Safety4Sea               


Transparency is the new normal in sustainability


Transparency is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Transparency-focussed initiatives such as CDP, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) demonstrate the power and benefits of disclosure. The SRTI provides a space for the growing movement of sustainability leaders being transparent about their operations, allowing industry stakeholders to make informed decisions and hold shipowners to account.

Transparency on ship recycling helps us better understand and move towards a closed loop approach that looks at recycling across the entire lifecycle of a ship. Rather than a linear “take-make-waste” system, the SRTI supports a circular[2] shipping value chain whose economic activity builds and rebuilds overall system-health. An example of such an approach can be seen in the Institute for Human Rights and Business’ graphic on human rights issues across a ship’s lifecycle – from design, planning and ordering, through building and operation, to recycling.

The SRTI also helps shipowners take Extended Producer Responsibility[3] (EPR) of their fleet. By extending responsibility, shipowners fulfil their moral duty by proactively taking environmental considerations into account during the design, building and operations phases through the end of their vessels’ working lives.

Ship recycling is also contributing to the maritime industry’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint by reducing emissions associated with the production of steel. While the vast majority (83-90%) of steel is recycled at end-of-life globally, recent research by the Energy Transitions Commission suggests that global annual carbon emissions from steel production – currently about 7% of global energy system emissions – could be reduced by 37% relative to business as usual by 2050, if total steel demand were met by more scrap-based recycled steel rather than ore-based primary production.

SRTI Signatories

23 companies are signatories of the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative

2,433 vessels operated by shipowners are currently disclosing their approach to ship recycling via the SRTI online platform (covering ~4-5% of global merchant fleet over 1,000 gross tonnes)

36% of the global container fleet’s tonnage is covered in this report, representing a total market share of 38%



A look at the data


Ship recycling policy

  • 9 out of 9 disclosing shipowners have a written policy on ship recycling for their own vessels; of which six make their policies publicly available
  • 9 out of 9 disclosing shipowners’ policies on ship recycling adhere to the Hong Kong Convention
  • 8 out of 9 disclosing shipowners have up to (or more than) half of the ships they own covered by the EU Ship Recycling Regulation (EU SRR); one has none
  • 8 out of 9 maintain records of ships which have been sent for recycling
  • 9 out of 9 disclosing shipowners’ policies cover issues related to the environment, labour and human rights
  • 5 out of 9 disclosing shipowners’ policies contain restrictions based on the country where recycling takes place
  • 4 out of 9 disclosing shipowners’ policies contain restrictions on recycling methods

Policy for selling owned vessels for further trading

  • 4 out of 9 disclosing shipowners’ policies include a provision in the sales contract that the buyer will ensure compliance with the original shipowner’s ship recycling policy if the vessel’s residual value is below 25% above the highest current scrap value


Promotion of responsible recycling of chartered and JV-owned vessels

Does the company take steps to promote responsible recycling of vessels chartered for 5 years and over released for redeployment or recycling?

Does the company take steps to promote responsible recycling of vessels chartered for 2 years and over released for redeployment or recycling?

Does the company take steps to promote responsible recycling of vessels owned through JVs?

International conventions and principles to which ship recycling policies adhere

Disclosing shipowners’ policies adhere to a range of global and regional international conventions, guidelines and principles of relevance to ship recycling. These include:

  • Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (Hong Kong Convention; adopted 2009, not yet in force)
  • EU Ship Recycling Regulation (where applicable according to vessel flag)
  • Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and Their Disposal (Basel Convention, adopted in 1989 and in force since 1992)
  • United Nations Global Compact
  • UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
  • Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (Stockholm Convention)
  • ISO Specifications for management systems for safe and environmentally sound ship recycling facilities (ISO 30000: 2009)

Issues covered by ship recycling policies and monitoring mechanisms

The coverage of issues by disclosing shipowners’ ship recycling policies and their respective monitoring mechanisms is uneven. All shipowners’ policies cover the environment as well as labour and human rights; other issues commonly covered include downstream facilities for managing waste and hazardous materials, health and safety. All disclosing shipowners’ monitoring mechanisms for their ship recycling policies address issues related to the environment as well as health and safety. Labour and human rights-related issues also feature highly in their monitoring.

Ship recycling contract

  • 4 out of 9 disclosing shipowners use RECYCLECON from BIMCO as a contract for the sale of ships for recycling in a safe and environmentally sound manner
  • 4 out of 9 use in-house developed agreements or contracts for the sale of vessels for green recycling
  • 8 out of 9 disclosing shipowners’ contracts include an explicit requirement to recycle the vessel at a specific ship recycling facility; the same number develop individual ship recycling plans for each vessel
  • 9 out of 9 require access to the ship recycling facility for monitoring during the recycling process; eight require access for performance follow-up, while seven require access for control and stopping work during the recycling process.
  • To protect themselves and maintain ship access and monitoring throughout the ship recycling process, sellers receive regular monitoring reports; conduct third party audits (e.g. by external independent classification societies); and obtain access to shipyard sites, personnel and documentation

Inventory of hazardous materials and ship-specific documentation

  • 9 out of 9 disclosing shipowners always provide the buyer/ship recycler with a Class approved IHM at the time of finalising the ship recycling contract; all provide full relevant documentation (including ship certificates, plans and procedures) to enable the shipyards to follow applicable ship recycling guidelines


Implementation of ship recycling policy and standard

  • 8 out of 9 disclosing shipowners require the ship recycling facility to have a Hong Kong Convention statement of compliance issued by a Classification Society[4]
  • 9 out of 9 shipowners carry out additional audits to verify compliance prior to ship recycling, as well as monitoring yard compliance throughout the ship recycling process

Mechanisms for monitoring ship recycling process

Disclosing shipowners monitor yard compliance during the recycling process through different means, with most conducting ongoing supervision and/or assigning a company representative for monitoring. Shipowners also conduct follow-up onsite and spot checks. Other means of monitoring include the deployment of a responsible ship recycling supervision team; independent third-party approval and monitoring guided by an environmental and social action plan developed on the basis of an impact assessment; monitoring of performance and incident data; regular reporting; and training.


More data on ship recycling

  • 90% of global shipbuilding (in terms of tonnage) was located in China, the Republic of Korea and Japan[5]
  • 647 ships were recycled worldwide, of which 236 were recycled in Bangladesh; 200 in India; and 107 in Turkey[6]
  • 397 deaths recorded in ship recycling yards since 2009[7], of which at least 26 occurred in 2019


CDP (2019): A Sea Change: Which shipping companies are ready for the low-carbon transition?

Ellen Macarthur Foundation (2020): What is the circular economy?

Energy Transitions Commission (2018): Mission Possible: Reaching net-zero carbon emissions from harder-to-abate sectors by mid-century – Sectoral Focus Steel

European Commission (2020): Ship recycling

Institute for Human Rights and Business (2019): The Ship Lifecycle: Embedding Human Rights from Shipyard to Scrapyard

MSCI (2019): Industry Report – Marine transport

MSCI (2020): ESG Research

NGO Shipbreaking Platform (2019): The Toxic Tide: 2019 Shipbreaking Records

Robin des Bois (2019): Shipbreaking: Bulletin of information and analysis on ship demolition # 57

UNCTAD (2019): Annual Review of Maritime Transport

Alphaliner (2020): Alphaliner Top 100

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (2018): Sustainability Accounting Standard – Marine Transportation


[1] Full disclosure data on individual companies can be accessed via the SRTI online platform:

[2] According to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, “a circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems”.

[3] OECD defines EPR as “an environmental policy approach in which a producer’s responsibility for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of a product’s life cycle”.

[4] Recognising the Hong Kong Convention is not yet in force, one shipowner’s approach was to ensure it exceeded the Convention’s requirements and therefore is not currently seeking a statement of compliance

[5] UNCTAD, 2019

[6] NGO Shipbreaking Platform, 2020
“The data gathered by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform is sourced from different outlets and stakeholders, and is cross-checked whenever possible. The data upon which this information is based is correct to the best of the Platform’s knowledge, and the Platform takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided. The Platform will correct or complete data if any inaccuracy is signaled. All data which has been provided is publicly available and does not reveal any confidential business information.”

[7] NGO Shipbreaking Platform, 2020