19 August 2019

President of Global Compact Network Singapore, Ms Goh Swee Chen
Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Exchange, Mr Loh Boon Chye
Ladies and Gentlemen,

      It is with great pleasure that I stand here today to launch the Maritime Sustainability Reporting Guide. 

2   At yesterday’s National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee had talked about climate change and how we all have a part to play moving forward. In his speech, he mentioned that our new developments will be built at least 4 metres above mean sea level. So for our new Tuas Port development, we are already building above this. Operationally, we are trying to meet the challenge of raising sea levels.

3   I understand that this is the first sector-specific Guide developed since SGX introduced the “comply or explain” sustainability reporting requirements for publicly listed companies in 2016. It signals the commitment of the maritime industry to do our bit for the environment. The Maritime Sustainability Reporting Guide is a co-created solution.  It is made possible thanks to the leadership of Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS), and not forgetting key partner organisations including Singapore Exchange, Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants, Ernst & Young LLP, KPMG LLP and PwC Singapore for bringing with them the expertise and experience to share with the maritime companies to prepare this guide. In line with this sustainability effort, we are only circulating limited copies of the hardcopy version.  We encourage all of you to go online as you see on the screen here to download the softcopy.

4   Maritime Singapore contribute to about 7% of Singapore’s GDP, providing about 170,000 jobs and home to more than 5,000 maritime companies, both locally and internationally. 

5   We can expect the industry to do more on the sustainability front. First, the International Maritime Organization’s global regulation to tighten sulphur limits in ships’ fuel will be kicking in on 1 January 2020. Then there is the global target of reducing total annual GHG shipping emissions by at least 50% by 2050.

6   MPA is committed to the sustainability journey. For example, we established the Maritime Singapore Green Initiative in 2011 with a pledge of S$100 million to promote green initiatives in the sector. The initiative supports greener ships, ports and companies in using cleaner fuels (such as LNG), reducing carbon emissions, and adopting greener technology. In fact, we were named the “Best Green Seaport” in June 2019 by Asia Cargo News.

7   MPA began our own Sustainability Reporting journey in 2014 to walk the talk and encourage others in the industry to do so. My team working on this shared with me that it was not an easy start. We had to re-look and re-frame our processes and priorities through the lens of sustainability. It also took some time to orientate ourselves to writing our annual reports with this new lens in mind.

8   Given MPA’s own Sustainability Reporting experience, we are glad to be able to contribute to the series of workshops with the maritime companies to share tips on getting our first Sustainability Reports ready. Some of the experiences are also documented as case studies within the Guide. 

9   We hope that this Guide can help kick-start many more Sustainability Reporting journeys in the maritime sector and this, we look forward to closer collaboration between GCNS and the industry including the Singapore Shipping Association.  Hopefully, this will also spur similar efforts in other sectors spearheaded by GCNS and the industry.  
10  Let me take this opportunity to thank all the advocates who tirelessly champion Sustainability Reporting as part of their vision to help bring everyone along on this journey.   Every effort counts, and we hope to see your leadership to take on the maritime sustainability challenges of the future.

11 I wish everyone a fruitful and insightful session ahead.