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How will the CSRD apply to maritime industry companies ?

Updated: Apr 24

The CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive) is a directive that has been applicable since the beginning of the year 2024. It requires companies to make efforts in sustainable development and to publish an extra-financial report. The maritime and river sector is not exempt and is also affected by the issue...

Navires de la CMA CGM

What is the CSRD ?

The CSRD, or Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, is an European directive that has been applicable since January 1st. This directive aims to promote sustainable development within companies and assess their involvement in this regard. The objective is for companies to establish an extra-financial report to attest to their commitment to a more sustainable business activity. The CSRD has defined new standards for ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) information and harmonizes the sustainability reporting of companies while improving the availability and quality of published data.


The CSRD complements and enhances the NFRD (Non-Financial Reporting Directive), which has been the basis for mandatory non-financial performance reporting by companies in Europe since 2014. The CSRD reaffirms the importance of sustainable information and places it on par with financial information for companies.


The CSRD will not apply to all companies. Since January, it applies to companies already subject to the NFRD, meaning companies with more than 500 employees, over 50 million euros in turnover, and over 25 million euros in total assets. They will be required to publish their first report in 2025 (for the year 2024).

Cargo en plein chargement

The entry into force will be extended from 2025 to companies with more than 250 employees and 50 million euros in turnover, then in 2026 to SMEs listed on stock exchanges (excluding micro-enterprises with less than 10 employees). They will be required to publish their reporting the year following the year of entry into force.


Implementing an extra-financial reporting

Concretely, what needs to be described in this reporting? Concerned companies must structure their extra-financial reporting based on ESG data.


Among these data, we find:

  • Environmental factors: adaptation to climate change, biodiversity preservation in the company's activities, better resource management, carbon footprint...

  • Social factors: equal opportunities within the company, working conditions of employees, respect for the rights and freedoms of individuals, staff training...

  • Governance factors: role of administrations, management of relationships with business partners, fight against corruption...


These factors must be apparent and relevant of the actions taken by the company for socially and environmentally conscious development. To establish its sustainability reporting, companies should rely on the ESRS (European Sustainability Reporting Standards), which are management tools for companies to steer towards sustainable business models. The reporting is divided into 4 parts: a first part with general information, followed by three separate sections on environmental, social, and governance-related information.


Integrate CSRD into the maritime sector

Voilier yacht du Ponant

The CSRD will undoubtedly address the maritime sector as well. Not all players in the maritime and river world will be affected, but major actors such as CMA CGM, MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company), or Compagnie du Ponant will need to comply with this sustainability report. These large companies play a significant role because the maritime sector is often criticized for its significant environmental impact, especially international freight shipping groups. Major issues need to be considered as we know the environmental disasters that can result from accidents in the maritime world. Notable examples include the Amoco Cadiz oil spill in 1978, the sinking of the Costa Concordia in 2012, or more recently in March with the bridge in Baltimore that collapsed following a collision with a ship.


These significant issues can be measured through indicators. Here is a non-exhaustive list of indicators that are possible to include for a company in the maritime sector in its extra-financial report:

Domain

Indicators

Environmental

  • Air and water pollution

  • Water consumption

  • Pollution policies

  • Energy consumption and energy mix

  • Water and marine resource policies

  • Actions and resources related to biodiversity and ecosystems

Social

  • Social protection

  • Measures related to work-life balance

  • Coverage of collective negotiations and social dialogue

  • Adequate wages

Governance

  • Management of supplier relationships

  • Political influence and lobbying activities

  • Corporate culture and business conduct policies

This will require companies to establish a number of objectives to demonstrate their compliance with the indicators they will present in their sustainability report. For example, improving energy efficiency, implementing sustainable maintenance measures such as using appropriate CMMS, reducing water consumption, and transitioning to electrification or decarbonized transportation. Within the BoatOn Academy, we offer training courses that allow you to enhance your skills on various topics such as ISM, basics of CMMS, or decarbonization of the maritime sector. Thus, you can train with your teams to adopt practices that will be useful if you are subject to preparing this sustainability report.

Voilier cargo Grain de Sail

Some companies are already ahead in decarbonization in the maritime domain with the development of cargo sailing ships like Grain de Sail or TOWT. As a reminder, while maritime transport is not the most polluting sector in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, it is growing. In 2022, maritime transport accounted for 3% of global GHG emissions, but without changes, emissions are projected to rise to 17% by 2050.


From a social perspective, companies are obligated to comply with the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) made by the International Labour Organization (ILO), which establishes a legal framework of standards for maritime work. The CSRD report will highlight companies' social commitment to their employees. The maritime world, depending on the professions, can be very demanding and requires good working conditions to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

For example, in the yachting sector, turnover is very high due to the seasonality of the activity, and there may be pressure both in terms of job positions and job searching. People working in the yachting industry are prone to burnout due to the stress involved in this luxurious environment and the demanding work required.


Our tips to help you establish your extra-financial reporting.

Rédaction sur un ordinateur

It is important to be rigorous in drafting your sustainability report as criminal penalties are provided for non-compliance or the provision of erroneous information. This ranges from a fine of €3,750 for non-publication or publication of partial or inaccurate information, up to a fine of €30,000 and 2 years' imprisonment for failure to audit the extra-financial report.

To best prepare yourself, it is recommended to start by thoroughly analyzing your business model to better understand the resulting social responsibility. Identify the risks and opportunities based on ESG data.



It is essential to anticipate operational consequences, namely:

  • Analyze the maturity of governance processes and collect consistent data

  • Train individuals responsible for reporting

  • Improve information systems

  • Budget the costs associated with this reporting


CSR performance can depend on this reporting and will impact all stakeholders of the company. It is possible in the maritime sector to constantly refine processes to improve CSR policy. The key is to identify the various areas that could either act as a lever or a hindrance towards sustainable growth for the company. For example, maintenance is a major topic for companies in the maritime sector as fleets require almost constant maintenance to remain operational year-round. Therefore, we recommend implementing a fleet maintenance plan. At BoatOn, we offer assistance in designing a PMS through BoatOn Consulting. Experts audit your fleet and help you create a tailored maintenance plan before integrating it into our CMMS software, the BoatOn Book.

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