Dr Anil Sharma, President and CEO of GMS, has called on owners and brokers to support sustainable recycling practices and voiced support for the increased and significant investment in South-East Asian yards. Dr Sharma also criticised proponents of total bans on beaching, stating: “It is just as possible to have environmentally sound and safe beaching practices at some yards in India as it is to have dangerous and hazardous recycling elsewhere”.
Dr Sharma outlined the significant progress being made by yards in India, where the majority of the world’s ship recycling is conducted, towards building a safer and more sustainable future in their yards for workers.
In recent months the first yards in India have been certified as compliant with the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (HKC). In this context Dr Sharma called on the industry to use those yards to support both the progress being made in those businesses and the thousands of families dependent upon them in regions where there are few other opportunities for employment.
Dr Sharma commented: “We are seeing significant growth in demand for HKC compliant recycling from ship owners and the yards are reaping the commercial benefits, while sending a trigger to others. As these yards see growth for their services based on good health, safety and environmental practices, the other yards are starting to realise that the world is changing and they have to look to operate in line with HKC compliance, as well as ISO and OSHSAS certification standards in order to boost their business and keep up with changing times.
“However, it is crucial that the yards and the industry as a whole receive support for these facilities and their further development from shipowners throughout the world. We urge shipowners to take advantage of sustainable recycling services and make choosing sustainable yards part of their standard business practices.
“One of the most significant challenges facing the ship recycling sector is the level of focus being placed on what is wrong with the current process, rather than what can be done to invest in and improve more yards. We must all appreciate that ship recycling is not only a vital stage in the lifecycle of a vessel, but also a vital market for those that directly and indirectly depend upon it.”
GMS supports driving positive change to a more sustainable business platform at all the world’s ship recycling yards in advance of the TradeWinds Ship Recycling Forum in Dubai, which opens in two weeks with GMS as the lead sponsor, the company added.