Hundreds of ships are decommissioned and scrapped every year. Since this often entails significant environmental pollution and health risks for people, international banks adopted the “Responsible Ship Recycling Standards” (RSRS) in 2017. KfW IPEX-Bank is now the first German bank to join the initiative. With a lending volume of EUR 13.9 billion in 2017, KfW IPEX-Bank is one of the top 5 ship financiers in the world, and, by joining the RSRS initiative, it is underlining its high standards regarding the environmental and social compatibility of its financing.
The aim of the RSRS initiative is to incorporate scrapping clauses in accordance with international standards (including the “Hong Kong Convention”) into loan agreements. These clauses also include an obligation for shipping companies to ensure that all ships carry a “Green Passport” that provides an overview of all the hazardous materials on board. “Joining this global initiative is another significant step for us in further strengthening the sustainability aspect in the maritime industry together with our clients” explained Andreas Ufer, Member of the Management Board of KfW IPEX-Bank. Even though it cannot yet be foreseen just how far these clauses will take root throughout the market, Ufer is hoping for some tangible effects.
“This is an important way to raise awareness about the significance of sustainable ship recycling. We view the RSRS initiative as a long-term project that will continue to develop and welcome more and more members around the world.” The aim of the RSRS initiative is for shipping companies to observe minimum standards of occupational safety and environmental protection when scrapping their ships, and therefore to view scrapping as part of their own value-added chains.
Brief profile of Responsible Ship Recycling Standards
At the end of May 2017, ABN Amro, ING and NIBC established the Responsible Ship Recycling Standards (RSRS). The initiative now has eight members worldwide, with Nordea, DNB, SEB and Export Credit Norway having joined the three founding banks. KfW IPEX-Bank is the first German bank to adopt the Responsible Ship Recycling Standards.
The text for the Responsible Ship Recycling Standards can be found here:
Press Release: kfw-ipex-bank.de