A quantitative study into perceptions and attitudes of corporate social responsibility and sustainability developments in international shipping

Fasoulis, Ioannis and Kurt, Rafet Emek and Poutos, Evangelos I.; Ivošević, Špiro and Vidan, Pero, eds. (2019) A quantitative study into perceptions and attitudes of corporate social responsibility and sustainability developments in international shipping. In: 8th International Maritime Science Conference. University of Montenegro, Kotor, pp. 161-174. ISBN 9788680031644

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In recent decades the international community has demonstrated a growing concern and tendency to halt adverse environmental impacts generated by business activities. Among a plethora of regulatory initiatives and collaborations, the 2030 Agenda, and incorporated 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), represent United Nations recent remarkable development toward this direction. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), as the United Nations (UNs) specialized Agency to deal with safety at sea and protection of the marine environment has been, actively, engaged and harmonized its strategy with global sustainability mandates. Similarly, a great deal of research and motivation has been placed on corporate social responsibility (CSR), as a business operating model that goes beyond regulatory compliance and integrates sustainability challenges. In view of the limited amount of related research in the tanker and dry bulk sector, the purpose of this paper is to investigate and provide a better understanding against perceptions and attitudes of CSR and sustainability in shipping. Research data collected via a questionnaire survey conducted in 50 shipping companies, based on 14 countries worldwide and managing tankers and/or dry bulk carrier ships. Hence, Chi-square test of independence and Spearman’s correlation coefficient measures are employed to test the statistical significance and strength of association between selected variables, verifying, thus, our formulated hypotheses. Findings show that shipping companies perceive CSR as a voluntary and beyond regulatory compliance businesses approach that, furthermore, shares current sustainability aspects. Moreover, shipping companies have been, increasingly, integrating into their safety management system (SMS) provisions of CSR and sustainability principles, while, at the same time, seek to remain compliant with statutory maritime legislation. However, certification against an official CSR Standard and, subsequent, adoption of standardized CSR measurement and reporting methods, has not yet been the case in shipping.