As a business which supports our clients on their sustainability journey, it’s important that we are able to look at our own sustainability story.  

Lloyd’s Register has spent the past 18 months implementing our new strategy to ensure all our resources are focused on supporting the maritime industry. We have done this because we believe there are some challenging and complex decisions for all in the industry. The next 20 years will be transformational, if we get it right. 

Businesses in action 

In 2017 Lloyd’s Register first made our commitment to the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.  

In 2021 we signed up to the Science Based Targets Initiative, an initiative which drives ambitious climate action in the private sector by enabling organisations to set science-based emissions reduction targets. 

This involves a commitment to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 63% by 2035 from a 2019/20 base year, as well as a commitment to reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services and business travel 37.5% within the same timeframe.

Our own targets, as set in our 2021/22 Annual Report, are for a 4.2% reduction per annum across LR’s GHG footprint, achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.  

Our ‘remote -first’ travel policy, , and reduction in office footprint and commuting through our sustained hybrid way of working have all assisted to reduce emissions from areas which are among the largest percentage of our emissions footprint.  

The need to meet these challenging and complex decisions is why LR has understood the critically important need for continued commitment to the UN Global Compact. 

LR’s Sustainability Report 2018 was our first submission to the UNGC and highlighted the key areas where LR is helping to create a sustainable future. We have maintained this commitment in subsequent years with our annual submissions to update on our progress.  

Safety has been Lloyd’s Register’s core focus since we were founded in 1760. The protection of people, ships and the environment is at the heart of all we do. That is why, this year, LR and our charitable Foundation released a landmark report, ‘Shining a light on seafarer wellbeing’. With 41% of risk on a vessel managed by the crew, it is vital that maritime upholds the UNGC’s labour principles and supports seafarers.  

In 2023, Safetytech Accelerator and LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub published a report, “Tracing the true carbon intensity of sustainable marine fuels” which examines new methods of tracing information on how a fuel is being produced, from the source of the electricity used in the production process, to the delivery of an un-altered final product. The study was completed in collaboration with technology providers TYMLEZ and Authentix.  

Energy transition, beyond the vessel 

At LR, we understand there is no 'one size fits all' fuel solution to zero-carbon shipping. We must take a whole, systemic approach to the ship and its crew, the ship-to-shore interface, trading patterns, societal expectations, technology readiness and, fundamentally, commercial viability.

In 2022, LR and our partners launched The Silk Alliance, an innovative Green Corridor Cluster beginning with the intra-Asia container trade. Examining the fuel transition for shipping across the entire supply chain enables stakeholders to identify benefits and manage unknowns. The initiative is a practical demonstration of the principles established in LR’s First Mover Framework.

Shipping now thinks in terms of ‘vessel readiness’; the ability to ensure that a vessel can use zero carbon fuel once this becomes feasible and available, either through new building, or conversion of existing vessels. But vessel readiness is not always clearly defined. It can mean anything from a vessel fully equipped to bunker with alternative fuel today, to a ship that could potentially be converted at some point in the future. Many so-called ‘ready’ vessels will require a major retrofit, with significant safety implications and costs that could render the project uneconomic.  

The development of LR’s Zero Ready Framework presents a readiness framework that provides clarity, guiding investment in assets that have the greatest prospects for success as our industry transitions to zero carbon fuels. We are continuing to seek commitments from across the industry to use this framework in development of energy transition strategies, in turn reducing risk.

Understanding overall readiness of fuels for adoption in shipping is also critical so that we, as an industry, can identify what needs to happen to advance that readiness. With this knowledge, we can channel our efforts and resources into initiatives that can hasten the adoption of clean energy sources. For this reason, LR’s Maritime Decarbonisation Hub developed Zero Carbon Fuel Monitor, a tool that evaluates zero carbon fuels across the supply chain stages of fuel and against three readiness types - technology, investment and community readiness – and identifies key trends and priorities to accelerate adoption of these fuels in shipping.

There is no question that the decades to come will be ones of significant change and it is vital that this transition is fair and equitable and one where we build resilience for the greater good of all in society. Lloyd’s Register remains committed to providing the advice and expertise to make that happen.