India – The NGO Shipbreaking Platform has heavily criticised the Maersk Group’s decision to beach its end-of-life vessels in India. ‘It is hypocritical to see Maersk’s engagement in India presented proudly in the company’s CSR Report as one that aims at promoting higher standards,’ states the NGO’s executive director Patrizia Heidegger.
The world’s largest container shipping company, Maersk last week announced a commitment to help selected ship recycling yards at Alang in India to upgrade facilities and practices to comply with the company’s standards.
According to the Shipbreaking Platform, Maersk was previously guided by a progressive policy on ship recycling: its old vessels were dismantled in modern ship recycling facilities in either China, Turkey or Europe. ‘Maersk’s decision to resort to the low-cost beaching method in India undermines European efforts to improve global conditions and the company’s position as industry leader,’ it argues.
‘The fact is that they are already selling ships now to facilities that operate under conditions that would not be allowed in Europe – they admit themselves that the decision to go to India is primarily taken to make their financial report look better,’ comments Heidegger.