Norway’s $1.3 trillion wealth fund recently made an announcement that showcases positive change in the ship breaking industry. Thoresen Thai Agencies and Hyundai Glovis, two companies previously involved in controversial practices, have now been acknowledged for their efforts to improve their environmental and ethical standards.
Thoresen Thai Agencies had faced exclusion from the fund since 2018 due to its practice of sending old ships to be scrapped in Bangladesh, where the working conditions were criticized as “extremely poor.” However, the company ceased this practice in 2018, leading to the fund’s decision to lift the exclusion. This change aligns with global efforts to ensure responsible ship dismantling.
Hyundai Glovis, which had been under observation since 2022 for its ship scrapping methods in Pakistan and Bangladesh, took significant steps toward responsible ship disposal. The company implemented a new policy addressing the issue, leading to the fund’s Council on Ethics recommending the end of its observation status.
This positive development in the ship breaking industry coincides with global initiatives aimed at promoting safe and environmentally friendly practices. The Hong Kong Convention, adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), recently achieved the necessary support for its entry into force in 2025. This convention marks a significant milestone, indicating a collective commitment to ensuring the safe dismantling of ships.
Additionally, the European Union has been proactive in addressing harmful ship breaking practices through the European Ship Recycling Regulation. This regulation mandates large sea-going vessels sailing under EU flags to use approved ship recycling facilities from the European List. These facilities meet stringent environmental and safety standards, aligning with the principles outlined in the Hong Kong Convention. The list now includes 48 approved yards, primarily located in Europe and Turkey.
These developments signal a positive shift in the ship breaking industry, emphasizing the importance of responsible practices, worker safety, and environmental conservation.