Regulatory obligations and market trends connected to environmental sustainability have lately intensified their effect on the shipping industry. New standards are continuously being established, such as the IMO's 2050 aim of lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared to 2008 levels. These rules have an impact on capital markets and investor decisions about how to fund the maritime transport sector. The standards now include Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) components. These components are not only concerned with the environmental impact of shipping, but also with the social and governance dimensions of those firms that are typically associated with maritime transport risks, such as accidents, ship reservations, pollution issues, and so on. Considering the particular peculiarities of the maritime transport sector, our previous research has resulted in the development of a unified ESG reporting framework customized to shipping. To do this, the authors evaluated shipping related ESG reports and extracted essential ESG variables and methodological frameworks from them. The present study conducts a quality assessment of existing ESG reporting in various sectors of maritime transport companies on a large sample of firms listed at major stock exchanges, while it also identifies the level of compliance and areas for improvement. Based on a comprehensive methodological framework for reporting and assessing ESG for shipping, the research delivers relevant and robust information to aid management decision making, stakeholders, and debtholders insight on firm's sustainability.

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Plymouth Business School