NEW INITIATIVE: Several of the world’s leading shipping banks are working on a set of guidelines under the name «the Poseidon Principles», aimed at pushing the sector to think green.

Leading shipping banks, with DNB at the forefront, have put climate risk high on the agenda and want to measure and disclose the carbon footprint of their own portfolios. The customers’ strategies for adapting to low carbon shipping and their fleets’ energy efficiency and emissions will be increasingly important when evaluating customers and new projects.

The Poseidon Principles constitute an initiative and an agreement among leading shipping banks on a method of measuring the climate footprint of their own shipping portfolios and about annually publishing the status of their own portfolios with regard to a necessary development to reach the two-degree target. Eleven leading shipping banks have so far joined the initiative, which has been developed by Citibank, Société Générale and DNB, in collaboration with leading industry players within shipping and climate research. The Principles were developed as a framework for principles in many areas related to sustainable shipping. It starts with climate, with the possibility of expansion down the line.

Climate-friendly shipping portfolios

The Poseidon Principles are the first step on the road to more climate-friendly shipping portfolios. Knowledge about the status of one’s own portfolio is important in order to understand the climate risk and to prepare strategies for change. Although no specific targets have initially been set for reducing emissions in the portfolios, the idea is that reporting and transparency will motivate banks to gradually shift lending towards ships with less emissions and customers with clearer climate and environmental ambitions. The principles are meant to develop over time in line with how the International Maritime Organization (IMO) develops their climate ambitions and regulations.

«In DNB, we want to take a clear role in the environmental work, and to us, it will be important to be a player that helps pull the whole shipping sector in the right direction in the fight for an even better climate,” says Kristin Holth, head of the Ocean Industries division at DNB.

A concrete measure

The Poseidon Principles represent one of several initiatives that DNB is committed to with regards to sustainability and corporate responsibility within the ocean industries. As a bank, DNB supports many overarching principles and initiatives, such as the OECD guidelines for multinational corporations, the UN Guiding Principles and CDP climate reporting.

However, it is also important to utilise industry initiatives that take on specific challenges and have concrete measures that can easily be implemented in the daily work. The Poseidon Principles constitute such a specific measure.

In the Poseidon Principles, we want to establish a good collaboration with our customers based on data they already have and report on, and hope that the initiative will motivate even the companies that are at the forefront with regard to energy efficiency and the development of the solutions of the future.

«The more banks that take these principles to heart in their lending processes, the better. Credit decisions will become both better and also easier if everyone bases their lending models on the same guidelines. We encourage all our colleagues to join us in this important work,” says Kristin Holth.

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