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Open Access “Seabirds Matter More Than Us!”: Understanding the Complex Exercise of CSR in the Global Shipping Industry

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Within the contemporary shipping industry there is the potential for open registers to act to varying degrees as “regulatory havens”. There are also well-known challenges relating to regulatory enforcement at both port-state and flag-state levels. In this context it is particularly helpful to consider the potential drivers of corporate social responsibility (CSR) within the commercial cargo shipping industry. This paper therefore considers three case studies, to explore: supply chain pressures relating to the exercise of CSR; financial drivers of CSR; the role of paternalism in the exercise of CSR; and normative orientations towards CSR in the shipping industry. The paper concludes that on the whole, the shipping industry is more concerned to focus on the protection of the environment, in conjunction with its CSR policies, than it is to focus on the health and welfare of sea-based employees. Furthermore, it explains the reasons for such prioritization.
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Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; Environmenta sustainability; Greenwash; Labour standards; Seafarers; Shipping

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2016

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  • The Journal of Sustainable Mobility (JSM) is a peer-reviewed journal that provides an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of innovative and empirically sound research on sustainable transportation. The centrality of the journal is the sustainable developments of the automotive industry and road transport management systems, though research on other transport modes such as aviation and shipping contributes to our understanding of the future of sustainable mobility as a whole. To address the economic, environmental and societal concerns of the development of the transportation industry, the journal will take a transdisciplinary and holistic approach to gain a better understanding of the technologies that underlie the advancement of low-carbon vehicles, market demands for such vehicles, institutional change and corporate sustainability which determine the strategies of those businesses involved. The journal focuses on aspects of green mobility in the context of nature, enterprise and technology. In particular, it aims to explore the links between transportation, technological management and innovation, energy use, sustainable development and responsible business, presenting academic research alongside practical application in order to inform policy and practice. JSM is essential reading for academics, practitioners, policy-makers and others interested in the latest research and thinking on sustainable transport and mobility.
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