Corporate Social Responsibility
The adoption of a sustainable and socially responsible business model has been a priority of the Grimaldi Group since its foundation and has become increasingly important over the years. Grimaldi’s sustainability strategy is intended to create value for all the freight customers and passengers using the Group’s services, for the communities it serves and for its staff and subsidiaries, while reducing its environmental footprint.
The Grimaldi Group is increasingly integrating sustainability issues into its business: from protecting the environment and helping those in need, to supporting social and cultural initiatives.
The Grimaldi Group publishes its annual Sustainability Report (SR) with the aim of highlighting the company from a perspective of sustainable creation of value. The SR gives insight into the Grimaldi Group's business model, not just in the purely economic sense but also encompassing a broad vision of its tangible and intangible impacts.
1.1 GREEN INVESTMENT
The Grimaldi Group's present is green and will become even greener in the future, as we move towards the goal of zero-emissions shipping and freight-passenger transport, With this in mind, the Group has planned major investments to reduce fuel consumption and cut harmful emissions into the ecosystem, thus confirming its strong commitment to decarbonisation policies in order to protect the planet.
In recent years, the Grimaldi Group has completed a major retrofit programme for the ships in its fleet. Its two flagships Cruise Roma and Cruise Barcelona recently underwent a major lengthening and upgrading, to make them the first ships operating in the Mediterranean with Zero Emission in Port®. Thanks to the installation of mega lithium-ion batteries (which recharge during navigation), all the ship's electrical loads during port stopovers can be powered by drawing energy from these batteries, without the need to switch on the internal combustion engines.
Several other ships in the fleet have also undergone green conversions. The technical steps taken to reduce harmful emissions include applying non-toxic silicone antifouling paints on the vessels’ hull; upgrading and optimising the propulsion systems; redesigning the bulb water lines; installing exhaust gas purification systems and using software for trim optimisation and performance monitoring. Thanks to these investments and silicone upgrades, the Grimaldi Group was the first company in the shipping sector to obtain voluntary Gold Standard certified carbon credits.
The Group's vision for exhaust gas treatment systems (scrubbers) goes beyond the mere abatement of sulphur and particulate emissions. Working with the University of Naples Federico II, the Group has studied a way to improve the environmental performance of the onboard scrubbers and even transform them into 'sea hoovers', which retain pollutants suspended in the treated water and help to remove microplastics. After a series of extremely successful tests, the Group recently filed a patent application for this innovative microplastics filtration system, which is now ready for market. By licensing the patent to the manufacturers of water treatment plants, the new filtration system can be produced and installed on an increasing number of Grimaldi Group ships, and others. This tangible contribution has benefits that go beyond protecting the environment, as the Grimaldi Group will be donating the proceeds from the patent licensing to charitable initiatives and organisations.
Grimaldi Green 5th Generation (GG5G)
These ships are the first examples of a new series of hybrid ro-ro ferries, which use the new generation of electronically-controlled engines powered by fossil fuel with exhaust gas treatment at sea (SOx and PM emissions are suitably treated and reduced with post-combustion systems). They also have peak shaving of electricity usage (broadly similar to mild-hybrid in the automotive industry) during navigation and most importantly, full-battery mode during port stops, guaranteeing 'zero emissions in port'. While dockside, these ships can meet their onboard energy requirements purely from the electrical energy stored by the lithium batteries, recharged during navigation by shaft generators, and from the 600 m2 of solar panels.
Numerous other hi-tech solutions have been implemented on this new generation of ship. One among many is the air lubrication system with cavities installed under the hull. Compressors create a carpet of micro-bubbles of air under the ship, which reduce drag and related GHG emissions. The hull is coated with special non-toxic silicone paints characterised by low surface roughness, to reduce friction with the sea and avoid the release of toxic substances into the water. With regard to sulphur emissions, special onboard devices combine the sulphur emitted by the engine cylinders with the salt in the seawater, exploiting the natural chemical reaction to produce gypsum, which can be reused on land or disposed of in nature. Last but not least, the GG5G-class vessels are also equipped with solar panels on the deckhouse.
Thanks to these technological implementations and innovative design, the objective with the GG5G ships is to halve CO2 emissions per tonne-km in order to meet the IMO's target of reducing carbon-intensity emissions by 40 per cent before 2030.
The Group is an active member of numerous global environmental initiatives, platforms and associations focused on shrinking the environmental footprint of the shipping industry.
SAILS CHARTER (Sustainable Actions for Innovative and Low-impact Shipping). Signed in 2019, the SAILS Charter enables shipping companies to formalise and pursue their pioneering commitments in order to protect our planet and its inhabitants. The initiative was launched by the French Ministry for Ecological and Inclusive Transition with the support of Armateurs de France (the French Shipowners' Association).
As the first Italian shipping company to have signed the charter, the Grimaldi Group has committed not only to fulfilling its regulatory obligations, but also to implementing specific actions such as reducing emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, reducing the impact of underwater noise from ships, optimising the fleet's energy performance, combating invasive species and protecting aquatic mammals.
CSA (Clean Shipping Alliance) - Established in September 2018, the Clean Shipping Alliance is a group of leading shipping and cruise companies that excel in activities aimed at controlling harmful emissions. Its mission is to provide support and information on the use and effectiveness of exhaust gas cleaning systems, in order to promote shared environmental and sustainability initiatives. At the same time, the CSA is supporting the implementation of the IMO's sulphur cap requirement, which on 1 January 2020 was lowered to 0.5% worldwide. The Grimaldi Group is one of the founding members of the Clean Shipping Alliance.
Global Industry Alliance (GIA) – The GIA brings together shipping industry entrepreneurs who are described as eco-conscious 'energy efficiency champions', as they advocate the way towards a low-carbon future for shipping and related industries. The GIA partners will continue to identify and develop innovative solutions in order to tackle common barriers, by adopting and implementing energy-efficient technologies and operational measures. The GIA Association operates under the principles of the GloMEEP Project, a joint Global Environment Facility (GEF)-United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-International Maritime Organisation (IMO) project, aimed at supporting countries with the implementation of energy efficiency measures in the shipping sector.
Zero Emission Vessel (ZEV) – The alliance, consolidated in 2020, consists of over 90 companies operating in shipping, energy, infrastructure and finance, supported by leading NGOs and governments. The aim of the ZEV is to study commercially viable routes towards zero-emission shipping as soon as possible, with experimental solutions as early as 2030.
At the heart of the Safety Policy, the Grimaldi Group puts the promotion of responsible practices to protect the health of shore and onboard personnel, prevent the risk of sea pollution, ensure the safety of the ship, its passengers and cargo, infrastructure, as well as assuring the proper handling and management of goods.
To this end the Group has defined its own Safety, Quality and Environment Policy in line with the relevant international principles: International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS); International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL); Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) and the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).
Particular attention is paid to the training of onboard personnel, by means of specific courses and large-scale land-sea exercises. All crews are trained to deal with emergencies arising from the accidental spillage of dangerous goods. These drills are carried out voluntarily, as they are not mandatory under the current regulations. In addition, the safety department meets regularly with masters and officers to update them on the latest developments in safety procedures and ensure their implementation.
Aware of the need to deal promptly with dangerous situations, the Group has implemented its own Crisis Management policy, setting up specific crisis management teams with fully-equipped work rooms. It has also defined a contingency plan and external communications programme to be followed in the event of an emergency.
The effective monitoring and analysis of performance indicators, calculated on the basis of measurable elements, allows the Group to make decisions based on factual data and to initiate all possible safety-related improvements effectively.
An interdepartmental working group undertakes a cause analysis of any onboard incidents and accidents, so that corrective actions can be taken to avoid their recurrence. Where necessary, a manoeuvring simulator is used to reconstruct the incident and allow a detailed analysis of possible errors and corrective actions.
The Group makes every effort to ensure the highest standards of security on all its ships, taking all the necessary actions to prevent and control any illegal acts that may affect the vessel. Security crews and equipment are put in place in order to mitigate security threats, especially in parts of the world known to be affected by piracy, the trafficking of drugs or of illegal immigrants and the risk of terrorism.
The Group operates in compliance with Italian, EU and international standards and regulations governing both shipping and port operations. Specialised personnel undertake an intensive programme of periodic internal inspections in order to verify compliance with company procedure and policy. In addition to regulatory requirements, the Group promotes additional initiatives in terms of security training, as well as drills involving both onboard crews and ground personnel.
The Company Security Officer manages the Security, Quality and Environment Office, whose staff act as Security Auditors for internal onboard audits, to ensure compliance with international (ISPS Code), EU and national security regulations. The Company Security Officer is responsible for preparing risk assessments, security plans and mitigation procedures for identified risks (including terrorism, piracy, illegal trafficking and stowaways) for all Group’s ships.
At the beginning of 2020, the company established a new department called 'Security Intelligence & Law Enforcement' which acts as support to the other areas of the company when it comes to preventing corruption and unfair competition, and studies incidents related to trafficking, illegal trade and cyber security.
2.3 HUMAN CAPITAL
The Grimaldi Group has always operated in the firm belief that its success depends on the skills and quality of its employees, whether they operate at sea or ashore. For this reason, all activities aimed at safeguarding, enhancing and protecting personnel are of central and strategic importance to the Group, in order to create lasting relationships of mutual trust, to attract new talent, and to ensure a healthy and safe working environment. The Group has well-established relations with the main trade unions, based on continuous discussion and active collaboration, in order to agree on any critical issues and proposals for improvement raised by employees.
Investments are also made in staff training with a view to the continuous improvement of career opportunities. In order to keep all crews up-to-date with new technologies, a navigation, manoeuvring and marine telecommunications simulator has been installed at the company's headquarters. The simulator models the manoeuvres needed in different sailing situations and weather conditions. Training is provided at all levels (basic, intermediate, advanced) and covers a wide range of trainees, from nautical students through to experienced sailors, harbour pilots and tugboat operators.
3.1 TRUSTED PARTNERS
The Grimaldi Group aims to establish relations with all its business partners based on transparency, fairness, and impartial treatment.
Supplier selection is based on appropriate and objective methods that take into consideration not only quality, innovation, cost and the service offered, but also factors such as social and environmental performance and compliance with the values outlined in the Group's Code of Conduct. The Group’s focus on sustainable supply chain management is also evidenced by the decision to reward and select suppliers who adopt quality and HSE management systems that are defined and certified according to internationally recognised standards, of which the main ones are: ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.
3.2 CODE OF CONDUCT
4.1 FONDAZIONE GRIMALDI ONLUS
"Fondazione Grimaldi Onlus" is a non-profit charitable organisation established at the behest of Emanuele Grimaldi in 2007; since then the Foundation has operated purely with social solidarity aims. The Foundation has strong ties to Naples and is now a landmark in the social care sector, working on projects to support disadvantaged families, providing funding to deserving associetions and voluntary organisations, and supporting seafarer families in financial difficulty. Since 2019, the Foundation has also run the Scuola della Famiglia (School of the Family), an ambitious project to help the elderly, parents, children and disabled youngsters, from its headquarters in a 10,000-square metre historic building in the centre of Naples.
The Grimaldi Foundation is the leading privately-run foundation in Central and Southern Italy in terms of sums disbursed, and is mainly financed by Grimaldi family assets. It also benefits from a financial contribution from the Grimaldi Group as a percentage of the net profits made by the three Italian companies Grimaldi Group, Grimaldi Euromed and Grimaldi Deep Sea, and from contributions that benefactors decide to allocate to its activities.
The President and CEO of the Foundation is Emanuele Grimaldi.
* Learn more about the Grimaldi Foundation, its activities and how to support its projects at: www.fondazionegrimaldi.com
4.2 EDUCATIONAL AND SOCIAL INITIATIVES
Always attentive to the cultural development of Naples and Italy as a whole, the Grimaldi Group has for many years worked with schools and academic institutions in its home region and other Italian cities. Each year, the Grimaldi Group offers multiple training opportunities to technical and vocational schools. The programmes take place onboard the Group's ships and include familiarisation and introduction to seafaring professions. These initiatives are a way for young people to identify their areas of ability and can guide them towards a suitable occupation, by equipping them with valid skills recognised by employers.
In addition, the Group has for years maintained links with universities and higher education institutions in order to provide opportunities for undergraduates to complete internships at various company offices. Some of the agreements made by the Foundation also offer scholarships to particularly deserving students, in memory of its founder Guido Grimaldi.
The Grimaldi Group constantly interacts with local communities in its countries of operation, and promotes social solidarity initiatives. It is increasingly active in donating a portion of its profits to charitable and cultural organisations in Italy and abroad, also through its subsidiaries ACL, Finnlines and Minoan Lines. The Grimaldi Group's focus on social issues also has an international reach, thanks to the establishment of partnerships with NGOs, UNHCR and other non-profit organisations, to whom it provides ongoing support with the free transport of volunteers, containers carrying humanitarian aid, and other materials.