Arthur Bowring is the Managing Director of the Secretariat of The Hong Kong Shipowners’ Association. The function of the secretariat is to perform three basic tasks, Membership Support, Membership Services and Office Administration.
The Hong Kong Shipowners’ Association’s chief purpose is to continue to promote and protect the interests of the Hong Kong shipowners and ship managers, as well as the increasing number of local professions and services upon whom they rely in the performance of their business.
Arthur Bowring was nominated as an Earth Champion for his dedication to bringing stakeholders together to explore improving shipping emissions and port management in a way that promotes congenial dialogue between shipowners and other stakeholders.
Arthur would like to see an improvement in Air Quality emissions from ships in Hong Kong and Globally.
He is addressing the inequality of the current ship emission scheme, which requires the surrounding area’s air quality to be better than the SECA (Sulphur Emission Control Area) requirements before the ships can be necessary to meet the standard. There are limited options available for fuels with low Sulphur and Nitro content. He began this initiative early in 2005. It is ongoing because the right fuels are still not available.
Arthur has devoted a lot of time to this initiative. There have been numerous trips to London, to be on working committees and group meetings to push the issue faster with the IMO (International Maritime Organisation), who regulates the shipping industry.
Having had 40 years in the shipping industry (on the bridge rather than the engineering side), I thought I was prepared however I needed to learn about fuel refinery processes, fuel types and their production processes for this initiative.
I had the support of members of the Shipping Association as they are very socially and environmentally aware.
International Tanker Owners took our thoughts on board and promoted our ideas. They became outspoken on the issue, which was superb as that gave the problem an international voice, whereas we are only a local body without international standing.
Locally (Hong Kong)
Raised membership awareness of the emissions from shipping. China Navigation Company does use 1.5% sulphur in and out of Hong Kong which is the industry best practice and well ahead of IMO requirements of 4.5%.
Not much influence yet. China could regulate out to its twelve mile limit for higher standard fuels though they have not yet done this.
We have raised awareness within the industry globally.
The significant difference will come once the fuel production comes on to the market.
The social effects of the initiative, is better health, especially for those living near ports and shipping lanes. We have been able to spread examples of our work via working on entire maritime industry rather than just locally. By doing this, we end up also impacting locally. As seen through the support of the InterTankO.
Our organisation is also involved in other projects promoting sustainability. We are active in the Maritime Employers Group, which looks at crew welfare, habitability issues for crew and fatigue issues.
The maritime industry has changed incredibly over the last 40 years. By continuing to raise awareness of emissions from shipping we can create an even more sustainable industry!