Corporate social responsibility at Safmarine

When you work with us, you work with a partner who is committed to promoting corporate social responsibility throughout the supply chain.

We are committed to conducting our business in a responsible and transparent manner. This is an integral part of our core values and extends throughout our supply chain.

Our commitment to responsible business practice covers a number of different areas, including anti-corruption, health and safety, a sustainable supply chain and making investments in the communities where we operate. 

Removing barriers to economic development

Containers are the building blocks of global trade, connecting producers and customers across the world. Continuous trade expansion and access to global markets can help generate economic development, stimulate job creation, increase people’s income and raise living standards.

However, in growth markets where the need for this is biggest, various obstacles continue to hamper trade – such as the lack of infrastructure, corruption, burdensome documentation processes, supply chain inefficiencies, and a lack of logistics know-how, to mention just a few.

At Safmarine, we are committed to helping overcome these obstacles. We do this through the way in which we work internally and with our partners and customers, as well as through specific projects in local communities.

Local community projects

One way that we play an important role in addressing the obstacles to economic development is through professional and educational training of the future workforce. Two of these long-term projects, both designed to enable further growth and development of the local community, are described below.

Containers in the Community

For the past 21 years, decommissioned Safmarine containers have been recycled into permanent buildings – including schools and clinics – for poor communities. Over the years, our Containers in the Community programme has helped create more than 200 schools and preschools in South Africa that today educate approximately 30,000 children and young adults. 

One such project is a partnership between South African fruit exporter Karsten Farms and Albert Hein Supermarkets in the Netherlands.

The project began in 2008 when our decommissioned containers were used to build two computer labs in the Northern Cape and North West Province in South Africa. Today, the project uses our containers for 12 computer centres, 10 libraries/classrooms and 5 kitchens.

Since the Containers in the Community programme began, we have donated more than 8,000 decommissioned containers to approximately 3,000 projects, and education-based container projects have become an integral part of the African community, spreading to Liberia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

Lawhill’s maritime studies programme

The Lawhill maritime studies programme supports job creation and employment in disadvantaged South African communities by providing 15 to 18 year old students with maritime-related knowledge and skills while they are still at school.

Graduates of the programme specialise in maritime economics and nautical science, giving them a good chance of finding employment in the maritime industry. As well as preparing students for a broad set of sea-going careers, the programme provides our industry with a well-educated and skilled workforce both on and offshore. We have supported the programme for the last 20 years.

Apply for support from Safmarine

We have a long tradition of supporting the communities in which we operate. In order to ensure focus in our support, we have identified two global themes that we prioritise:

  • Disaster relief & preparedness
  • Empowering trade

Find out more about our focus areas and how to apply for support.

Our commitment to responsible business

Throughout all aspects of our vessel and shore operations, we are committed to conducting our business in a responsible and lawful manner, and with respect for the wider economic, social and environmental impacts of our activities. We also strive to promote the same principles in our relationships with our customers, our suppliers and our business partners.

This has always been integral to the way we do business at Safmarine, and remains so now that we are part of the A.P. Møller - Maersk Group. 

Our Sustainability Policy

The Sustainability Policy for Safmarine is anchored in the Maersk Group’s core values and policies, as well as our commitment to the UN Global Compact. It emphasises our commitment to driving continual improvement in health & safety, the environment, human & labour rights, anti-corruption and security.

To achieve the objectives of this policy, we proactively identify and mitigate the risk of negative impact in these areas. At the same time, we communicate openly and honestly about our performance.

We want any potential breaches of our Sustainability Policy to be reported. Therefore, we provide a global whistleblower system that can be used to report potential violations of the policy. The system is available to both external parties and employees of Safmarine.

Climate & the environment

At Safmarine, we lead the way in ‘doing more with less’, enabling us to ship more cargo with less impact on the environment. We constantly seek innovative and commercially viable ways to reduce our environmental impact, from reducing our CO2 and other air emissions to using fewer and more sustainable materials to build our vessels.

We have an ambitious target to reduce our ocean shipping CO2 emissions by 60 percent per container transported between 2016 and 2020. We have already come a long way – we have reduced CO2 emissions per container transported by 42 percent already – but we still have some way to go.

With the launch of our new 60% CO2 reduction target in 2014, we are accelerating our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint whilst growing our business.

Key partnerships at Safmarine

As part of the A.P. Møller – Maersk Group, we work with many key partners and are a member of many industry associations that are working to improve the shipping industry and responsible business practice. These include the UN Global Compact and the Logistics Emergency Team.

UN Global Compact Lead programme

As a member of the UNGC LEAD programme, the Maersk Group has joined 50 other leading global companies who are striving to achieve the highest levels of sustainability performance through ambitious targets and the transparent reporting of progress and challenges.

Logistics Emergency Team

As part of the Logistics Emergency Team (LET), led by the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the Maersk Group is working with governments and LET-partners Agility and UPS to use our common logistics expertise and equipment to respond more effectively when disaster strikes.

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