- IMPA ACT is the maritime industry’s community and 360° solution for companies wanting to implement Responsible Business Conduct standards, both internally and within their value chain.
- Certified to ACT standards in 2017, Inchcape Shipping Services (Inchcape) becomes a full member of the initiative and reaffirms commitment to meeting the globally-agreed standard for social, environmental and economic sustainability.
- Simon Potter, Chief Procurement Officer at Inchcape, sees IMPA ACT as an excellent CSR tool to highlight areas for improvement and analysis, and finds the community aspect one of the key benefits of the initiative.
Leading global provider of port agency, marine services and supply logistics Inchcape Shipping Services is the first IMPA ACT ‘Preferred’ Company to take the opportunity of the initiative’s re-launch and strengthen its own commitment to sustainability by becoming a fully supporting member in August 2022.
Transparency and disclosure are the way forward
Having just had a major overhaul and update to bring it in full alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, IMPA ACT was established in 2013 and was the first initiative in the shipping industry to offer tools and support to ship-owners, managers and maritime suppliers and manufacturers wanting to place their sustainability work on the global scale. With over 100 companies implementing the programme around the world, IMPA ACT aims to make CSR due diligence the norm for companies in the industry and contribute to increased transparency about responsible practices.
Transparency and trust go hand in hand, and knowledge sharing is key to progressing in this industry. Keen to put its best foot forward, Inchcape will now use the new tools of the updated IMPA ACT initiative and continue the work to ensure the maintenance and improvement of Responsible Business Conduct standards internally through regular social, environmental and economic due diligence, and externally through Responsible Supply Chain Management, thus achieving greater visibility in its value chain and reliability on business relationships.
“At Inchcape, we have a global network covering over 60 countries and more than 2200 ports. Our CSR and sustainability programs are therefore fundamental to our business, our people, our customers, and our suppliers. I am pleased to see more and more companies investing in CSR programs, but it can be challenging without the right tools and support. I mean, how sure can we be as an industry that our supply chains are fully compliant? We need to work together to highlight issues and stamp out bad and illegal practices. The only way we can do that is by continually reviewing our supply chains and by learning from each other,” said Simon Potter, Chief Procurement Officer at Inchcape.
A close-knit community for sustainability frontrunners, such as Inchcape
Trying to move away from the antiquated “command-and-control” approach, IMPA ACT has its core pillars in collaboration, best practice sharing and knowledge exchange. In other words, it is important to understand your impacts and manage them, but it is equally important to share with others how you are doing that, so they get inspiration and do the same. And the IMPA ACT community of purchasers and suppliers in the maritime industry facilitates this exchange. Simon Potter at Inchcape agreed:
“The fact it is a ‘community’ is one of the key benefits of the IMPA ACT initiative. The marine supply chain is diverse and truly global, and all of us are exposed to the risks of not taking CSR seriously. IMPA ACT 2.0 will give us even more tools to highlight and mitigate risks within our own businesses, but also to share our experiences with others.”
“IMPA ACT is all about knowing and showing, and with this programme, we leave behind the naming and shaming practices that all-too-often put companies off from advancing in their sustainability journeys. Knowing your social, environmental and economic operational impacts, and showing how you mitigate these are the keys to this programme. Without being able to openly disclose the results of your regular CSR due diligence efforts, you lose the element of deep trust that our initiative is trying so hard to re-instil between companies and their business relationships,” added Jasmine Schestak, Head of Sustainability at IMPA.
Deep diving into your CSR practice and identifying areas for improvement
What makes IMPA ACT different is its holistic approach. Covering the social, environmental and economic bottom lines and requiring due diligence across all the international human rights, environmental and climate areas and economic principles derived from globally-recognised treaties, IMPA ACT ensures active member companies are identifying their potential and actual operational impacts over each and every right and principles, ensuring its prevention, mitigation or remediation, as applicable.
Companies like Inchcape that have gained certification in the past have already been through this 360° process and documented their management of impacts. Going forward, under IMPA ACT 2.0, they will be able to use the new web-based platform to continue the regular due diligence to ensure timely identification and continuous improvements.
“Inchcape first signed up to the IMPA ACT back in 2017. We saw it as an excellent tool to help us conduct a detailed analysis of CSR throughout our own global business and supply chain, and to help us highlight any areas for improvement and further analysis. Having IMPA ACT certification sends a clear message to our customers, suppliers, and employees that we take CSR very seriously. I am very excited about IMPA ACT 2.0 and would like to thank the IMPA team for all of their hard work in putting this fantastic initiative together,” said Simon Potter, Chief Procurement Officer at Inchcape.
Jasmine Schestak, IMPA’s Head of Sustainability, concluded:
“IMPA ACT aims to increase transparency in supply chains through companies’ regular management of operational impacts and open disclosure thereof. Global companies such as Inchcape Shipping Services have a huge role to play in this and having them onboard as supporting members help us achieve our mission a lot quicker.”