Modern corporate social responsibility should include measures to care for crew as well as the environment, says InterManager Secretary General Captain Kuba Szymanski.
Discussing corporate social responsibility (CSR) at this year’s InterManager Annual General Meeting, Capt. Szymanski said: “People talk of ‘hugging trees’, I say let’s hug seafarers first!” Urging ship managers to embrace crew concerns when implementing a CSR programme, Capt. Szymanski asked: “Why do we care more about birds and whales than we do about seafarers?” Demonstrating the effects of increasing amounts of legislation, former ship’s Master Capt. Szymanski stripped off an item of clothing for each official law that audience members’ could call out – stopping after tearing off his jacket and tie to the relief of amused delegates attending InterManager’s AGM in Manila, Philippines this week.
“Educate do not regulate,” Capt. Szymanski urged international organisations like the IMO and EU, vowing to ensure InterManager members will work to self-regulate to ensure mandatory regulation is minimised. He later explained: “I am all in favour of protecting wildlife and the environment of course but I want to make sure that it is achievable and manageable. I am a great believer in empowering ships’ crew and Masters to make sensible and correct operational decisions onboard without fear of unfair criminalisation.”
InterManager members, who already sign up to a Code of Conduct, are actively involved in discussions about industry-wide initiatives such as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and corporate social responsibility. Capt. Szymanski told them: “In my opinion CSR goes hand in hand with the KPI project.”