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ESG

Overview

Over the years, we have developed, maintained, and expanded on various principles and initiatives relating to Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) matters. We believe the measures undertaken to date have helped us become a better company and corporate citizen, and our efforts have been widely recognized with Eagle consistently topping industry ESG scorecards.

In 2015, the United Nations Member States adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”) which form the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for the world and its inhabitants. These goals address a number of important global challenges, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice. While we support all of the SDGs, we are particularly focused on four we believe are most relevant to our business and for which we can potentially make a difference. These include:

Sustainable Development Goals
8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
13 Climate Action
17 Partnerships for the Goals

In 2020, we issued our first-ever ESG Sustainability Report in order to help inform and educate Eagle’s stakeholders of our performance on ESG. The report, which has been prepared in accordance with the framework issued by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), provides an overview of Eagle’s strategic priorities and relevant metrics with respect to ESG-related sustainability factors.

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board Image

Environment

Industry Background

Shipping is the most energy-efficient means of transporting commodities on a per ton basis, but given the overall size of the industry, it still accounts for approximately 2.8 percent of total annual global greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. Global warming and climate change are the direct result of GHG emissions and, as such, it is imperative for all industries, including shipping, to help reverse these trends through technological innovation and operational efficiencies.

Air Quality – Sulfur Emissions

For the last several decades, the vast majority of commercial ships have been operating on heavy fuel oil (“HFO”), a residual product of the crude oil distillation process.   As is the case with crude oil, HFO contains sulfur which is emitted into the atmosphere as sulfur oxides (SOX) during the combustion process. At higher than atmospheric concentrations, SOX are harmful to human health, causing respiratory conditions and lowering resistance to respiratory illnesses like lung disease.  Atmospheric SOX emissions can also lead to acid rain, which is harmful to crops and forests, and is a contributor to ocean acidification.

In order to improve air quality and protect the environment, the International Maritime Organization (“IMO”) has passed a number of regulations on the reduction of SOX emissions from ships.  From 1 January 2020, the limit for sulfur in fuel oil used by ships operating outside of emission control areas (“ECAs”) was reduced from 3.50% to 0.50%. This dramatic reduction in SOX emitted from ships is expected to provide significant health and environmental benefits around the world, particularly for coastal populations and those living near ports.

The IMO allows for compliance with the new sulfur regulations either by switching to a low-sulfur fuel type, such as very low sulfur fuel oil (“VLSFO”), or by using an exhaust gas cleaning system (often called a “scrubber”).  Scrubbers remove particulate matter and clean SOX from the engine exhaust down to a level equivalent to, or lower than, the limit required by the IMO regulation, allowing ships fitted with the cleaning technology to continue burning HFO in their engines. Eagle is fully compliant with the IMO 2020 sulfur regulation.

Air Quality – Transition to New Fuels

Most conventional ship fuels are carbon based and therefore emit carbon dioxide (CO2) and other GHGs during the combustion process.  To address the contributions of GHG emissions from ships to global warming and climate change, the IMO adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships in April 2018. The strategy sets out the ambition to reduce total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels, while simultaneously pursuing efforts to phase out GHG emissions entirely within this century.

In January 2020, we joined the Getting to Zero Coalition, an alliance of 100+ companies within the maritime, energy, infrastructure, and finance sectors which are committed to the decarbonization of deep-sea shipping, in line with the IMO’s GHG emissions reduction strategy and the UNFCC Paris Agreement.  The Coalition’s goal is to bring commercially-viable deep sea zero emission vessels into operation by 2030.

Fleet Renewal Initiative

Since 2016, we have executed on a comprehensive fleet renewal program, selling some of our oldest and least efficient vessels and acquiring more modern, efficient ships. This has been an important contribution towards enhancing the energy efficiency of our fleet and reducing our GHG emissions. The fleet renewal program has led to a reduction in fuel consumption per DWT of approximately 11%, an increase in average vessel size by approximately 8%, and kept our fleet age essentially constant.

Efficiency Initiatives

We have a dedicated in-house team which focuses exclusively on vessel performance optimization.  The performance team leverages operational data from across the fleet to inform daily operational decisions and monitor fuel consumption efficiencies to drive continuous improvement.

We are also investing in energy-saving technologies that improve the fuel efficiency of our vessels by approximate 2 to 8%.  Some of these technologies include:

  1. Pre-swirl ducts
    These devices combine pre-swirl stators with an accelerating duct.  The stators act to condition the wake flow into the propeller, thus improving the angle of attack of the propeller blades.  The duct homogenizes the wake flow into the stators and contributes thrust due to the lift created by accelerating flow over its wing section shaped walls.
  2. Post-swirl fins
    These devices condition the radial distribution of the flow just after the propeller hub to reduce losses stemming from the formation of strong vortices in this area.
  3. Low friction hull coatings
    We use high specification hull coatings and surface preparation to achieve maximum hull smoothness.
  4. Onboard sensors/data collection to optimize fuel consumption in real time
    An automated data collection system connected to various onboard systems and measurement devices allows for better modeling of the ship’s speed and fuel consumption profile so that better energy saving recommendations can be made earlier.

Social

Workforce Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Given the international nature of shipping, the requirement to have a diverse workforce is even greater than for most businesses. Eagle’s onshore staff totals approximately 90 employees, comprised of 25 different nationalities. Through our agents, we also employ roughly 975 crew members across our fleet from four different countries: Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and the Philippines. Eagle is an equal opportunity employer in hiring and promoting practices, benefits, and wages.

Human Rights, Health and Safety

Mechanical failure, human error, terrorism, sanctions, and piracy all pose risks to our company and our crew. As our responsibility to safety underpins every decision we make at Eagle, we continuously strive to provide a secure working environment and maintain the necessary security measures to ensure the well-being of our crew and the safety of our ships.

We comply with the Maritime Labor Convention adopted by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in 2006. The Convention outlines the requirements for seafarers to work, conditions of employment, facilities while on board, and health and welfare protection.

Community

As a company, we seek for ways to support our local communities and industry through financial support, volunteering, and other means.

Governance

Integrity, responsibility and forward-thinking are three of the Company’s values which form the foundation of our corporate governance philosophy.  We believe a strong governance structure is critical to achieve positive results in all aspects of our operations, especially as it relates to sustainability.  Eagle has been widely recognized for its strong Corporate Governance structure and has consistently toped industry rankings.

For more information on Corporate Governance, click here.

Code of Ethics

Our Code of Ethics is designed to guide our employees, directors, and officers to comply with applicable laws and ensure that Eagle conducts business in line with legal and ethical responsibilities and obligations. The Code defines our requirements and expectations relating to: compliance with laws and regulations, honest and fair dealing, conflict of interest and corporate opportunity, anti-corruption, confidentiality and privacy, proper use of company assets, and anti-discrimination and harassment.

Eagle’s Whistleblower, Insider Trading and Fair Disclosure policies and procedures, approved by the Board of Directors, establish the standards to ensure: (i) that the handling of accounting and audit related complaints complies with management’s and the audit committee’s objectives; (ii) compliance with the law and to avoid even the appearance of improper conduct; and (iii) compliance with regulation FD and other applicable securities laws. Eagle reported zero whistle-blowing incidents and zero violations of our ethical principles in 2019.

Business Ethics & Anti-Corruption

The shipping industry is inherently vulnerable to corruption due to its international nature and interactions with authorities at various levels in ports around the world. Eagle’s vessels made over 1500 port calls in 2019, including in countries which are prone to corruption risk as defined by Transparency International. We adhere to the strong moral and ethical principles outlined in our Code of Ethics, and we are committed to conducting business in accordance with applicable anti-corruption laws.

Eagle has a zero-tolerance policy towards bribery and adheres to both the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices and the UK Bribery Acts. Our Code of Ethics emphasizes that employees must not accept gifts or other benefits if their business judgement or decisions could be affected, and that gifts of cash or cash equivalents are strictly prohibited. Eagle had zero legal proceedings associated with bribery or corruption in 2019.

Industry Alliances

Eagle is an active participant and contributor to solving the sustainability and other important issues facing our industry. We believe that many of these challenges require collaborative efforts from both the industry and regulatory authorities. As such, we are active members of various industry organizations, including: the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), Maritime Anti-Corruption Network, Trident Alliance, International Maritime Employers’ Council, and Getting to Zero Coalition.

Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO)

Membership organization for owners, charterers, brokers, and agents. Provides standard contract templates, advocates on behalf of shipowners with regulators, and information & training.

Clean Shipping Alliance 2020

Represents a group of leading companies from the commercial shipping and cruise industries that have been leaders in emission control efforts and have made significant investments in research and analysis, funding and committing resources to comply with 2020 fuel requirements through the development and use of Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS).

Getting to Zero Coalition

The Getting to Zero Coalition is a powerful alliance of more than 110 companies within the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors, supported by key governments and IGOs. The Coalition is committed to getting commercially viable deep sea zero emission vessels powered by zero emission fuels into operation by 2030 – maritime shipping’s moon-shot ambition.

International Maritime Employers' Council (IMEC)

IMEC co-ordinates the views of its members and represents them in negotiations over wages and conditions of employment for seafarers. We provide advice to members on all aspects of maritime human resources.

MACN

The Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) is a global business network working towards the vision of a maritime industry free of corruption that enables fair trade to the benefit of society at large.

Trident Alliance

Trident Alliance has worked to build awareness of the need for robust and effective enforcement of marine sulphur regulations to protect public and environmental health, and maintain fair competition.

Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO)

Membership organization for owners, charterers, brokers, and agents. Provides standard contract templates, advocates on behalf of shipowners with regulators, and information & training.

Clean Shipping Alliance 2020

Represents a group of leading companies from the commercial shipping and cruise industries that have been leaders in emission control efforts and have made significant investments in research and analysis, funding and committing resources to comply with 2020 fuel requirements through the development and use of Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS).

Getting to Zero Coalition

The Getting to Zero Coalition is a powerful alliance of more than 110 companies within the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors, supported by key governments and IGOs. The Coalition is committed to getting commercially viable deep sea zero emission vessels powered by zero emission fuels into operation by 2030 – maritime shipping’s moon-shot ambition.

International Maritime Employers' Council (IMEC)

IMEC co-ordinates the views of its members and represents them in negotiations over wages and conditions of employment for seafarers. We provide advice to members on all aspects of maritime human resources.

MACN

The Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) is a global business network working towards the vision of a maritime industry free of corruption that enables fair trade to the benefit of society at large.

Trident Alliance

Trident Alliance has worked to build awareness of the need for robust and effective enforcement of marine sulphur regulations to protect public and environmental health, and maintain fair competition.