Introduction, Contents, Assurance and Materiality

In this section:

Introduction and report structure Introduction to the three divisions of China Navigation Co.

Welcome to the second externally assured (GRI 3.1 C+) Sustainable Development (“SD”) Report for The China Navigation Company Pte Ltd (“CNCo”) as we continue our journey that began at the beginning of 2012; to progress towards “net zero environmental impact”.

As with our 2011 Sustainable Development (“SD”) Report, we are continuing to detail our full performance in the areas covered by the Social Responsibility standard: ISO 26000:2010. We have adopted this standard to help us report all the issues that together contribute to making our business more sustainable in the seven widely accepted subject areas of: Human Rights, Labour Practices, The Environment, Fair Operating Practices, Consumer Issues and Community Involvement and Development.

We do this because we strongly believe that transparency and openness is a benefit for our stakeholders, particularly our employees, in order to show where we have been and where we are heading in the future.

This report has been externally assured in accordance with the most widely used reporting framework, Global Reporting Initiative (“GRI”), version 3.1, to level C+ to assure our stakeholders and readers that what is reported is truthful and complete, and in a way that will permit comparison to be made between our performance and that of our peers group who are also open and transparent about the way they operate.

The 2011 Report was the first to be designed from the outset to be read in soft copy. In response to feedback we also made it available in PDF format shortly after its publication and we worked hard to ensure the report’s widest distribution to our stakeholders.

To this end we produced a small hard copy brochure detailing our main achievements in 2011 and one of these was sent to every employee, at sea and in shore support. This will be repeated with this report.

We have also worked closely with a graphic designer to freshen the appearance of the web-based report to make it more engaging and easier and clearer to navigate.

With the benefit of having had our first SD Report published, we have used this to support a wide consultation process to determine issues that our key stakeholders find material (or not material) to help determine how the 2012 SD Report should be changed (if at all).

The SD department has and will continue to conduct formal stakeholder engagement sessions with Senior Management, Sea Staff and our key customers. From these and a review of our Strategic Risk and Opportunity Registers we identified the most relevant issues and narrowed these down to a shorter list of issues that were material to our key stakeholders (Employees, Shareholders, Clients, Regulators and Class Societies and Suppliers). These have been prioritised for action going forward within a suitable time-frame.

The process of identifying and reporting on materiality will be significantly deepened in 2013 and beyond as we transition to reporting in accordance with the new GRI 4 standard that is expected to be formally adopted in 2013.

However, if any readers have any immediate comments, please don’t wait for a formal meeting but contact the General Manager, Sustainable Development (Contact Details); all feedback, positive or negative, is welcome and helps make this document of ever more relevance to our stakeholders, for whom it is written.

The China Navigation Company – more familiarly, “CNCo” – is the wholly owned deep-sea ship-owning and operating arm – and oldest operational entity – of the Swire group. “Swire” is a multinational conglomerate with interests spanning five continents and with principal areas of operation in the Asia-Pacific region, centred on Greater China. CNCo’s parent company, John Swire and Sons Limited, is headquartered in London and controls a range of wholly-owned businesses in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea (“PNG”), East Africa, Sri Lanka, the USA and UK.

CNCo was founded in 1872 to operate Mississippi-style paddle-steamers on China’s Yangtze River. Since then the company has expanded globally while its primary operational focus remains in the Asia-Pacific region. Headquartered today in Singapore, it is one of the oldest independent British shipping companies managing its own tonnage “in-house”.


Our corporate motto “Esse Quam Videre”, which means “To be, rather than to seem (to be)”. Another way of putting this is that we will not just act like we are doing something, we will actually do it, and mean it. For CNCo this is put into action by a) taking a leadership role in sustainability within our industry and b) reporting everything we do transparently, specifically within this report.

In 2012 CNCo crystalised its internal structure into three operating divisions:

  • Swire Shipping charters vessels both from CNCo and third parties. Fleet Management manages CNCo’s owned tonnage of 14 deep-sea ships of multi-purpose, container and liner services for the transportation of containerised, break-bulk, heavy lift and project cargoes. This does not include the four that were sent for recycling at the beginning of the year or the eight 31,000 dwt MPP vessels on order.
  • Swire Bulk Logistics Division holds a 50% share in Swire CTM Bulk Logistics Limited, a joint venture with C Transport Maritime SAM registered in Monaco, and operates a term transhipment contract supporting the Ok Tedi mining project in PNG.
  • Swire Bulk to control, own and operate a fleet of modern, eco-efficient geared handy-size bulkcarriers.
  • The customers for all three divisions are any and all third parties who wish to ship their cargo (as owner or agent for an owner) on one of our owned or managed ships from one place to another, in accordance with a pre-published schedule (with respect to Swire Shipping), or over a route of their determination for Swire Bulk, or across the deck for export in the case of Swire Bulk Logistics.

In 1983 UN Sec-Gen asked Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former Prime Minister of Norway and D-G Emeritus, World Health Organization to chair the UN World Commission on Environment and Development (“UNCED”). Its report, “Our Common Future”, issued in April 1987 defined “Sustainable Development” as: “the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.”


Note: The data throughout this report refer to the status of our business and operations as at 31 Dec 2012, unless otherwise indicated.