During the calendar year 2018, CNCo:
Note: unless otherwise stated, all statistics relate to our position as at 31st December 2018.
CNCo continued to operate in a challenging environment throughout 2018 as global markets and trade politics remained volatile. Our dry bulk business was negatively impacted on several fronts: the economic slowdown in China to the tragic dam disaster at Vale's iron ore mine in Brazil and the trade war between the United States and China. However, we continued to invest in a modern economical fleet so that we can take full advantage of owning these eco-friendly ships as markets recover and fuel prices increase. The container feeder newbuildings will replace our older, less fuel efficient multi-purpose vessels. The older vessels are being safely, responsibly and sustainably recycled in Alang at HK Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (HKC) compliant yards. CNCo has placed monitoring teams at the yards to ensure safety standards are upheld. Providing safety leadership across all aspects of the shipping industry remains a key priority for CNCo. CNCo is committed to having a positive impact on all the communities that we touch. Decarbonisation, reducing plastic waste, generally, and particularly in the Oceans of the World are issues about which we are passionate. We will continue to invest and innovate to move the industry forward.
Safety excellence remains our top priority, and ensuring workplace safety both on board and in our offices is a fundamental requirement for all our managers and employees. We finished 2018 with zero fatalities and recorded a total of five Lost Time Injuries (LTIs) for 2018, half of 2017's figure. It is heartening to see that our strong focus to promote greater safety in 2017 has produced tangible results as we work towards Zero Harm for all our people. CNCo has been working with the Danish safety consultancy firm, Green-Jakobsen, on enhancing our approach to safety over the past couple of years. We rolled out our Zero Harm campaign across our fleet in 2018, and a similar tailored campaign was developed and rolled out in our onshore offices globally. CNCo is committed to enhancing safety not only for our own people but also for our partners and those in the communities in which we operate. A particular focus is driving safety improvements across all the stevedores who provide services to our global fleet. Our safety journey is one of continuous improvement.
Our people are at the heart of CNCo’s business operations and we aim to be an Employer of Choice. We recognise the contributions and hard work of our employees through long service awards and reward and recognition programmes. The quality of our people is key to the success of our Company. We work to develop and maintain an ever-more productive, safe, healthy, diverse and inclusive organisation, employ the right talent and enhance employee performance.
As at the end of 2018, the CNCo group employed 2,665 people in various locations around the world. These employees came from 48 countries. Our seagoing team continued to grow in line with the increase of the size of our fleet. Our shore-based employee numbers increased by 4% in 2018 as we continued to grow our global operations and established a new office in American Samoa.
In November 2018, CNCo’s Shanghai office moved to a new location. It serves as the new headquarters for our operations in the People’s Republic of China and marks a return to the city where we were founded 147 years ago.
In the same month, we opened our newly relocated Sydney office. The first-ever Australian Swire office was opened in 1855 in Melbourne by John Samuel Swire, so it was fitting to have his namesake and our Chairman, Sam Swire, open our newest office in 2018.
Looking forward we continue to invest in the training and careers of our staff and are committed to embracing diversity and being inclusive at all levels. A diverse, inclusive team that is representative of the markets in which we operate will deliver better decisions and therefore results. CNCo is committed to embedding diversity and inclusion into CNCo’s organisational culture as a core value and a source of innovation.
We continue to work with our communities in countries where we operate. From supporting the seafaring community through developing local female talent in Papua New Guinea to supporting local environmental research programmes, we invest in worthy causes and are committed to building long-term, rewarding relationships with our partners and our communities.
Our partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), as the responsible United Nations (UN) body and regional secretariat of the Basel and Waigani Conventions for the transboundary movement of waste products in the Pacific Islands, continued to gain momentum with several shipments of recyclable waste from eligible Pacific Island ports to be sustainably recycled in suitable destinations in Asia Pacific.
We have made a commitment to decarbonise our business at a faster pace that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Initial Strategy agreed at its MEPC 72 meeting in April 2018. We continue to build and operate a fleet of modern and more fuel-efficient vessels to optimise energy efficiency and reduce our environmental footprint. We measure and monitor the energy consumption and emissions of our operations and have set goals that are more aggressive that the IMO emission reduction targets.
We continue to invest in sustainable ship recycling and building capacity of Ship Recycling Facilities (SRF) in Alang, India, to ensure compliance with the HKC. Our commitment to the health and safety of the SRF third party workers ensured that there were zero injuries and pollution incidents, and our social and governance commitments, well in excess of the requirements of the HKC that does not consider these issues, led to better working conditions for the workers. We sustainably and responsibly recycled one vessel in 2018.
We continue to be active members of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) and the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative (SRTI) to encourage other industry players to take the initiative and the responsibility for doing the right things, for both themselves and for the greater public good and creating a shift towards a more sustainable shipping industry.
Our annual Sustainable Development Reports keep our stakeholders informed of our sustainability progress in an open and transparent manner. We will continue working with our communities, customers, peers and suppliers towards a thriving future and to be the leading provider of sustainable shipping solutions and our customers’ partner of choice.