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Corporate Environmental Responsibility: A Case on ITC Limited

Case Title:

Global Ship Breaking Industry - An Environmental Threat?

Publication Month and Year : 2010

Authors: A Naidu,B Gopal and S Chaganty

Industry: Aircraft and Ship Building


Case Code: CSR0068IRC

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available


In a year, about 700 or nearly 1.5% of ships deployed in the oceans are taken out of service. These ships are sold to the scrapyards to recover valuable steel. On average, steel accounts for 95% of the ships mass. Besides steel, the ships contain hazardous substances like asbestos, lead paint, heavy metals and polychlorinated biphenyls. With a rise in the cost of environmental control, and health and safety standards, the developed countries are forced to shift these ships to the scrapyards of developing nations like India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Turkey where the labour wages are low. Estimates show that around one lakh workers are engaged in this business worldwide and are working under miserable conditions with minimal health and safety standards. Although many laws and acts have been enacted on the sidelines of the Basel Convention, the recent one being the International Maritime Organisation Convention, they have failed to deliver any fruitful results. These conventions are more or less like paper tigers with more noise and no action.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the working of the ship breaking yards.
  • To analyse the working conditions of the workers in the scrapyards.
  • To analyse the various acts and regulations enacted for global ship breaking.

Keywords :  Ship, Global ship breaking industry, Hazardous substances, Asbestos, Lead paint, Heavy metals, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Environmental impacts, Basel Convention, Greenpeace, Basel action network, International Maritime Organisation, United Nations Environmental Programme, Stockholm Convention, International Labour Organisation


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