P&O Ferries : Flagging its concerns
A bold and highly visible presentation of environmental management practices.
P&O Ferries, a UK-based ferry operator, makes a bold presentation of its environmental management practices.
The first item in the ‘about P&O Ferries’ section of the company’s website is ‘P&O Ferries and the environment’. This leads to an index page where under the main heading, ‘Minimising impact on the environment’, an introduction explains that the ferry operator “has taken a leading role in adopting practices that minimise environmental impact”.
Below this is a grid of 11 topic headings, each of which has a summary and link to a page of more detailed coverage. The issues covered range from ‘Convention on prevention of pollution from ships’ and ‘CO2 emissions’ to ‘sulphur scrubbing’, ‘calling time on tin’ and ‘marine conservation society seasearch’. The content is reproduced on the European language versions of the site.
P&O Ferries has taken a bold decision to stake out its position on a series of industry-specific issues in the wake of scientific studies that suggest shipping is a much bigger threat to the planet than air traffic. In this it may be taking a leaf out of the book of some of the major pharmaceutical companies, which have standing ‘issues’ content dealing with major criticisms of their conduct, or companies such as Coca-Cola which address common ‘myths’ about their products and practices.
However, P&O Ferries goes further than most in the visibility and multi-lingual coverage it gives the content. The P&O Ferries and the environment sub-section is also uniquely focused on ‘hot’ topics and initiatives. While the supporting content can lack depth or solid substantiation that would reinforce the company line – few hard numbers are given in evidence, for example – there’s no sense of hatches being battened down to ride out the storm.http://www.poferries.com
First published on 15 May, 2008