Guide for Sustainability Notations





Guidance to Assist the Marine and Offshore Industries in Achieving Sustainability


Demonstrating your vessel's sustainability to industry stakeholders is becoming a key element in operating, chartering, and financing. The ABS Guide for Sustainability Notations offers two optional notations to demonstrate adherence to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Contact us today to learn more.

Aligning with the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals

In September 2015, the United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the 17 SDGs. The Agenda emphasizes the need to simultaneously consider the three dimensions of sustainable development: social, economic, and environmental.

The International Maritime Organization has been actively working towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the associated SDGs. As the IMO continues its pursuit of the SDGs, both the maritime and offshore industries are faced with finding ways to achieve these goals in a safe, sustainable, and cost-effective manner.

Guide for Sustainability Notations

Recognizing the growing interest in the SDGs, ABS responded to the industries’ need for green and sustainable operations. The result is the development of the ABS Guide for Sustainability Notations. This Guide provides a stepwise approach for vessels to meet the Environmental, Innovative, and Human Elements requirements contained in the strategic SDGs.

The Guide focuses on sustainability aspects of vessel design, outfitting and layout that can be controlled, measured, and assessed. These include:

  • Pollution and waste
  • Coastal and marine ecosystems
  • Energy efficiency and performance monitoring
  • Low- and zero- carbon fuels
  • Human-centered design
  • Asset recycling

Optional Notations

The guide also offers two new sustainability notations - SUSTAIN-1(2020) and SUSTAIN-2(2020) - to help marine and offshore operators demonstrate alignment with the SDGs and establish a pathway for sustainability certification and reporting.

The SUSTAIN-1(2020) notation is awarded for compliance with the relevant requirements contained in Section 2 of the Guide and covers the areas listed in the chart below.

The SUSTAIN-2(2020) notation builds on the elements of SUSTAIN-1(2020) and is awarded for compliance with the relevant requirements contained in both Section 2 and Section 3 of the Guide, covering the areas listed in the chart below.

ABS Assistance

ABS has developed an unparalleled global network of sustainability expertise with centers of excellence located in key maritime and offshore cities around the world. ABS works closely with stakeholders in the maritime and offshore industries to create practical guidance for the adoption of the SDGs and identifying the impact and relevance each SDG has on the corresponding operations of a company.