Sustainability transitions in the shipping industry

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Title: Sustainability transitions in the shipping industry
Authors: Vågfelt, Henrik
Abstract: The shipping industry contributes to several environmental problems, e.g. climate change. As any other industry, it is subjected to future restrictions for sustainable development and sustainability. Research on how work on sustainability is effectively integrated into organizations is lacking. Thus, to study the internal preferences of, in this case shipping organizations, concerning sustainability efforts and adoption is vital. The focus of this study is to explore barriers that mitigate shipping organizations to link up with technological advances in logical full-scale sustainability transitions. Semi-structured interviews were used as a qualitative research method for this thesis. Six individual representatives of the shipping industry who held corporate positions within the areas of environmental, technical, CSR and sustainability management were interviewed. Analysis of empirical data yielded four areas of interest asserted as internal organizational barriers towards full-scale engagement in sustainability transitions: tangible metrics versus intangible value adding factors, institutional boundaries and forces, cognitive lock-ins and norming versus conforming towards sustainability. Conclusions comprise tendencies that certain organizational trajectories seem to be present in current operational context, trajectories on which tangible metrics versus value adding factors create differences in conceptualization and issues on how to value work on sustainability. Institutional legitimization towards sustainability tend to shift focus away from solutions, cognitive lock-ins underpin mental models that contradict logical sustainability transitions and norming towards sustainability efforts sacrifices real sustainability adoption. Implications of conclusions suggest that stated barriers might be bridged with a backcasting methodology through collaboration over institutional boundaries with collective learning in a shared systems perspective.
Keywords: Transport;Hållbar utveckling;Transportteknik och logistik;Transport;Sustainable Development;Transport Systems and Logistics
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för sjöfart och marin teknik
Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Shipping and Marine Technology
Series/Report no.: Report. X - Department of Shipping and Marine Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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