While gearing up to meet sustainability requirements from their clients and capital providers, shipping companies have faced challenges from a bad public image and rising investment costs, an industry conference was told on Wednesday.

During a panel discussion of the Marine Money London forum, several industry officials pointed out a failure to comply with environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards could be fatal to one’s business.

“If you don't have any ESG framework in place, you may not even get your foot in the door as to asking for the money, which will put you into a severe disadvantage,” Watson Farley & Williams’ partner George Macheras said.