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Case study: How Tallink promotes onboard safety

As the largest ferry operator in the Baltic Sea region, offering high quality mini-cruise and passenger transport services on various routes between Finland and Sweden, Estonia and Finland, Estonia and Sweden, and Latvia and Sweden, with a fleet of 16 vessels, promoting onboard safety is a top priority for Tallink  Tweet This!.

This case study is based on the 2016 Yearbook by Tallink published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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With 9.5 million passengers carried in 2016, keeping its ships and passengers safe is Tallink’s first priority. In order to promote onboard safety Tallink took action to:

  • comply with safety laws and regulations
  • carry out safety training and exercises
  • promote emergency preparedness

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2016 Yearbook Tallink identified a range of material issues, such as customer satisfaction, staff commitment, waste, chemicals and wastewater management, compliance and fair business, economic performance and impact. Among these, ensuring onboard safety stands out as a key material issue for Tallink.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process s of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Tallink engages with:   

Stakeholder Group
Governmental institutions
Educational organizations

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritize material topics Tallink carried out, through independent external consultants, an online survey among key internal and external stakeholders and, also, organized a stakeholder symposium.

What actions were taken by Tallink to promote onboard safety?

In its 2016 Yearbook Tallink reports that it took the following actions for promoting onboard safety:

  • Complying with safety laws and regulations
  • Tallink complies with international safety regulations (for example, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code) and with the regulations of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), to ensure its operations are safe for passengers and crew members. Moreover, Tallink carries out systematic risk assessments, involving relevant external organizations as needed.
  • Carrying out safety training and exercises
  • Tallink constantly develops employees’ skills through training and carries out joint training exercises with the authorities of all flag states, including maritime rescue organizations. Accordingly, various training exercises of sea- and air rescue, helicopter, fire, spill prevention and cleanup, equipment, security, take place annually on its vessels. Additionally, once a week fire drills, testing of operations of the watertight doors and lifeboat drills are carried out on all vessels. Once every three months emergency steering drills, emergency flooding drills and MOB (man overboard) drills take place. Finally, every six months joint exercises are carried out. In 2016, two major exercises took place, with the involvement of Police and Border Guard Board, Rescue Board and Medical Emergency.
  • Promoting emergency preparedness
  • Tallink’s passenger ships have a surgery on board, which is equipped with first aid supplies and drugs. The surgery provides first aid and supports passengers with severe health problems and/or a disability. Additionally, all deck officers and department heads have received medical training to provide first aid. All crew members have also passed a first aid course. Moreover, Tallink’s vessels are equipped with life-saving and survival equipment. The equipment meets all relevant requirements and is ready for use all day, every day, all year round.

Which GRI indicators/Standards have been addressed?

The GRI indicator addressed in this case is: G4-PR2: Total number of incidents of non-compliance with regulations and voluntary codes concerning the health and safety impacts of products and services during their life cycle, by type of outcomes and the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 416-2 Incidents of non-compliance concerning the health and safety impacts of products and services


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1) This case study is based on published information by Tallink, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:




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