Authors: Institute for Emerging Market Studies

Shipping in the Arctic is an essential element of socio-economic development and, often represents the only way to transport materials, products and goods for industrial projects and local consumption needs. As a result, Arctic industrial projects have a potential impact on the environment not only directly at the place of implementation but also along the entire length of the maritime route. At the same time, Arctic ecosystem and indigenous livelihoods remain extremely vulnerable. Ensuring the sustainable development that would balance social, economic and environmental perspectives, taking into account the interests of local communities is one of the essential objectives for the policy-makers, business and NGOs in the region. 

Economic development and environmental security in the Arctic directly depend on how we define the most efficient and sustainable way of shipping in the Arctic, which density will grow due to industrial development and the expansion of international trade. Arctic shipping has an impact not only on environmental safety but also on the economic sustainability of Arctic projects, securing market channels amid the necessary environmental protection policies adoption. The Arctic is one of the few examples where the production of alternative fuels can be made available along the entire transport route. The use of alternative fuels, in turn, will allow shipowners, operators and freights forwarders to ensure the sustainability of operations for the long-term period, significantly reducing the level of emissions, without disrupting the conditions of the biotic environment. As a result, companies could strengthen their position in the markets facing tightening environmental regulations.

The report Sustainable Arctic Shipping combines cabinet and field research. The report identifies threats and opportunities for sustainable Arctic shipping, highlighting the need for transition to the alternative fuels, the need for international cooperation and the development of economic ties between local communities, alongside increasing the mobility of the Arctic population. The research invites key stakeholders to discuss the future of the region and the advancement of necessary technologies and infrastructure to ensure sustainable development of the Arctic.


  • SKOLKOVO Institute for Emerging Market Studies


    • Nikita Doobroslavsky

      Director of the “Arctic Dialogue” programme, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

    • Anastasia Lazariva

      Lead Researcher, SKOLKOVO Institute for Emerging Market Studies 

    • Alexey Kalinin

      Supervision, Academic Director, SKOLKOVO Institute for Emerging Market Studies

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