Looking back on 2019, the global economy was hit by high uncertainty arising from the China-U.S. trade war, Brexit, trade protectionism, and geopolitical tensions, which took a heavy toll on the global shipping industry. Despite an ever-changing business environment, we took on every challenge actively based on our business philosophy of integrity. We continued to deliver the best performances in terms of fleet upgrades, route optimization, terminal efficiency improvement, information security upgrades, and quality customer service.
About 70% of the surface of the Earth is covered by oceans, and 90% of global freight transport are through shipping networks. As an ocean carrier, Evergreen Marine supported 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) issued by the United Nations. Our attention was centered on three major issues, namely, green shipping, ethical corporate management, and social care, and our efforts were made in the aspects of environmental protection, corporate governance, and social prosperity.
Green shipping involves striking a balance between operational efficiency and environmental protection. In the day-to-day operations, it is embodied by applying modern technology to the entire shipping supply chain. From building next-generation green ships, improving port efficiency and navigational safety, and integrating procurement logistics to digital services and electronic document solution, a set of sustainable and environmentally-friendly shipping models have been established from a perspective of environmental and corporate sustainability.
Ethical corporate management is the fundamentals of Evergreen Marine's sustainable development. Evergreen Marine has ranked in the top 5% of listed companies in Taiwan many times, showing that our long-term endeavors to implement corporate governance have been recognized by the competent authority. We have established a good corporate governance system to clearly stipulate that employees are required to act in consistence with the code of ethics when performing their duties. To minimize operating risks, risk management mechanisms were also in place to systematically assess and plan for expected or unexpected risks in the business environment. Since shipping is an international industry, complying with local laws and relevant anti-trust regulations is often the focus of our self-evaluation.
Social care is the value of our existence. As a public entity in society, Evergreen Marine takes care of every employee and creates a safe workplace while providing care for and engaging with communities. While organizing various philanthropic activities with Chang Yung-Fa Foundation, Evergreen Marine endeavored to forward industry-university cooperation programs, so as to establish a maritime talent pool for the sustainable development of the shipping industry. We also teamed up with the Evergreen Maritime Museum to introduce the development of the shipping industry and marine culture to the public.
The global economy is facing an unprecedented health and economy challenges in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades. In response to the impact of the outbreak, we have imposed necessary contingency measures. We believe our competitiveness could be further strength by actively improving operation performance, and implementing the company's core values of "creating profits, caring for employees and giving back to the society" are the best solutions to meet the challenges of 2020. Let us work together to create a better and peaceful society.
Evergreen Marine Corp. (Taiwan)