Research and innovation in environmental, social, and governance in the ship equipment supply, product and services sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of ESG patent applications in the industry stood at 17 in the three months ending November – down from 42 over the same period last year.

Figures for patent grants related to ESG followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 30 in the three months ending November last year to 12 this year.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

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ESG is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co Ltd was the top environmental, social, and governance innovator in the ship equipment supply, product and services sector in the last quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in South Korea, filed 33 ESG related patents in the three months ending November. That was down from 36 over the same period last year.

It was followed by the United States based Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp with 18 ESG patent applications.