The tanker industry needs to adopt, understand and speak the new language of environment and sustainability, argues Norden’s chief executive Jan Rindbo
With the eyes of the world on sustainability and a new common language created in the form of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, shipping must adapt. It is not a new discussion, but development is still moving slowly. The question still seems to be, how do you turn good intentions into results?
While new regulations are speeding up investments in new technology, there is a need to take an active stand in discovering the alternatives to current solutions that will prove environmentally and commercially viable for a decarbonised shipping industry.
To do this, we must create a culture of fostering and nurturing innovation; we have to innovate our leadership and our priorities and we have to innovate our approach to R&D.
An example of this was the first test voyage with a large ocean-going vessel powered solely by CO2-neutral biofuel. To help achieve this, we innovated our approach, seeking out potential suppliers and entering into collaborative partnerships through problem-solving communities to explore specific and practical means by which to reduce carbon emissions.
Another example is our partnership with Kvasir Technologies, with its patented technology to produce oil from plant material. While this project is more future oriented, the purpose is to achieve better knowledge of the characteristics of biofuel and prove its suitability for future use.
We are also teaming up with other businesses across sectors in alliances such as the Getting to Zero Coalition, helping to drive collective action in the creation of sustainable alternative transportation solutions.
While it is still unclear which specific methods and fuels will carry shipping companies across the seas in the future, it is clear that changes are needed and the deadline is fast approaching. In meeting the ambitious emissions reduction targets set by IMO to at least halve the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, taking an active role is the better choice and the responsible one.
As globally operating companies, we have a unique opportunity to influence future industry standards and solutions. It is important to embrace innovation and to foster an innovative mindset.
By creating innovative teams, we can increase the awareness needed to create zero-emissions solutions. We believe that if we work together, we will jointly be able to provide the real alternatives that can make the development of vessels with zero emissions possible.