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The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Why sustainability needs digital solutions as well as decarbonisation

Listen to the latest edition of the Lloyd’s List’s weekly podcast — your free weekly briefing on the stories shaping shipping

Shipping experts are calling for serious commitment on sustainability ‘NOW’ before it’s too late. What’s holding us back? Is the answer only to be found in zero carbon fuels, in which case how many years will it be until the right fuel or fuels have been trialled and tested under all conditions? What can be done while all this is going on, to reduce if not eliminate harmful emissions? And what has shipping discovered from several years of digitalisation to move us in the right direction? Roger Strevens, vice-president of global sustainability at Wallenius Wilhelmsen, explains why reducing carbon intensity by one-third since 2008 is not enough

THERE’S a good reason why shipping’s commitment to sustainability has been held back. It’s not the reason you imagine, says Roger Strevens at Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

It’s all about corporate culture. 

The solution to the problem of sustainability can’t rest only with the technical department. There’s a huge financial cost, so the finance team must be involved. There’s also a commercial dimension, and the forward planning must bring in the strategy team. 

What tends to be forgotten is the importance of involving the human resources people. Sustainable shipping is very attractive to the next generation of maritime professionals who want to contribute to something of a greater purpose.

In short, sustainable shipping is more than which fuel will emerge as dominant, he tells Lloyd’s List’s Chief Correspondent Richard Clayton. This will transform corporate culture, and will necessarily combine digital efforts with decarbonisation.

Further, it demands greater collaboration between shipping companies, academia, and governments in supporting research, sharing best practice, seeking the next level. When one of these elements is missing, the push for sustainable solutions is weakened.

And if there’s a huge financial and human resources cost, Mr Strevens believes, it’s clear that not all existing companies will survive in their current form. The transition to sustainable shipping is about more than fuel — it’s really about laying foundations for the future.

This edition of The Lloyd’s List Podcast discusses the future of shipping from an angle that is too often overlooked. 

They say corporate culture eats corporate strategy for breakfast. If so, bon appetit!





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