26 March 2024 – SSI members spent two days together in Oslo for the SSI bi-annual member meeting, hosted by Klaveness Combination Carriers (KCC).

Day 1

KCC CEO, Engebret Dahm, kicked off the meeting by highlighting how increasing efficiencies can be a win-win for an organisation looking to optimise operations and reduce emissions. He emphasised the unique space the combination carriers occupy in the market, allowing for trade efficiencies and limiting the amount of ballast voyages. He further reflected on KCC’s recent A- score for ‘climate change’ in the annual CDP disclosure, a step above the maritime transport industry average of B-.

This was followed by a session on KCC’s decarbonisation work, emphasising their focus on trading efficiency, vessel efficiency, and voyage efficiency as strategic pillars, and on innovative ways to finance and incentivise sustainable behaviour. The collaboration between SSI members KCC and South32 was used as an example of industry leadership and collaboration, as the two companies have a six year sustainability-linked freight contract which provides incentives for emission reduction.

SSI member meetings often bring guests to share latest developments across various areas of interest. This time, guests from Yara Clean Ammonia, YoungShip, and HUB Ocean led sessions providing insights into their organisations and activities.

Yara Clean Ammonia spoke about the expected increase in ammonia demand leading to 2050, estimating that approximately 40% of ammonia demand by 2050 will come from shipping. They highlighted current efforts to ensure technological readiness for green ammonia production as well as pilot projects intended to test and facilitate learning, adapting existing knowledge from using ammonia as cargo to develop guidance and procedures on ammonia as a marine fuel.

YoungShip, a global network of young people working in the maritime industry, has a strong Oslo branch and shared the work YoungShip does to empower the next generation of maritime leaders. They also highlighted their collaboration with industry actors and their use of events and networking to create awareness of sustainability challenges among its members. On discussing the strong sustainability focus within the YoungShip membership, it was felt that a sustainable shipping mentorship scheme could be a powerful mechanism. One that could provide the right relationships and insights to ensure that next generation maritime professionals can move forward in their careers with the necessary levels of empowerment, support, and information.

Focus on ocean

The second part of the day focused on oceans, linking to vision area 1 of the SSI Roadmap to a Sustainable Shipping Industry as well as to the recently announced State of Sustainable Shipping (SoSS) programme, which has received funding from the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

HUB Ocean was the first to present, focusing on the potential of data to support the protection of our ocean and marine biodiversity. HUB Ocean brings together scientists, governments, and industry; and creates opportunities for collaboration, transparency, and data sharing. They emphasised shipping’s role in increasing the knowledge of our oceans, since in addition to using HUB Ocean’s platform, the maritime sector can also contribute data and help create a fuller picture of the state of the ocean.

This was followed by engaging insights from the WWF Global Arctic Programme on the sensitive marine ecosystem and biodiversity in the Arctic and the need for this to be safeguarded. The role of data in enabling conservation work was also emphasised, showcasing tools that can support the mapping of whale migration routes (so-called blue corridors) as well as assess the environmental impacts of Arctic shipping.

This set the scene for an engaging session on the State of Sustainable Shipping programme. Attendees were presented with the progress made and all were brought together to discuss insights gained so far through breakout groups. The session was an opportunity for members to provide inputs on and shape SSI’s future research on Oceans and SoSS.

Closing off day 1, members were encouraged to reflect on the day and their needs and expectations from SSI ahead of day 2. They reflected on the small, open environment SSI member meetings provide for discussion, and the need for sustainability to be a collaborative area where different stakeholders can come together and discuss knowledge gaps and challenges faced. In the evening, everyone was treated to dinner and a tour of the Fram museum, showcasing the first Norwegian vessel built for polar research and to reach the North Pole, highlighting the importance of maritime for discovery and developing our understanding of nature.

Day 2

The second day built on the momentum previously generated, focusing on SSI’s current activities and working groups. The morning was spent on working group updates, providing an opportunity for members to give inputs on, and set the future direction of, the projects SSI is currently engaging in. Focus was also placed on celebrating the successes of the Delivering on seafarers’ rights Code of Conduct as well as last year’s Green Steel in Shipping report.

The day also featured breakout sessions to explore a new SSI focus on sprint challenges. These are a series of short projects with tightly designed goals. In this approach, the research and development are tied to an agile solution-finding process. Split into groups, SSI members took the chance to explore which areas they believe would benefit from this approach, while seeking to ensure they tied into SSI’s goals and member needs.

Member insights

A.P. Moller-Maersk recently had their science-based targets validated – the first company to do so under the shipping guidance released in 2023. They shared the process they underwent to achieve the validation, as well as insights on the maritime guidance. This was followed by a discussion around setting realistic, science-based decarbonisation goals and the challenges that come with it, particularly in terms of the effort required to collect data and establish a credible baseline upon which to base emission reduction targets.

This was followed by a policy session hosted by WWF, where the ongoing MEPC81 talks took centre stage. A summary of developments at the IMO since the adoption of the updated GHG strategy was provided, as well as the proposals currently on the table for the so-called ‘basket of measures’ to be negotiated by Member States, which include considerations of technical (e.g. a GHG fuel standard) and economic elements (e.g. emission pricing).

Finally, the two days were finished off with a set of reflections on SSI engagement and the crucial role that relationships play in the success of SSI as a small organisation. Members were encouraged to share SSI’s work internally within their organisations and to share events on their radar for the remainder of 2024 that could be used to further champion SSI’s work.

On the meeting, KCC’s member representative to SSI, Jarle Kvarneggen, said: “Klaveness Combination Carriers was proud to host the recent Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) meeting. Our goal was to create a setting that would foster a dynamic and engaging atmosphere over two full days. The event’s success, however, was truly driven by the enthusiasm and expertise of our members and guests. Their shared insights, achievements, and challenges were the heart of this productive and invigorating gathering. Through SSI, we gain valuable perspectives from various organizations and businesses throughout the maritime industry’s value chain. This collaboration is a clear testament to our collective potential to make a significant, positive impact, accelerating our journey toward a decarbonized and sustainable shipping industry.”

SSI CEO Steven Jones said: “There is nothing quite like the energy of a group coming together with unified purpose and vision. Through two days we were able to tackle so many sustainability issues, to learn from each other and help drive better and more equitable change moving forward. The maritime community in Oslo, both SSI members and guests, is a wonderful proving ground for the developments which are vital to build on the visions and foundations of sustainable shipping. So, we were extremely grateful to the Klaveness Combination Carriers team for their hospitality, and to everyone who joined us. We built bonds, cemented old and new friendships alike, and saw how the Norwegian scientific and maritime leaders of the past, such as Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen, have so many lessons for our future.” 

Thank you to all the members and guests who attended and spent two days with us in Oslo!