Passing the green point of no return
There was a time not so many years ago that ‘environmental concern’ was a contradiction in terms; for the most part nobody gave the environment much thought, or had to.
That time gave way to an age of environmental awakening; regulators got to work, and industry leaders began extending their leadership activities into the environmental realm. However, that age of awakening is now ending.
We are passing a ‘green point of no return’ as the new age of environmental impact begins.
From here on it should be anticipated that new environmental compliance cost and consequences may be felt throughout the supply chain.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen accepts this new reality and, in keeping with our new environmental strategy, seeks out ‘Lean:Green’ solutions - those that are both economically and environmentally sustainable. With our Lean:Green approach we create value for our customers by minimising regulatory impact and risk.
Four-stream compliance approach
One good example of our proactive approach concerns the 2020 global sulphur cap change. It is undoubtedly good news in terms of both health and the environment, however it will also have greater impact on industry than any previous regulation.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen believes there is no ‘silver bullet’ solution for compliance, which is why we have been pursuing a four-stream compliance approach.
Post January 1st, 2020 we will comply through use of three of those four streams namely: Marine Gas Oil (MGO), exhaust gas scrubbers and Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (ULSFO). The fourth stream, Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) has so far not met the requirements of Lean:Green for RoRo vessels in global operation.
In the view of Wallenius Wilhelmsen, choosing a diversified compliance approach is the best way to protect the interests of our customers in the uncertain times ahead.
Looking to the more distant horizon we know there will be more big changes ahead. At Wallenius Wilhelmsen we always try to anticipate them by always pushing back the technical boundaries with each new build series.
With our latest HERO vessels, the design emphasis shifted from building ever larger vessels to ones that are even more flexible. The HEROs have five hoistable decks allowing them to perfectly adapt to the profile of cargo on the market. It can be easily overlooked, but utilisation is often the factor that plays the biggest role in vessel efficiency. That is doubly important when it’s considered that high efficiency and low emissions per tonne kilometre go hand in hand.
Being aware of the changing business environment isn’t just about new vessels though. How vessels are recycled at the end of their working lives is increasingly in focus.
Some very large and influential global investors are pulling out of shipping companies that break up vessels on beaches, a practice that can have dire social and environmental consequences. As a result, there is an increasing reputational risk in doing business with companies that still beach vessels, especially if selling to consumer markets. In short, the ghosts of the past can come back to haunt you.
That is not a risk with Wallenius Wilhelmsen though. We are proud to confirm we have been responsibly recycling old tonnage in proper, craned berths for over twenty years, which shows again the ever increasing value of choosing a sustainable business partner.