Steen S. Karstensen, CEO

Business and sustainability do not contradict each other but can actually go hand in hand.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outline the most pressing and important issues for our global society. To achieve these 17 ambitious goals, engagement from multiple stakeholders is needed. The business communities are a vital component as companies hold capabilities and resources. There is a dual upside for companies. They play a role in achieving a better and more sustainable future for us all and link this to new business and growth opportunities.

In Maersk Supply Service, we have a decade-long track record in specialised maritime solutions and operations. By connecting our experience and capabilities with the UN SDGs, we have identified three areas where we, in Maersk Supply Service, have an opportunity to contribute in an impactful way:

  • Restoring Ocean Health (SDG)
  • Transitioning towards renewable energy (SDG)
  • Decarbonising our industry (SDG)

Restoring Ocean Health

In Maersk Supply Service, we sail the oceans every day. Our seafarers see first-hand the issue of plastic pollution floating in the seas.

Accordingly, when we heard about the non-profit organisation, The Ocean Cleanup, which aims to clean the oceans from plastic, we saw a match – and opportunity to share our business expertise. Our maritime knowledge, our vessels and The Ocean Cleanup’s innovative system could collectively make a difference in trying to solve one of the largest environmental issues on the planet.

The partnership became a reality in 2018 when one of our large specialised vessels, the Maersk Launcher, towed the world’s first large-scale clean-up system 1200 nautical miles west of San Francisco to the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This is one of the areas of highest concentration of floating plastic collecting in the oceans.

We hope – together with many others – that these clean-up systems, over time, will make a real difference for Life Below Water – UN SDGs 14.

Transitioning towards Renewable Energy

It is with a similar approach that we are entering other industries. In Maersk Supply Service, we have extensive experience in towing and mooring large floating constructions. This is the expertise we have gained by supporting oil and gas customers for five decades. Now we see value in applying this knowledge to support other industries. One of the markets where we especially see opportunities is the installation of floating wind turbines.

In addition, we are currently developing a unique and innovative concept which, when tested, will hopefully enable the industry to significantly speed up the installation time for bottom fixed turbines, resulting in direct cost savings as well as faster grid connection. All in all, it makes a positive and vital difference in the pursuit of making offshore wind more competitive in the future.

Here we see our capabilities supporting the UN SDGs 7 and 13 – Affordable and Clean Energy and Climate Change.

Decarbonising our industry

We all have a role to play when it comes to climate change, and as a vessel operator, we can see that the vast majority of our CO2 emissions come from fuel consumption on our vessels. Therefore, we place our efforts on decarbonization, where we can make the most impact.

In 2018, we intensified the decarbonisation journey, introducing a programme to increase energy efficiency awareness among our seafarers. Not to mention, this was ‘simply’ by raising awareness. We can achieve more in this space, and we need to keep a sharp focus on global benefits.

We have also turned our sights onto technology upgrades such as installing batteries, frequency drives and use of biofuel. We consider every step as progress – and even the small changes matter. As part of A. P. Møller-Maersk, we are also involved in the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping which aims to develop the first zero-emission vessel by 2030.

Here we see our capabilities supporting the UN SDGs 12 and 13 – Responsible Consumption and Production and Climate Change.

Our vision

In Maersk Supply Service, our vision is ‘actively taking part in solving the energy challenges of tomorrow’. The important part for me to underline is ‘taking part’. We cannot solve global issues on our own. However, we know where we can make an impact – and in partnerships, we can do more.

For us, it is about finding the areas where our capabilities can make the greatest difference – often in combination with other companies, NGOs or research institutes.

Supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals aligns with our vision, and thereby supporting growth and innovation within our business. Business and sustainability do not contradict each other but can actually go hand in hand.

Read more about our sustainability initiatives here.

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