Today’s shipping company is no different than any other company in the world. Those ahead of the game will get a larger share of future business, and those not will miss the boat.

How to stay ahead?

THINK LIKE A MILLENIAL – think sustainable

Sustainability is a key concern for the millennials generation. A lot of companies still believe that they should prioritize short term profits above sustainability. However, some of the most successful companies think differently.

Like land-based leaders,  shipping companies that embrace sustainability in the services and products they provide, will be the winners. 

Sustainability considerations drive consumers’ purchases

MEASURE IMPACT – and set targets 

It’s time to smell the roses. There’s a huge sustainability shift taking place and the financial and ethical stakes are higher than ever. Sitting on the sidelines waiting for the sustainability trend to disappear, is short sighted with disastrous consequences.

Professional communications and good intentions are no longer enough. Investors—both large and small—are ramping up sustainable investment strategies focused on environmental, social and governance issues. If in doubt read the Forbes article: Companies Must Take The Higher Road Toward a Sustainable Future. The first step to tackling sustainability is to gather robust data on your strengths and weaknesses. By measuring impact, working with suppliers and third-party analysts, shipping companies can reduce emissions and the destruction of ocean eco environments increase of harmful invasive species, puts environmental performance on your business agenda.

The future growth of shipping companies – unable to document environmental performance and sustainable practices – is at risk.


We have reached a turning point. It is no longer just about raising the ceiling; it is about lifting the floor. The time has come for bold and scalable solutions, not just from a few leading companies, but from companies of all sizes and across all sectors who need to transition from making commitments to taking concrete actions.

It’s clear that sustainability is a megatrend that simply isn’t going away, says Knut Haanaes, Professor of Strategy and International Management at IMD. All businesses must embrace sustainability.

Leaders – according the world’s largest classification company DNV GL – put sustainable practices at the heart of their business model. Sustainability lies in the core of our economy, something that becomes evident by taking into account the realistic parameters of economic growth (environmental consequences and raw materials limitations) and not an ideal scenario, which has been the business as usual growth model. Can you afford not being sustainable.

As the expectations on corporate responsibility increase, and as transparency becomes more prevalent, companies are recognizing the need to act on sustainability.


Saga Shipholding is a leader, in all respects. The first shipowner to install BWTS throughout its entire fleet of 32 advanced open hatch cargo vessels,  Saga is also the world’s first shipowner to fit USCG compliant BWT systems throughout a fleet of this magnitude.

Nils Otto Bjorhovde, Saga Technical Manager

“We’re a global shipping firm, so present and future global BWT compliance is an absolute must to ensure we can be as flexible as our customers’ demands. I’m very satisfied to say we now have that across our entire fleet,” says Technical Manager Nils Otto Bjorhovde.

To achieve sustainability, companies have to be action centric.

Taking action to IMO and USCG compliant, was the right decision for Saga.”We always knew we’d made the right decision with Optimarin and that was proven when they became the first company to receive USCG approval in December 2016,” states Bjorhovde.


Latest research from the USA show that “companies with strong accountability systems – board oversight, clear policies on human rights and environmental management, active stakeholder engagement and disclosure – in many cases also have strong results on greenhouse gas emissions, use of renewable energy, strong work with suppliers, as well as driving sustainability into product and services. (Source: Guardian)

50% rise in sustainability attitude


Delaying capital investment in ballast water treatment systems might be considered a financially attractive option, but this is a short-term view, writes Safety4Sea, a leading maritime news channel. 

Shipowners need to carefully consider the long-term implications of not being able to trade with any ports in countries that have enforced the Convention, including raising asset value of their vessel and future-proofing their fleet to meet standards now and in the future, writes Safety4Sea.

Installing ballast water treatment systems demands action and confidence in the reliability and integrity of the system is critical. Shipowners and operators will come under ever increasing scrutiny from customers and regulators.

Delays with port state control, fines and potential reputational damage, have consequences. Those who take a proactive, long-term view regarding compliance will realise the commercial benefits…those who don’t will be left behind. Staying ahead of the game is all about proving why customers should do business with you.