The SDGs as a lever for growth in the maritime industry

Sustainability and the green transition is already a key focus in the maritime industry. But how can the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) be a lever for growing the bottom line of maritime companies? Over the next 7 months, nine maritime companies will work intensely with this challenge. They will be part of the Maritime SDG Accelerator together with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the industry association Danish Maritime. On the 23d of June 2021, the companies will start their innovation journey.

The global maritime industry faces many sustainability challenges and especially green solutions are needed. The maritime industry in Denmark is renowned for being innovative and at the forefront of the green transformation. In the Maritime SDG Accelerator, the nine maritime companies, incl. Danish Maritime, will work to develop new business solutions that contribute to sustainable development and their bottom line.

The program is initiated by Danish Maritime and the UNDP with support from the Danish Maritime Foundation. The program is implemented in collaboration with the vendor Rainmaking Innovation, which is an innovation and venture-building firm with strong experience from the maritime industry.

Jenny Braat, CEO of Danish Maritime, is looking forward to getting started:

"Getting the SDGs strategically anchored in the companies will strengthen competitiveness, which is incredibly important right now. The Danish maritime industry is one of the most globalized industries. If the companies approach this in the right way, we will be able to document that the SDG agenda can be used for innovation and growth. Sustainability has - fortunately - become a global competitive parameter, where we have strong know-how in Denmark. The clarity in this context helps to make the individual company more attractive to investors, partners and employees who want to make a sustainable difference," says Jenny Braat.

A vital element of the program is that the experiences and lessons learned are shared with the rest of the maritime industry to strengthen the sector's competitiveness as a whole. At the same time, the Maritime SDG Accelerator aims to motivate and inspire other maritime companies to use their capabilities to develop new business solutions to the challenges described by the 17 SDGs and 169 sub-targets.

In general, there is a huge interest in the SDGs in the maritime industry. A survey among Danish Maritime's members, shows, that more and more maritime companies are working with the SDGs. However, many are still unsure of how they can integrate the SDGs.

Specifically, the survey shows:

  • 2 out of 3 maritime companies already works with elements of the SDGs as part of their strategy, especially in relation to business development.
  • Almost 1 in 3 companies expects to start working with the SDGs this year and a little over half state that they will start at a later stage. 1 in 6 responds that they do not plan to work with the SDGs at all.
  • Five SDGs receive the most attention: SDG 7) Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 9) Industry, innovation and infrastructure, SDG 12) Responsible consumption and production, SDG 13) Climate actions and SDG 14) Life below water.
  • Almost 1 in every 5 companies are uncertain about the commercial advantages of the SDGs.
  • 4 out of 10 believes that it is possible to document their work with the SDGs, while 3 in 10 think the opposite.

One of the companies involved in the the program is Viking Life-Saving Equipment, located in Esbjerg - one of the world's largest manufacturers of maritime safety equipment. CEO, Henrik Uhd Christensen says:

"We appreciate collaborating with the UNDP, Rainmaking and Danish Maritime on this significant, joint effort to create new solutions that contribute towards agenda2030. VIKING has consistently high ambitions within the SDGs. Our expectations for developing sustainable solutions in the Maritime SDG Accelerator - in a partnership with such unique and strong partners - are high. The program will contribute to concrete results and to meet our aim of protecting and saving lives all over the world," says Henrik Uhd Christensen.

Together with Rainmaking Innovation, UNDP will be the driving force in the project for the next 7 months. In the process, companies are supported to go in-depth and develop concrete, commercial products, services or business models with a significant impact on the SDGs. The Maritime SDG Accelerator is based on the experience and methodology of UNDP's Copenhagen office, which has been developed from similar accelerator programs. Along the way, companies will, go through an innovation journey with virtual workshops, physical sessions and homework, where they go from ideation to the development of an implementation plan for their sustainable business solutions.

"The Maritime SDG Accelerator is a unique opportunity to bring the Danish maritime industry's solutions into play in partnerships that cut across the maritime value chain and thereby work to preserve and ensure sustainable use of the world's oceans and our common resources. This benfits all of us, including life in the oceans," says Camilla Brückner, Director of UNDP's Nordic Office.

Facts

UNDP (United Nations Development Program) is the UN's leading development organization and is present in more than 170 countries and territories in the world.

Rainmaking Innovation is an innovation and venture company based in Denmark with offices in 10 countries https://rainmaking.io/

The participating companies in this project are: MAN Energy Solutions, PJ Diesel, VIKING Life-Saving Equipment, Insatech, Rohde Nielsen, Svanehøj Group, Fayard, Scanel and Danske Maritime.

You can follow the companies' work in the Maritime SDG Accelerator on the website https://www.sdg-accelerator.org/ and https://danskemaritime.dk/tema-verdensmaalene/

More information

Cecilie Lykkegaard, Danish Maritime, +45 31 60 85 91, [email protected] Camilla Marie Thiele, UNDP, +45 21 69 00 64, [email protected]

Disclaimer: “The use of the United Nations Development Programme name or emblem or any abbreviation thereof does not imply that UNDP endorses any of the companies’ (or its affiliates’) products or services.”

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