Getting to know Jon Lane, RightShip’s new Environment Manager

We’re welcoming Jon Lane to RightShip as our new Environment Manager, from a position with the UK Ministry of Defence, Defence Equipment and Support. We find out a little more about what motivates him, and what he hopes to bring to RightShip.

Could you tell us a little about your background?

I’m an environmental professional with a decade of experience in Environmental Management Systems, sustainability projects and innovation. What that means is that I’ve been working with various organisations around the world to help them:

  • work out their environmental impact,
  • establish challenging but realistic targets they need to set to reduce those impacts,
  • research, collaborate, develop and implement change,
  • educate people within their organisations, and then
  • check and report on progress against those aims and identify opportunities for improvement.

I’ve enjoyed the last six years of my career in the maritime sector, both working onboard vessels and from a ship acquisition and support perspective. That’s included my role at the civil service and working for a large leisure company - Carnival UK - and a smaller specialist cruise company in the form of Crystal.

Why have you chosen to join RightShip?

The opportunity to join a well-established, market leading maritime ESG-led organisation that has a dynamic and forward-thinking team, was too good to miss. I have a Masters in Sustainability from the University of Leeds and one of the first projects I ever did, involved going out to China to run a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) accounting project for a first-tier supplier into big hardware stores.

The project was in conjunction with the charity World Wildlife Fund Hong Kong, seeing how we could incentivise organisations to clean up their supply chains. Focussing on Scope 1 and 2 emissions, we achieved certification based on how much the organisation could reduce emissions, with the concept being that better environmental performance both retains and increases customers.

This fits neatly with the solutions RightShip offer, such as the GHG Rating and Carbon Accounting. I’ve seen the work RightShip are doing with places like the Port of Quebec and their EcoCargo scheme, which incentivises ship owners and charterers to reduce emissions with reduced berthing costs, and I’m keen to use my previous experiences to keep pushing change in that area.

What are you most looking forward to?

I’m a great believer in making things simple. Environmental, Social and Governance, or ESG is the acronym on everyone’s lips now and it is a convenient way to group the kind of actions we need to take into one package. But people need to understand what it really means.

During my time as an Environmental Officer completing compliance training onboard cruise ships, I’d have to simplify and grade quite technical language for multi-national colleagues working in different fields with varying audiences ranging from 100 to 1,000 crew.

I don’t want to dumb things down too far, of course, but to bring others along with us on a sustainability journey, they must understand what we’re saying, what they need to do and what they’re going to get out of it personally.

I’m hopeful that my experiences will help influence organisations who need support with their reporting, so that we can ease the burden of meeting the challenging decarbonisation and environmental targets set for the industry.

What are your thoughts on sustainability in the maritime industry?

The scope in this role to work with lots of different partners and peers having a positive impact – to engage, learn and educate is fantastic.

The maritime industry has twin challenges ahead in the form of increasing decarbonisation and managing biodiversity. I look forward to figuring out how I can advance those aims, perhaps through partnerships with other organisations. The record-breaking heatwaves across Europe throughout 2022 have certainly highlighted to me the need for the maritime industry to continue to drive towards decarbonisation.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to cycle around London, visiting different spots and I’m also a big fan of creating and watching music – I love to play the guitar. Surfing is my other passion and making sure we’re taking care of the marine environment and waterways in Britain and beyond is something that really moves me.

What superpower would you like and why?

I can speak a little Mandarin and Spanish from my time living overseas, but when you don’t use it, you lose it. So, I think I’d like the power of being able to speak to anyone, in any language, at any time.