Reflections on Singapore Maritime Week 2022

Steen Lund, RightShip CEO considers his experiences during Singapore Maritime Week.

It’s been a month now since I enjoyed the absolute whirlwind of activity that was Singapore Maritime Week. My feet hardly touched the ground during those five days, as I met with old friends and forged new relationships - it felt fantastic to be back among maritime people, in rooms awash with passion and purpose. At RightShip we believe in a maritime industry that causes zero harm, and I’m pleased to say it’s a sentiment that is shared by many others.   

However, this was not always the case, as we at RightShip well know. As an organisation born out of terrible circumstances - following the Ships of Shame investigation in the early nineties, brought by the Australian Government after the loss of nearly 100 seafarers - our existence is thanks to the actions of visionaries in the industry, who understood status quo was not an option. You might call that moment the early days of ESG.  

They could easily have taken another path, denied responsibility or dismissed the seriousness of the events which took place, as many did at that time during the investigations. But our shareholders did not do that.  

Instead, they set about creating a world where vessels carrying their cargo were vetted thoroughly, inspected with great skill and professionalism and assessed as safe. That ambition broadened as they shared that offer with others. This legacy has carried RightShip through more than 20 years and more than 646,000 vetting requests, and I’m proud to say we’re now being recognised as one of the world’s leading maritime digital platforms.  

But we know that the conversation is wider than just the governance leading to the safety of ships, though this is undeniably important. It’s also about the bigger picture - the ‘E’ and the ‘S’ that make up the acronym on many people’s lips - ESG. 

Environmental concerns and social aspects of the maritime industry matter more than ever before. These concepts have been on our radar for some time – our GHG Rating and Carbon Accounting solutions reinforce our vision of zero harm across the maritime industry by allowing charterers to see very clearly the emissions produced by the ships they choose, and to account for the journeys they make.  

But the pandemic has brought this picture into sharper focus for many others as well. As the world slowed down and, in many places stopped, skies cleared, and people around the world could literally see the effects of reducing emissions above their cities and towns. 

Glasgow’s COP26 climate change conference and the changes being made to legislation around the world - referenced by my colleague Aishwarya Iyer in her excellent piece for World Earth Day - are making those who might not have been ready before realising they too will have to disclose and report on climate-related financial information.  

At RightShip, we’re ready and willing to support this change. As a trusted innovation partner, we want to support others to chart a safe, sustainable and socially conscious future - through our ESG-focused maritime digital platform. And we know we cannot do this alone. The ideas we’re taking on are momentous - our ambition is huge. We want ideas - we want to meet, talk to and collaborate with passionate professionals who share that same vision. 

So that’s why we’re attending industry leading events like Singapore Maritime Week, NorShipping, Connecticut Maritime Association 2022 and Posidonia. We’re calling for partners and looking for leaders to speak up and speak out on why this matters, people who will say ‘yes, I’m willing to show what good looks like’. 

And RightShip? We can provide the backbone, the data, the measurability. We can be the voice holding industry to account – for cleaner, healthier air, seas, and oceans; safe modern maritime working environments; and vessels that meet the highest of standards of vetting and inspections that allow seafarers to enjoy meaningful employment in a safe and motivating environment.