Green shipping can act as a catalyst to help attract smart young recruits to the industry, and drive collaboration and new management approaches.

Combined with faster digitalisation, the sustainable shift can be used by innovative companies to attract a more diverse and creative workforce, the Nor-Shipping opening conference has heard.

“Digital came to shipping late. While there is a passion for innovation, there is now a new driver in town, that’s sustainability,” said Kimberly Mathisen, chief executive officer of HUB Ocean, the digital ocean platform.

Green shipping has the potential to offer both purpose and growth, which is a potent lure for talent, she said. “Young people are not prepared to go anywhere, be anywhere and stay anywhere.”

The green shift will also drive cross-industry collaboration, said Alexandra Bech Gjorv, president and CEO of SINTEF.

Shipping companies now must collaborate with energy companies and create green corridors as the industry starts to move away from oil as a fuel.

“The oil and gas sector and shipping sector used to have nothing in common, but now they have to share risks across the value chain in this era of hyper complexity,” Bech Gjorv said.

Collaboration will also be the key to technology development, said Morten Fon, president and CEO of Jotun. Its HullSkater cleaning system was a collaboration with Kongsberg, Telenor and DNV, and others.

Hedda Felin, CEO of Hurtigruten Norge, said it had recently launched a partnership with SINTEF to deliver zero-emission ships along the Norwegian coast

Bech Gjorv said the ultimate aim of the project was not just infrastructure for Hurtigurten. “We need to create an attractive infrastructure that will be sustainable for many players.”

“This will not be a revolution, but evolution. This is a change of culture from inside. We have graduate programmes in the Middle East and Asia delivering talent into the company that we haven’t seen before.”

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