Thursday 22nd Nov, 2018

Saving sailors, now saving the planet

Warwick Norman (right) with Ian French of the Master Mariners. Photo: David Sexton
Warwick Norman (right) with Ian French of the Master Mariners. Photo: David Sexton

RIGHTSHIP founder Warwick Norman has explained how the group has expanded from a safety focus to one of environmental sustainability as well.

Mr Norman delivered the Boulton Lecture at a Master Mariners’ dinner in Melbourne, an event where he was also honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award signed by the Governor-General.

Entitled The Long Voyage to Safety – Changing the Industry Vet by Vet, Mr Norman’s lecture outlined the origins of Rightship, recent developments and general trends.

He noted the increased push towards higher environmental standards.

“A real milestone for Rightship was the development of our greenhouse gas emissions rating scheme.

“In 2008/09, the world was really starting to come to grips with global warming…”

As was noted at the time, “Rightship moved on from saving seafarers to saving the planet”,” he said.

“We thought we were in a position where we were able to influence a platform. We had a platform and we had the enthusiasm to go about doing this.” RightShip’s GHG Emissions Rating system effectively measures Carbon Dioxide output from individual vessels.

“It has been widely taken up by industry. It has been a widely used… it allows charters to select the most efficient vessels that they can from the fleet and from the market as is available,” Mr Norman said.

“So we got a bit cheeky by this stage and really wanted to push the industry along.”

Mr Norman had earlier outlined some of Rightship’s origins, noting serious maritime accidents and the ‘Ships of Shame’ report from the early 1990s.

Among the key themes identified was that “the buck didn’t stop with the ship’s master”.

“One of the early decisions, and a fantastic decision by those on the board at that stage, was we were determined not to push sub-standard shipping to somewhere else in the world.

“It would have been easy for us to just stop a ship coming to Australia, look after our shareholders and push it down to Brazil,” he said.

“But when we discussed it with the board, it was (deemed) an unacceptable outcome and so I was asked to go after the Brazilians and get them on board with the idea.”

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