ESG Director Jon August Houge explained how Siem Offshore reduces fuel consumption and climate emissions in its fleet.

What do sustainable development goals translate to in your company, and how do you go from words to action?

This is what representatives of four GCE NODE companies have been working on during a 4-week course at the GCE NODE Business Development Lab in Kristiansand, defining challenges and methods in their approach to sustainability.

«Sustainable business» is a program aimed at GCE NODE companies that pursue a structured and systematic approach to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. On 25 May, the course concluded with presentations of how the companies communicate their commitment to sustainability.

Shipping company Siem Offshore had four employees follow the course, including ESG Director Jon August Houge. He says Siem Offshore recently joined GCE NODE to get input and inspiration in its work with sustainability. Houge described the course as very useful.

“A year ago, we established an internal group that works specifically with sustainability. During this course, we have received a lot of valuable input on how we can set concrete goals and have our management team commit to them,” says Houge.

He adds: “The course has also given us a broader professional network. We bring with us valuable experience from other companies that deal with the same challenges as we do.”

Houge says the most important learning point for Siem was the methods for implementing sustainability in the group’s daily operations and setting clear goals.

“With renewed vigor, we will present our conclusions to the management very soon,” says Houge.

Vinje Industri in action at the Business Development Lab during the course.

HMH and subsidiary Frontica were also pleased with the course. According to Project Manager Cathrine Torjussen Simonsen, her team came away with a good platform for continued work on sustainability in both companies.

“We have shared thoughts and experiences, worked in groups, and inspired each other. I have no problem recommending this course to others,” says Simonsen.

In her presentation, Simonsen described some of the companies’ most important goals for the future; assist in making oil rigs cleaner, and increase investment in renewable industries, including offshore wind and aquaculture.

During four sessions of «Sustainable business», the participants have explored what sustainability can mean for person and company, what challenges and opportunities it presents, and how digital trends and technologies are related to sustainability.

Participants have discussed ways to map climate footprint, how to deal with documentation, requirements, and certifications – and how to utilize sustainability as a selling point without committing greenwashing.

GCE NODE lab leaders Jan Helge Viste and Isabelle-Louise Aabel were assisted by volunteer coaches Hanne Nyborg Watts (Arendals Fossekompani), Bjørn Henrik Brandtenborg (Miljøfyrtårn) and Elin Andersen Sandal (self-employed).

The four companies in attendance were Siem Offshore, HMH/Frontica, Globetech, and Vinje Industri.

Cathrine Torjussen Simonsen, Project Manager at engineering company Frontica, said that her company is working on improving equipment design to contribute to cleaner oil rigs.