Insights into the current state-of-play from Ilja Siebert, Stolt Tank Containers’ Head of Sustainability & SHEQ.
Having already served as Stolt Tank Containers’ SHEQ manager for Europe since 2014, taking on the extra responsibility of overseeing Sustainability and SHEQ worldwide in 2022 was a natural progression for both Ilja and the company. His appointment to this role ensures experience and continuity, at a time when Stolt Tank Containers is seriously ramping up Sustainability, Safety and Compliance activities.
Sustainability covers a very broad scope, as clearly illustrated by the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. So what does Sustainability mean within the context of Stolt Tank Containers?
Ilja: “Stolt Tank Containers is doing its part to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the shipping chain, we operate in, by offering ever-greener solutions to our customers, reducing the consumption of resources in depots, and protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems.” Commitments which are in line with Sustainable Development Goals 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), 13 (Climate Action) and 15 (Life on Land).
“We’re reducing our environmental footprint via every available avenue, while also ensuring we become a more responsible employer, as a truly inclusive company that provides equal opportunities and fair pay.
“All of which adds up to a more sustainable offering to our customers.”
Aligned with stakeholders’ needs
To make sure sustainability actions are heading in the right direction, Stolt Tank Containers made a point of checking in with stakeholders, including key customers and regulatory authorities, to establish which topics and priorities they felt we should focus on.
Ilja: “We conducted a stakeholder survey and used the results to produce a materiality assessment, which is a descriptive view of Stolt Tank Containers’ position in the supply chain and which elements are most important for us to focus on. This revealed that our main priorities should be measuring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing water consumption, avoiding waste wherever possible and minimising what is sent to landfill, as well as assuring health and safety, governance and being a truly inclusive company.
“Based on this, we identified which actions would make the most significant impact, established a clear set of objectives and made a plan, which we are now executing. Externally, we are working with vendors and customers to reduce scope 3 emissions. Internally, we’re reducing emissions from our own locations by decarbonising resource needs, reusing (cleaning) water, minimising waste and sending zero waste to landfill, all while minimising consumption of resources in the first place. A reporting tool has been set up to track progress of each.”
Stolt Tank Containers is currently defining its baseline for reporting on GHG emissions and consumption of resources. At the same time, it’s acting to reduce these through teaming up with key vendors to find greener modes of transport, as well as reusing tank container parts, minimising consumption of water and chemicals in tank cleaning, and replacing fossil-origin fuel and energy used for powering offices and depots with more sustainable options.
Ilja: “Over the course of 2022, we succeeded in reducing our depots’ scope 1 & 2 emissions by 15%, as well as decreasing our water consumption for tank cleaning by 21%.
“During 2023, we are planning to introduce a Scope 3 emissions calculator for customers, through which they’ll receive reports on their transport emissions from shipping with us. This will be complemented with a new “green” quoting tool, through which they’ll be able to select shipping options based on emissions, as well as by price and speed. For example, there will be options to switch-out modalities and choose electric or hydrogen-powered transport. All this will be made available through our online MySTC platform.”
Dedicated to the cause
As a father of three who lives in a small village, Ilja feels a close connection with the importance of having a safe and sustainable environment, both at home and at work. “As SHEQ manager since 2014, and as Vice Chairman of the Group Works Council, I’ve been in a perfect position to influence Health & Safety and employee wellbeing at work. Now my role also extends to Sustainability, placing more emphasis on the “E” in SHEQ – the Environment – if you like, I also get to make a difference for everybody.
“My education in environmental technology and innovation management gave me a perfect grounding for the remit I’m now tasked with, constantly seeking more efficient, innovative solutions for the day-to-day issues Stolt Tank Containers has to contend with. I came to this company knowing I wanted to help develop its ambitions to become more sustainable and inclusive, as I truly believe this pays off for people, planet and the company’s own prosperity.”
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