‘WE MUST MAKE SUSTAINABILITY MORE CONCRETE’
Pia Christine Helland advises customers in shipping and ocean industries. She has now decided to go back to school to learn even more about sustainability.
‘Ocean Industries is a very interesting area in DNB to work in at the moment. A lot of restructuring is taking place and new environmental requirements are being made of ocean industries. It’s therefore good for me to learn more about sustainability,’ says Pia Christine Helland.
Helland is Senior Vice President of Ocean Industries in DNB, and a business graduate from NHH.
‘NEED TO KNOW A LOT’
‘Do DNB customers ask for this type of knowledge?’
‘Definitely. This is both a relevant and an exciting area that we need to know a lot about. DNB’s long-term profitability depends on our customers integrating sustainability into their strategic choices,’ says Helland and elaborates:
‘We see that our customers both want and have to invest in sustainability to rationalise, save costs, meet their stakeholders’ expectations, obtain access to sustainable capital and take advantage of new business opportunities – i.e. to be competitive.'
Helland also gets more and more environmental, social and governance (ESG) questions from customers. ‘These processes make it very clear that customers and advisers alike need to raise their competence.
TAKING RESPONSIBILITY TOGETHER
Helland worked for many years in the bank on shipping , which is now part of Ocean Industries, a division established by the bank a few years back.
‘A number of the segments in Ocean Industries operate in the same value chain, and there are major sustainability benefits to exploit in the industry.'
DNB, along with several of the world’s leading shipping banks, established the Poseidon Principles in 2019. The joint framework and methods enable the banks to measure and report the carbon footprint of their shipping portfolios, in relation to the IMO targets. More than 80 per cent of goods that are transported between continents do so by sea. The benefit to the environment of reduced emissions from the vessels travelling the world’s oceans will be huge.
CLIMATE-FRIENDLY SHIPPING PORTFOLIOS
‘The goal is for shipping portfolios to be more climate-friendly, which will make an important contribution to achieving the two-degree target. The Poseidon Principles enable us to better understand the climate risk among the customers we lend to and in the banks’ loan portfolios,’ she says and underlines:
‘We also want to provide good advice on more climate neutral operation. There is an emerging trend where loans to ships and projects in ocean industries are furnished to those that can demonstrate lower emissions.
This is evident, she believes, in the development of more sustainable products, such as sustainability-linked loans and bonds.
‘We also have a strong focus on recycling and clauses on scrapping of ships. DNB has worked actively on what is known as the Responsible Ship Recycling Standards initiative in the shipping industry since 2017. All new and refinanced loans from DNB in 2020 to ship-owners of mortgaged ships contained a clause on responsible ship recycling.
It is more than 20 years since Helland was last a student NHH.
‘Coming back to NHH is great fun. A lot has happened since I left. Not least, when it comes to developments in education. The lecturers no longer hold monologues, there’s a dialogue between us and them. The teaching is very inclusive and dynamic. This creates engagement and a good arena for learning.'