IBIA on the right track
Dear members and friends,
This is my last editorial letter as the chairman of IBIA after serving 2 x 3 years in the board, the last two as the chairman. It is now time for a change of guards. I think this is a good time to do a bit of reflection of the time I have spent in the board and the development that IBIA in that period has gone through.
When I first joined the board, we had a big challenge on the 2020 transition that we were working on. And we had not yet set our eyes on neither the green transition or imagined the world being haunted by a global pandemic that would limit the traditional gatherings, courses and events that are a great part of the work that IBIA is doing.
Looking back at that time, the 2020 challenge somehow seems rather small compared to what came after, both on the green transition, but surely also on the Covid-19 impact to both the industry and IBIA.
Covid-19 gave IBIA some major challenges, as part of our offerings was conferences, courses and events that served to support the purpose of IBIA as an industry platform. Our offerings were also part of the financial platform supporting IBIA’s running costs.
That challenge we have overcome and we have adapted to a more virtual and online platform, and today we again have an IBIA in balance. When that is said, it is still of great importance that you continue to support IBIA, both as a member but also by actively participating in IBIA events, courses and conventions. Thus, a big thank you for the great support IBIA is receiving from you every day.
The green transition was an enabler for IBIA to set our three targets, as the complexity on this is larger and more diverse than the 2020 transition. To cope with this, we knew that the traditional IBIA structure needed a future proof development, hence we decided back in time to establish a global regional structure in the five large regions: Asia, Africa, Americas, Middle East and Europe.
This was done with the purpose of ensuring that IBIA understood both the global and regional perspective and added more dedicated and engaged resources to support the IBIA work globally. Today, when I see how both the Asia and the Africa board have more than proven themselves on this task, I am confident that this was the right move to get IBIA on the right track. Furthermore, it also prepared IBIA for the future complexity we as an industry face, and I look forward to following the establishment of the next two regional boards for Americas and the Middle East, which both are scheduled for launch
Besides the internal IBIA structure, the green transition in itself is one of the three major key points IBIA is focusing on. With a specific focus on the 2030 and 2050 deadlines, a very visible action on IBIA’s work in this regard is the establishment of an Alternative Fuels working group, under the leadership of IBIA board member Constantinos Capetanakis from Starbulk.
This group has worked on mapping the most likely future energy products and gathered data that will enable IBIA’s members to better navigate the green future we are all are approaching. The group has done an amazing amount of work that will soon be available. This kind of work and the sharing of results capture the purpose and role of IBIA, where we see IBIA as the platform for our industry to meet, discuss and learn from each other. A purpose that for the green transition has become even more important, as only if we work as a team and across companies and interests, we will successfully be able to overcome the 2030 and 2050 targets for green transition.
For me this kind of delivery from an IBIA working group provides direct value to the members of IBIA. Great work and a big thank you to all who have participated in this!
The third focus area from IBIA has been the Bunker License and MFM use, where again our working group on this matter have recently launched a membership survey in cooperation with BIMCO. IBIA’s ambition is to create greater alignment and transparency across bunker ports and strengthen the credibility of our industry by the use of MFM. But in addition to that, IBIA’s wish was also to strengthen the basis on which the future green transition and new products can be implemented in
a more standardized setting across the major bunker hubs.
So, when I look back, I feel proud of the development that IBIA has gone through and how we as a united organisation have overcome the challenges we’ve met along the way, adapted to the new realities and stand prepared for what the future will bring.
Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to thank my fellow board members, present and past, the secretariat and all the other key stakeholders for a great time while being an IBIA board member and chairman. It has been a voyage that I wouldn’t want to be without.