Shipping experts visit Wartsila Helsinki Campus

Shipping experts visit Wärtsilä’s Helsinki Campus

Early in February 2019, over thirty women, members of the Finnish branch of the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) gathered in Wärtsilä’s Helsinki Campus for an event. The theme of the event was Wärtsilä: leading the way towards zero-emission shipping.

Text: David J. Cord Photo: Marja Väänänen

“A couple times a year we find and visit a different company,” explains Leena Vedenpää, Quality Manager of Arctech and Secretary of the WISTA Finland Board. “Wärtsilä is important in the maritime sector and we were curious about the new offices, so we contacted our member Johanna Fräki to see if we could visit. We want to know more about Wärtsilä and see where it is going.”

WISTA is an international networking organisation with about 3,000 members internationally and 150 in Finland. “We are a diverse group of specialists and executives from all across the shipping and maritime industry, such as lawyers, insurance experts and ship captains. We meet to network, make new connections and stay in contact with old friends in the industry,” says Vedenpää.

Shipping experts visit Wartsila Helsinki Campus2
Leena Vedenpää, Quality Manager of Arctech and Secretary of the WISTA Finland Board, and Johanna Fräki, Innovation Director at Wärtsilä’s Marine Business.

WISTA’s mission is to attract and support women experts in the maritime, trading and logistics sectors. While gender diversity has been proven to be correlated with profitability and value creation, the International Transport Workers’ Federation estimates that only two per cent of the global maritime workforce are women.

This is a challenge Wärtsilä is working hard to address. In 2018, 17% of Wärtsilä’s employees were women, ranking the company much higher than the industry average. Wärtsilä also continues to improve: almost 24% of new hires in 2018 were women, and women make up 25% of Wärtsilä’s Board of Directors.

Shipping experts visit Wartsila Helsinki Campus7
Johanna Fräki, Innovation Director at Wärtsilä’s Marine Business.

Digitalisation to make it a level playing field for women?

“We need to have this organisation to support each other and to attract new women to the maritime sector,” says Johanna Fräki, Innovation Director at Wärtsilä’s Marine Business and WISTA member and also the hostess of the evening.

“We had some great presentations from the women at Wärtsilä on the theme of zero-emission shipping. We explained what Wärtsilä is doing to make this happen, not just cool, futuristic concepts but real, concrete actions we are taking today,” she says.

Annika Parkkonen, VP of Human Resources in Wärtsilä’s Marine Business, talked about the company’s culture change and transformation into a smart technology company with a clear emphasis on the role of digitalisation. She noted that digitalisation is not only a process to provide improved value to partners and customers but it can also help bring more women experts into the industry.

Shipping experts visit Wartsila Helsinki Campus3
Annika Parkkonen, VP of Human Resources in Wärtsilä’s Marine Business.

“Digitalisation forms an avenue for young professionals into building new business, working side-by-side with people with decades of experience,” explains Venla Pouru, Senior Portfolio Product Manager at Wärtsilä Voyage Solution’s Eniram business line. “It offers opportunities for young female professionals to have a seat at the table where decisions are made.”

Shipping experts visit Wartsila Helsinki Campus4
Venla Pouru, Senior Portfolio Product Manager at Wärtsilä Voyage Solution’s Eniram business line.

There is no silver bullet to mitigate climate change

Pouru gave a presentation on new opportunities with data and AI, including a demonstration of Eniram’s fleet operations centre applications. Eniram’s suite of fleet management tools help improve efficiency by reducing fuel consumption and bolstering compliance in real time, by monitoring when ships need to use scrubbers, for example.

“A Smart Marine ecosystem will require collaboration across multiple segments and industry verticals and active involvement in leveraging emerging technologies to create new, and environmentally friendlier, business opportunities for the benefit of all,” said Wärtsilä’s Communications Manager Isabelle Thibault while explaining about ‘An Oceanic Awakening’  – a global initiative focused on the radical transformation of the maritime industry into one fully-integrated ecosystem. Following the presentation, Maria Tiainen, Senior Project Manager at Wärtsilä’s Marine Digitalisation, presented a carbon neutral port ecosystem and Sales Manager Reetta Kaila gave a case story about LNG’s benefits in the transition towards zero-emission shipping.

Fräki’s presentation on Wärtsilä’s roadmap on how to achieve zero-emission shipping was received well.

“The main thing I hope everyone gets from my talk is that there is no silver bullet,” Fräki says. “We need to combine different actions. We need energy sources like renewable fuels as well as to reduce energy needs through efficiencies and route optimisation. We also need alternative business models and financial incentives such as a carbon credit system.”

Shipping experts visit Wartsila Helsinki Campus6
Reetta Kaila, Sales Manager at Wärtsilä.
 
Shipping experts visit Wartsila Helsinki Campus10
Isabelle Thibault, Communications Manager at Wärtsilä.
 
Shipping experts visit Wartsila Helsinki Campus5
Maria Tiainen, Senior Project Manager at Wärtsilä’s Marine Digitalisation.
 

Positive feelings and a bright future

“This event enhanced positive feelings about Wärtsilä,” says Sinikka Hartonen, Senior Advisor of the Finnish Shipowners’ Association. “They are determined to work together with others in the industry to find solutions towards zero-emission shipping. I believe this is extremely important because the challenges are huge. Efficient cooperation is essential.” 

Shipping experts visit Wartsila Helsinki Campus8
Sinikka Hartonen, Senior Advisor of the Finnish Shipowners’ Association.

Eva Nordling, Second Officer at Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, was most interested in the discussions regarding LNG and the new ways to power ships. She also paid close attention to the presentation about Eniram’s fleet management system.

“We use that system and it was nice to learn more about it. Wärtsilä has listened to us and worked with us to improve it,” she says. “These beautiful new offices were a great place to hold this amazing event. It was nice to see so many people here and it leaves me optimistic for our future.”

Shipping experts visit Wartsila Helsinki Campus9
Eva Nordling, Second Officer at Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

Leave a comment

Load more comments

Related articles