Words can say a lot more than their direct meaning. Take these words: philanthropy, corporate responsibility (CR), sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR), corporate accountability, creating shared value (CSV), citizenship, or social responsibility. Add Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and ESG (Environment, Society, Governance) to that list, and you have a good description of how businesses have struggled with figuring out how to handle “Our shared responsibility, which is not just about earning money”.
In Grieg Star, we have had the same journey. But at the same time, our owners have had instilled in us a “Why do we get up & go to work in the morning” phrase for a long time: We are here to earn money, behave properly and have fun. And lately, we have found that phrase to really be the core at what we are, and the basis for our strategy. We do not operate with one strategy for the business and one for Corporate Sustainability. It is all about sustainability: what we do is about securing a future for our world, our employees, our company and our owners. That includes both economic, social and environmental success.
The Grieg Group has a mission: “We shall restore our oceans”. We know we cannot do that alone. But we also know we cannot do it as a bi-product of our business. It has to be our business. For Grieg Star, that means change: change in the way we are organised, change in how we operate, and change in what knowledge we need.
We have worked with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for several years, and we find they help us focus on the right things in our strategy. We are still committed to UN Global Compacts 10 principles. But like so many other companies, we struggle with the right way to report on our progress when it comes to sustainability. The Norwegian Shipowners Association published their guidelines regarding ESG-reporting earlier this year. We salute this initiative, as it makes it easier for small companies to navigate the jungle of possible reporting initiatives.
In our belief that sustainability is a crucial part of our future success, we reject the notion of ESG being a “Tag along” report, isolated from our financial reporting. That is why we for 2019 combine the two in one report and simply call it “Grieg Star 2019”.