2024 BAFG Awards – Catching up with our Past Winners #1

Hearing from Gao De Hui  – Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at SDTR MARINE PTE. LTD

Can you tell us about your experience winning this award and what it means for your business?

Winning the INSEAD Business as a Force for Good award was a profoundly gratifying experience for both myself and SDTR Marine. This prestigious recognition affirmed our commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility within the shipping industry. For us, the award symbolizes not just a milestone but a continuous journey towards integrating sustainable practices into every aspect of our business.
The award has encouraged us to stay steadfast in our vision and mission, reflecting our commitment to ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) initiatives. It underscores our role as a responsible player in the global shipping industry and motivates us to persist in our efforts to create a positive societal impact through our business operations.

Can you discuss any unique or innovative approaches your business has taken to be a force for good?

SDTR Marine has implemented several unique and innovative strategies to establish itself as a force for good in the maritime industry. Our foremost initiative is the ambitious goal of constructing a net-zero emission fleet by 2050. This endeavor is in line with the Paris Agreement and the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) decarbonization targets. We are dedicated to continually upgrading and innovating our fleet to enhance energy efficiency and incorporate sustainable energy sources.

As one of global signatories supporting the Call to Action, an initiative spearheaded by the Getting to Zero Coalition with the backing of the Mission Possible Partnership, we are actively involved in a collective effort to revolutionize shipping. We employ energy-saving devices on our vessels and practice slow steaming to conserve energy. Moreover, we are constantly exploring advanced technologies like main engine diagnostic systems and the development of AI-based ship operation diagnostic systems. These systems integrate comprehensive data on weather, ocean currents, and optimized routes; utilizing AI to fine-tune engine speeds, fuel consumption, and vessel route selection, thereby boosting operational efficiency.

Our sustainability department is relentlessly working on designing vessels powered by methanol and ammonia as part of our ultimate goal to achieve a carbon-neutral fleet. Recently in Singapore, we have also experimented with biofuels as an alternative energy source. These efforts represent our ongoing pursuit of diverse paths to carbon reduction, showcasing our commitment to pioneering a sustainable future in maritime transport.

Can you discuss any partnerships or collaborations your business has formed in order to have a greater positive impact?

SDTR Marine firmly believes in the transformative power of partnerships and collaborations to enhance our impact on sustainability and social responsibility. Our strategic alliances have been pivotal in advancing innovative and sustainable practices within the maritime sector.

One significant collaboration was with the Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI). This partnership culminated in the award of an Approval in Principle (AIP) certificate from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) for the world’s first Ammonia Dual Fuel Kamsarmax Bulk Carrier. This achievement is a testament to our commitment to pioneering sustainable ship designs and reflects our dedication to environmental innovation​​.

Last year, we also collaborated with the China Classification Society (CCS) to jointly develop the first generation of ammonia duel fueled bulk carriers. This initiative represents a significant step towards realizing our vision of a greener maritime future. Additionally, we have partnered with the Norwegian classification society DNV on a carbon capture project, further exemplifying our proactive approach to addressing global environmental challenges.

Beyond these technical and innovative partnerships, we are deeply committed to community engagement. We actively organize initiatives like beach clean-ups and tree planting, involving our employees and their families. These activities are designed to foster a sense of sustainability consciousness and emphasize our dedication to environmental stewardship, extending well beyond our core business operations. Above community efforts are integral to our mission, highlighting our resolve to make a positive impact both within and outside the maritime industry.

Catch-up with 2023 Winners – Interview series

Post #1 – Gao De Hui, CEO, SDTR MARINE PTE. LTD

Catch-up with 2022 Winners – Interview series

Post #1 – Michelle Woo, VP Venture Build, ENGIE Factory Asia Pacific (Corporate Winner)

Post #2 – Masami Soto, Founder of Buy One Give One – Empirics Asia

Post #3 – Gurpreet Singh, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at RightShip