Creating a Sustainable Industry

Maritime News

September 11, 2023

By Asish Chaudhury

Creating a Sustainable Maritime Industry

When I and my fellow business partners set up Icons & Company in 2021 our vision was to create a just, diverse and thriving workplace, which continues to drive us further in our journey. We help our clients manage large and complex changes by bringing our combined organizational experience to the fore to strategize, plan and implement sustainable change.

We believe that to transform an existing business into a sustainable business the management needs to address the business with system approach. We bring this approach via 4 business pillars.

Business Improvement

This includes adhering to a strategy which is dedicated to rationalising processes and tools, managing risks and measuring performance. A company’s workforce is the heart and soul of any organisation so it is important that their talents are recognised and honed with clear careers paths and investment in their knowledge progression to ensure they remain committed and loyal. Keeping organizational functions (payroll, accounting, finance, purchase, IT etc) lean is essential and consolidating operations where it makes good business sense is a must.

Digital Transformation

Digitalisation should be a key component to any business. Switching from manual processes to automated digital versions is more efficient and will free up staff to focus on the more creative and problem solving aspects of their roles. Data is the new gold and shipping operators need to be able to analyse real-time and historic data so they can make solid business decisions based on fact rather than gut feeling. This will help them improve their processes and procedures and make their business operations more efficient. Also, digital technology presents an unprecedented opportunity to bring in transparency to the entire value chain with regards to sustainability claims by different participants in the value chain and supply chain.

Energy Transition

IMO Member States recently agreed an enhanced common ambition to reach net-zero GHG emissions from international shipping close to 2050, a commitment to ensure an uptake of alternative zero and near-zero GHG fuels by 2030, as well as indicative checkpoints for 2030 and 2040.

This is a landmark agreement and ship operators need to look at their businesses to assess how they can achieve carbon neutrality in their own businesses. Switching to using biofuels or installing scrubbers on vessels or slow steaming are all valid options but more needs to be done through industry collaboration if we are to meet the targets set by the IMO. The ports will play a major role in providing access to low carbon fuel and energy for the oceangoing vessels.

Change Financing

This is a key element to any company that needs to source capital to finance changes to their business models as they move to more sustainable solutions. Increasingly banks and other investment sources require evidence that a business has sustainability at its core before it will even consider raising loaning capital from various sources.


All shipping companies should now have sustainability at their core. Senior managers need to buy in to this and ensure their teams understand the reasons why sustainability is so important not just for the planet, but also for their business.

Sustainability in business is all about successfully managing change with lowest carbon and resource footprint as low as realistically possible while adhering to UNSDGs as corporate commitment. This should be at the core of any business strategy.

The shipping industry is facing one of the biggest challenges it has ever faced with regards to achieving near zero emissions by 2050. For shipping companies to achieve this they need to incorporate a sustainable mind-set into all their operations. This will not only benefit the environment and create a sustainable future for us all, but also their business operations making them more efficient and consequently more profitable.

Company Profile

Icons & Company SARL is Monaco registered management consulting company co-founded by Massimo Simoncelli and Asish Chaudhury, industry veterans with expertise in large complex change/project management. Company is focused on 4 business pillars Business Improvements, Digital Transformation, Energy Transition and Change Financing. They have presence in EU, US markets. They are working on India market presence. Get in touch with Icons & Company to address your complex business issues.




Co-founder of management consulting firm, Icons & Company

Asish Chaudhury


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