Read the latest news and updates from IMPA SAVE...


A warm welcome to our 29th IMPA SAVE Pledger, Berge Bulk, one of the world’s leading independent dry bulk ship owners, with an outstanding reputation for the safe, efficient, and sustainable delivery of commodities around the world.

Berge Bulk own, operate, and manage a fleet of 85 vessels – which equates to over 14.5 million deadweight tonnes (DWT). The fleet ranges from handy-size to cape-size to some of the largest vessels ever built – serving the major miners, steel mills and charterers of the world. Berge Bulk is committed to reducing its waste footprint, building a waste-conscious culture among colleagues, and investing in organisations that are creating innovative, sustainable waste management solutions.

Speaking to Michael Blanding, Sustainability and Impact Investment Leader at Berge Bulk, IMPA SAVE learned:

Last year (2020) Berge Bulk announced a commitment to achieve 25% reduction in average plastic waste per ship by 2021 (vs. 2017 baseline). We are well on track to achieve this. In 2019, we launched a project to install enhanced water purification units on board our ships in an effort to reduce dependency on plastic bottles. Six purification units were installed on each vessel: engine room, bridge, mess room, and on three decks in accommodation. By the end of 2020, the roll-out was complete. 390 water purification units had been installed fleetwide, and over 2,000 reusable stainless steel drinking bottles were distributed to our crew. The results of this effort have been encouraging. Before the start of this initiative, the average monthly consumption for our fleet was 794 plastic water bottles/vessel/month. By the end of December, 2020, this number had come down significantly to only 45 plastic bottles/vessel/month. This represents a 94% reduction in plastic water bottle waste over the course of this campaign. Since the beginning of this initiative, we have avoided 715,719 plastic water bottles fleetwide.

This update brings our reach at SAVE so far to 6232 vessels representing 11.33% of the global fleet. We are very happy to have Berge Bulk onboard IMPA SAVE!

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  • IMPA SAVE aims to vastly reduce the more than 40 tons of waste plastic bottles disposed of by the global shipping fleet each year.

  • Synergy Group’s fleet of more than 375 ships are now committed to cutting plastic usage.

  • Captain Rajesh Unni, Founder and CEO of the Singapore-based ship manager, sees the reduction of plastic use on board ships as part of shipping’s wider challenge of meeting United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.

Synergy Group has added its 375 plus fleet of vessels to the IMPA SAVE initiative to curb the deployment of single-use drinking water bottles at sea.

IMPA SAVE was launched by the International Marine Purchasing Association (IMPA) in 2020. It aims to reduce the almost one billion litres of drinking water delivered to the global shipping fleet each year which generates more than 40 tons of waste bottles.

“I think society in general as well as shipping needs to recognise and address the fact that single-use plastic is not only a terribly poor use of finite resources, it also creates long-term pollution and disposal issues,” said Captain Rajesh Unni, Founder and CEO of Singapore-based ship manager Synergy Group.

“Ensuring we conserve and protect the environment is amongst our company’s top priorities, so we are delighted to add the IMPA SAVE initiative to our active sustainability programme.

“Reducing and eliminating the use of single-use plastic water bottles and all other forms of wasteful packaging on our ships and in our offices is just a first step. We need to address the global plastic and microplastic problem on a systemic level in the years ahead.”

The IMPA SAVE pledge

The IMPA SAVE programme enables ship owners and managers to pledge to cut usage of plastic water bottles via a dedicated website developed for the programme by IMPA at Including the recently added Synergy vessels, shipping companies representing more than 8,000 vessels have now pledged to stop using single-use water bottles as part of IMPA SAVE.

IMPA SAVE is fully aligned with the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). IMPA, for example, intends that IMPA SAVE becomes the vehicle through which IMPA members and marine colleagues work with the industry’s best and brightest to harness collective knowledge of sustainable solutions for the benefit of all in the maritime sector.

“We all need to play our part in meeting the UN’s SDGs,” said Captain Unni. “That will be a major focus for Synergy this year. SDGs provide a blueprint for a more sustainable planet. There is a lot of talk about long-term challenges in regards to fuels and new regulations, but we can address plastics right now which is why we are so supportive of IMPA SAVE.”

A plastic bridge to the moon

Mikael Karlsson, the programme’s chair and IMPA’s sustainability special ambassador, said: “Just picture a bridge five feet wide made of plastic drinking water bottles; our industry’s annual consumption would reach all the way to the moon. If that is not enough then consider the impact on the environment of the delivery of the bottles, the packaging and the CO2.”

Karlsson and his colleagues on the SAVE council believe the damage to the environment can be significantly reduced via practical solutions for providing healthy and clear water for seafarers that are also less expensive for ship owners and managers than procuring thousands of single-use plastic bottles.

“With many vessels already operating with a functioning reverse osmosis or evaporators onboard the addition of a filtration system means drinking water is freely available offering a return on investment that benefits all,” added Karlsson.

Leading shipowners collaborate

The IMPA SAVE council is made up of a leading group of global shipowners and maritime suppliers representing companies with a combined fleet of more than 1000 vessels and massive collective purchasing power. Representatives from Maersk Procurement, Teekay Shipping, Wilhelmsen Ship Management, Ocean Catering and Weco Shipping are represented on the council. The group is chaired by IMPA Special Ambassador Mikael Karlsson of Francois Marine & Offshore, part of the Stena Group.

By bringing companies together under the IMPA SAVE programme IMPA aims to create an opportunity to share knowledge on better, more sustainable practices and alternatives through regular webinars and conferences designed to motivate each other to be better stewards of our oceans through procurement and supply chain management and committing and impact reporting.

Stephen Alexander, IMPA’s chief operating officer, said: “SAVE’s mantra is guarding our people and our planet. Companies such as Synergy Group have a huge role to play in this.”

- End-

About IMPA

IMPA was founded in 1978 by a group of senior purchasing executives in the shipping industry and today represents more than 1000 companies around the world. It operates under a five-pillar programme that includes events and networking, membership programme, sustainability initiatives, the Marine Stores Guide reference system and education. In 2013 the association launched a world first in responsible supply chain management IMPA ACT that was aligned to the UN guiding principles introduced two years earlier, this represented the organisation’s first step on a sustainability journey.

To find out more about IMPA visit the website at

For further information and photographs please contact the following:

Stephen Alexander,

IMPA Chief Operating Officer

IMPA Secretariat Office

Tel: +44 (0)1206 798900 – Email:

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When the industry asks, we listen! It has been a long time coming, but it is now finally around the corner: the first Sustainability Programme, Framework, and Certification for the global maritime industry. Work to green your business, get rewarded, become recognised!

We are absolutely delighted to announce a long-awaited partnership with Green Business Bureau (GBB) in order to bring the GBB Sustainability Programme, Framework, and Certification to the global maritime industry. In a nutshell, this initiative will enable companies in the maritime supply and manufacturing sector to use a custom-made and industry-specific online EcoPlanner to understand, prioritise, implement, and certify their green initiatives, while being recognised in the IMPA Members’ Directory for their efforts.

“Our readers know that our Association has, for a long time now, wanted to develop a standard for supplier evaluation of sustainability credentials, and seeing this programme finally take shape is a dream come true. On the one hand, we will be giving purchaser members an easy way of identifying good suppliers whose practices focus on sustainability and reducing associated risks in the supply chain, while on the other, we will be enabling suppliers to verifiably demonstrate their sustainability to employees, customers, and partners. It’s a win-win and something that I personally believe will gain a lot of traction very quickly.” Susan Koefoed, IMPA Chair and CEO

WHAT is the IMPA GBB Green Business EcoAssessment and EcoProfile?

GBB will provide members with an online application for the GBB EcoAssessment™ and a library of initiatives and plans in the EcoPlanner™ tools to understand, prioritise, implement and certify their green initiatives. The EcoPlanner™, featuring a list of industry-specific and continually-expanding initiatives as a result of research and development conducted by IMPA, will enable members to get credit for the sustainability actions they have already taken for their industries, including recycling, efficient lighting, solar, green energy, plastic elimination, waste management and carbon offsetting. Individual initiatives will be rated on environmental impact, implementation cost and effort, and will be worth 1 to 40 EcoPoints™. Businesses reaching the gold and platinum levels will then be verified by the Green Business Bureau.

“We’re excited to provide our sustainability management and certification solution to the Maritime Industry and IMPA members. The Green Business Bureau seal is well known and trusted, enabling green businesses to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. Businesses committed to green business will get the credit they’ve earned and deserve.” Tom Permatteo, CEO/Founder, Green Business Bureau

WHY should IMPA supplier members participate in the IMPA Green Business Programme?

Sustainability certification for business is more than just a stamp of approval. It is a commitment to making business changes that really make an impact. These green programmes and social initiatives are not just one-off tactics. They can build upon each other and help to ensure eco-friendly and socially responsible programmes are ingrained into each part of a business. Businesses join GBB and become more sustainable to:

  1. Contribute to fighting climate change and protecting the environment.

  2. Create a more socially responsible corporate culture.

  3. Become more efficient, reduce energy costs, and minimise waste.

  4. Demonstrate their commitment to employees and job applicants who want to work for sustainable companies.

  5. Elevate their brand and reputation and promote their sustainable business to customers who want to buy from sustainable companies!

Important! IMPA ACT and the IMPA Green Business Programme will be complementary, not interchangeable! You may also wonder if the IMPA Green Business Programme will differ from our state-of-the-art IMPA ACT responsible supply chain management system for the global shipping industry, and the simple answer is YES. IMPA ACT helps companies align their business practice with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines, that is establish systems and processes for regularly documenting and mitigating their adverse impacts on human rights, environmental and anti-corruption principles, as well as extend these requirements to their business relationships. The IMPA Green Business Programme is concerned with environmental initiatives that your business can undertake to lessen your footprint on this planet. Companies wanting a comprehensive CSR programme that accounts for people, planet and profit should engage in both!

HOW will the IMPA Green Business Programme work once launched?

Leveraging the GBB Sustainability programme will be all online and easy. Here is how it will work:

  1. Companies will sign up for membership at for immediate access to GBB’s library of green initiatives and online EcoPlanner tool that includes maritime-specific initiatives.

  2. Next, they will complete the GBB EcoAssessment to earn EcoPoints for the green initiatives already completed and to create a baseline EcoScore.

  3. Once a business completes the GBB prerequisites, it will be able to earn different levels of the Green Business Bureau status seals (with GBB verification) and share their official EcoProfile publicly, as well as have the seal included in their listing in the IMPA Members’ Directory.

  4. Companies will be encouraged to use the EcoPlanner regularly to find and implement new green initiatives and become an even greener business.

  5. Businesses will be able to earn the Gold- and Platinum-level GBB seals by completing more initiatives and earning the required number of EcoPoints for each level.

WHO should keep an eye on the IMPA Green Business Programme launch?

All companies working in the manufacturing or supply of goods and/or services to the maritime sector should be ready to jump onboard and go through the assessment as soon as the programme launches. Whether you are already doing a great deal for the environment and have sustainability embedded in your company’s ethos or you are only now looking to really begin your CSR journey, you cannot miss out! In a similar vein, professionals working in the ship-owning, ship-operating or ship-management sector should also be aware of this launch, as soon they will be able to look up suppliers in the IMPA Members’ Directory and see where they are in their sustainability journeys.

WHEN will the IMPA Green Business Programme launch?

We are already in the late development phase and are looking at launching this summer. Keep an eye on the early stages of the launch, as we will be offering plenty of incentives to those companies who want to be among the first to jump onboard the IMPA Green Business Programme.

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