In this regular column, we reach out to IMPA SAVErs to see why they joined IMPA’s most ambitious sustainability initiative to date, how they are faring and why they think others should join.

Back in 2020, IMPA SAVE was created to bring together members from the industry to support sustainability initiatives, embrace and transition to new greener solutions and to take climate action now. The first goal of the programme? Encouraging ship-owners, ship-managers and maritime suppliers around the world to choose suitable planet-friendlier alternatives to the vast quantities of plastic bottles that are currently delivered to the global fleet. More than two years onwards, almost 70 companies have pledged to change the status quo, including close to 15% of the global fleet.

Today, our team is joined for an interview by two of the earlier IMPA SAVE pledgers. On the one hand, we meet IMPA ambassador Francesco Leboffe, representing d’Amico Shipping Group, that have been supporting the IMPA SAVE initiative since May 2021. On the other, we get to meet Gustavo Pierotti, Director at G. Pierotti, one of the first maritime suppliers to jump onboard IMPA SAVE as soon as it opened to suppliers back in August 2022.

How did you come across the IMPA SAVE initiative and why have you joined?

FL: I am one of IMPA’s ambassadors who joined the family in recent years, and in 2020, I came across this very interesting action due to my deep connection with the IMPA SAVE Council. I was fascinated by this group of individuals representing global ship-owners and maritime suppliers
who are pushing the industry to protect the environment.

I joined because I strongly believe in the importance of sustainability initiatives that make knowledge readily available for key industry actors, so they can make the world a better place for future generations. Investing in CSR can be a great tool to improve our society, the environment and our own bottom line, and to maintain a competitive advantage. It is a privilege for me to be part of IMPA SAVE with the aim of collaborating with industry colleagues towards a more sustainable blue economy and bridging sustainable solutions to our industry.

GP: I came across IMPA SAVE through an email from Mikael Karlsson, the initiative’s Chair and the Association’s Special Ambassador for Sustainability,
inviting our company to pledge, as soon as the initial initiative for reducing single-use plastic drinking water bottles opened to maritime suppliers as well.

As soon as we understood the proposed challenge, we felt compelled to pledge to IMPA SAVE right away and add our name to the list of supporters.

We had also just gained our ISO 14001-2015 certification, and so it felt right for us to engage in such an ambitious initiative that is connected with what our company believes in and seeks to achieve.

How have you undertaken or are planning to undertake the journey towards eliminating plastic drinking water bottles onboard the global fleet?

FL: We have supplied water filtration systems that can push all of us to refuse single-use plastic drinking water bottles.

GP: It is important to point out that we are in a region where sustainable initiatives take longer to be implemented, especially compared with the US or Europe. Despite that, we have already mapped the leading local suppliers producing water in sustainable packs. The main challenge is that those alternatives are still more expensive than regular single-use plastic bottles; therefore, not many of our clients are willing to pay for more costly options.
As a side effort, we are also talking to many other producers that still do not produce water in sustainable packs about the environmental importance of such an initiative. So, if more companies make water in sustainable containers, the prices will soon be more convenient for all stakeholders.

When it comes to sustainability, what is most important to you, as well as your company?

FL: At d’Amico we strive every day to implement processes and spread sustainable behaviors among the people that work with us. Our route to sustainability has above all the aim to guarantee a better future to the next generations.

Protecting and respecting the environment is a mission for the d’Amico Group. The environmental policy has a central bearing on the aims of the integrated management System of adopting international certifications. All efforts are focused on preserving the marine environment from pollution and excessive over-use via participation in various projects. The d’Amico Group is aware of the importance of its own role and constantly promotes responsible behaviour towards the environment.

GP: We have given sustainability a holistic look that encloses all possible measures to reduce waste of any sort. That includes paper, energy, water, garbage, and so on. In addition, we have created Environmental KPIs to control our progress and drive ourselves more efficiently towards our sustainability goals.

We plan to invest in solar panels as a cleaner energy source and reusable water. We are also testing reusable polypropylene belts to replace stretch plastic when wrapping our pallets, among other green initiatives.

What would you tell others who are thinking of getting involved with IMPA SAVE?

FL: Sharing our knowledge and practical solutions can be helpful to improve the current state of our planet and increase people’s awareness of sustainability and the conservation of our marine resources.

We can drive the change through our responsible business practice.

GP: We believe this is a collective cause involving the whole supply chain, from producers to customers. Therefore, the more companies adhere to this pledge, the quicker we will be achieving our sustainability goals.

This is an investment towards a better planet, and it is an effort that everybody should make.

Will you join and pledge?