An interesting Blue Skies project I have been working on Wartsila at the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI). This was done in partnership with Forum for the Future – note the the SSI Futures Centre digital platform that will be officially launched in Singapore next month.




Ocean governance, leadership requirements and manufacturing developments to potentially have profound long-term impacts on shipping supply chains


London, 17 March 2015 – The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI), a pioneering coalition of companies from across the global shipping industry focused on uniting commercial growth with sustainable behaviours, has released a new report, ‘Signals of Change’, that explores the potential impact of emerging technology, policy and behaviours on the future of sustainable shipping.

The report was developed in partnership with Forum for the Future through its Futures Centre digital platform, as part of an ongoing initiative to collectively track innovations and respond to signals of change in the shipping industry. Among the 15 developments highlighted in the report, three unifying themes emerged from the analysis, which could evolve to have a significant impact on shipping. These are:

  • managing the demands and dynamics of ocean governance
  • the changing requirements of shipping industry leaders, and
  • the re-shaping of supply chains due to manufacturing developments.

“Despite the immediate challenges facing shipping, to ensure that the industry is robust, dynamic and profitable in the future, it is important to step back and evaluate how the global innovations that are either outside of, or adjacent to shipping, could have an impact on the sector”, commented Alastair Fischbacher, Chief Executive, The Sustainable Shipping Initiative. “We live in a world of increasing dynamism and volatility, where drivers such as climate change, growing demand for limited resources and increasing hyper-connectivity will have major effects on business. The industry will be better placed to adapt and seize opportunities if it identifies and understands these signs early on.”

The report highlights the wide-reaching impact of human activity in the marine ecosystem, particularly within the current context of emerging issues such as vessel quieting and underwater noise regulation as well as growing scrutiny of geoengineering as ocean acidification rates rise to unprecedented levels. Seabed mining could also become a major game-changer: despite polarised views on its feasibility as a sustainable source of natural resources, the The International Seabed Authority (ISA) has granted 19 exploration licences to date, and the first commercial deep-sea mining project, by Nautilus Minerals in Papua New Guinea, is expected to start operations within the next five years. Such initiatives are likely to drive further debate around the ownership rights and regulatory developments of the oceans.

As with all sectors, shipping will have to manage the changing demands on its leaders both at sea and onshore. In addition to the pressures of the digital era in terms of demonstrating transparency and accountability for both company and personal actions, changes in how shareholder value are measured, such as divestment campaigns around fossil fuels, could require executives to live up to different performance expectations. If emerging factors, including remote-controlled vessels, 4D printing and the greater automation of repetitive operations in ship-yards, are scaled, they could have a dramatic impact on the roles of those working within the industry.

How the nature of manufacturing evolves over the next decade and beyond will have a dramatic impact on the production and transportation of cargo. For example, the mainstream adoption of additive manufacturing and the development of new materials such as nanomaterials, will fundamentally challenge current manufacturing practices and locations. Combined with increased efforts to ‘close the loop’ on production through reverse logistics, supply chains will become increasingly complex, which the shipping industry will need to respond to.

The SSI and the Futures Centre will continue to monitor these and other macro trends to see how they develop and to highlight where solutions might be required. Contribution from the industry as well as the wider business community is also encouraged to collate a fully comprehensive perspective. Participants can submit their observations, and subscribe to receive regular updates from the contributions of their peers through the Futures Centre shipping topic hub.

Alastair Fischbacher concluded: “We will continue to monitor how these signals of change take shape within their different contexts as well looking into what other signs are on the horizon. As part of our work in this area we are also looking forward to sharing further insights with the Futures Centre in April on the social, economic and environmental challenges we are tackling as we progress towards our vision for a truly sustainable industry by 2040.

“Ultimately, the environment is constantly evolving and the SSI is passionate about helping the shipping industry to proactively prepare, adapt and embrace opportunities that emerge so that it thrives sustainably in the face of change.”

The Signals of Change Report is available to download here


Sustainable Energy – without the hot air



This remarkable book sets out, with enormous clarity and objectivity, the various alternative low-carbon pathways that are open to us.

Sir David King FRS
Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, 2000–08

For anyone with influence on energy policy, whether in government, business or a campaign group, this book should be compulsory reading.
Tony Juniper
Former Executive Director, Friends of the Earth

At last a book that comprehensively reveals the true facts about sustainable energy in a form that is both highly readable and entertaining.
Robert Sansom
Director of Strategy and Sustainable Development, EDF Energy

Here at you can also find a very interesting energy pathway simulator….  The 2050 Calculator is a tool to help people have constructive conversations about Britain’s energy options, and to support consensus-building.

The options in the calculator include lifestyle changes, and all sorts of technologies for saving energy and sourcing low-carbon energy.



AQI 157 Unhealthy


The Air Quality Index App says “Unhealthy”

  • Not suitable for outdoor sports
  • Kids & Elders avoid outdoor activities
  • Open windows not recommended
  • Mask recommended
  • Air purifier recommended

AnIMG_0653d here we are on our way to the indoor swimming pool…




The next generation mobile personal air purifier….


But in the mean time, you can get this portable unit claimed to create a sphere of purified air around you… It is on sale in the airline duty free magazine…

15+ years on the move – sustainable living…

IMG_0563This is Box # 307 which I am currently using as a desk desk chair… Early November, we moved in  a new house in Shanghai Hongqiao district after spending three months in a service apartment…. I think this is our 12th move in 15 years excluding temporary stays in service apartments…

A record move with over 540 boxes from a 45 foot container that makes me how I got to that point… It all started over 15 years ago…

  • February 1999... After working in London for 9 years, I am assigned to a fast track development program that will take me to Denmark and then Korea. I board the plane at Heathrow with two suitcases and everything else including the family French antique furniture is in storage in a 20 foot container in Southampton.
  • First stop in Denmark and in June 1999, I board a plane at Copenhagen for an assignment expected to last a little less than two years in Ulsan – South Korea… My two suitcases have another companion and  four large cardboxes are shipped by sea freight…
  • August 2001… On my way to the Duke and back to school for an MBA… I now have a 20 foot container with some furniture… a lot of cooking hardware, china and wine glasses and books…
  • July 2003... Graduation – Everything goes into a self storage in Durham – North Carolina. I move back to our house in Seoul, then start work in Houston in December 2003, move to London in March 2004 and to Singapore in July 2003…. Two suitcases are sufficient for one year…
  • Sept 2004… The Durham shipment arrives in Singapore…
  • July 2006… Back to Korea…  We now need a part load 40 foot container – Chinese antique furniture has joined the Korean pieces and a few other things…
  • July 2011… Back to Singapore – Full 40 foot container ….
  • August 2014… On the way to Shanghai… Full 45 foot container, our Singapore friends have inherited all the bookshelves and a 8 doors wardrobe as we did not have any room left…
  • November 2014… 540 boxes passed the door of the new house… and a few more Ikea boxes at the same time…

Quite clearly not a sustainable situation… But looking at what we have, there are several categories to this forever expanding material inventory…

  • Those items that we select and that hold sentimental value
  • Those that are pushed on us – just look at the overflowing USB cable, wire and spare parts boxes…
  •  Those that we bought out of a whim and were used once, twice as maximum because somehow for whatever motive or influence we needed to own them…

Here is my three year strategic plan to bring this back under control….

  • Most books and all DVDs/CDs to move to a digital format…
  • Spring and Autumn garage sale for expats moving in and out…
  • And well… throwing away all those other things that will never find a home hoping that recycling will maximise their utility – Somehow most likely here in China…

Moving forward – a need to reconsider the true utility of future purchases…. and knowing that one day someone will  have to deal and sort out this heap of things….