Østensjø Rederi shall be a leading shipping company within sustainable operations, says HSE&Q Manager Elias T. Nornes. Today’s carbon footprint is to be reduced through systematic efforts and continued technical development at all levels. The company’s «Mindset» sets out to inspire all employees to adopt sound day-to-day routines, to furthering knowledge, and innovation. 


Elias T. Nornes relies on a skilled team of co-workers who for the last decade have contributed to improving the company’s environmental policy significantly.
– Norwegian shipowners have consistently been ahead of foreign shipowners in this development. Østensjø Rederi possesses all competency we need in-house when we’re building new vessels under the strict environmental requirements that are in place today. We have a project department which for some time has been engaged in developing technical solutions in cooperation with engine suppliers. These solutions have been adopted on our vessels. They have also become industry standard, being currently used by other shipping companies, Nornes says.  Egil Arne Skare, from the company’s project and development department, rapidly draws up an historical outline:
– Ten years ago, the NOx fund was set up. At that time cutting NOx emissions was a prioritised environmental measure. I remember well from when I started working at this office; like the rest of the industry, we worked to produce the technical solutions required on vessels in order to meet the new standards. Norway has been a pioneer in this respect. New measures were introduced to curb diesel consumption. We adopted a conscious approach to environmental technology, because we quickly realised that more eco-friendly vessels represented a huge competitive advantage in the market.

– Through the company’s environmental concept, Mindset, we’re constantly working to motivate crew and office employees to keep a sharp environmental focus. As a support in our day-to-day work onboard we have developed measuring systems which e.g. monitor fuel consumption down to litres per hour, per type of operation, and per shift or Master. We’re using the system as an inspiration to achieve a smaller carbon footprint, Nornes explains. The NOx issue has more or less been resolved. At this point CO2 capture is the biggest challenge and our focus at the moment.

– The company can document in detail how vessels are handling their waste. The data is extremely precise, down to kilo or litre, Nornes explains.

THE MEN BEHIND ”MINDSET”: Egil Arne Skare from the company’s project- and development 
department(left) and HSE&Q Manager Elias T. Nordnes. Photo: TEJ

– We’re able to measure how vessels are handling their waste. Currently we’re working to reduce the use of plastic onboard. On Edda Passat our crew suggested to buy individual plastic bottles with a screw cap which they could use on a permanent basis. This solution has cut plastic consumption onboard by considerable volumes.
– If we’re not able to measure the consumption onboard, it will be difficult to reduce it, Skare remarks.
– We measure absolutely everything, Nornes states.

The company may have built one of its last fully diesel-operated vessels, now reaching for emission free vessels. They have a firm belief in the competency within the company. This should make it possible to reach for new goals when vessels are to be built. Only the newest technology is a relevant option. The disadvantage of such an approach is that they may adopt prototype technology that does not come off the shelf and that is costly to maintain. On the other hand, such innovative projects help the entire industry to evolve, bringing green spinoffs from the offshore fleet within other areas. In this regard Skare refers to the trend toward battery operated ferries, which is finding its way over to fishing boats.

Nornes underlines the importance of having a shipowner who actively supports this effort.
– The strategy has been costly, but over time we have profited from our green efforts, he says.

– We will see a lot of new innovations, amongst other a venture into CO2 storage below the North Sea seabed.  If this takes place on an industrial scale, it opens up opportunities for using natural gas for hydrogen production, a clean energy carrier. Norwegian authorities are working intensively to make this possible. To the Norwegian gas industry, hydrogen will become an important product. LNG will be phased out in the long term. Skare elaborates.

– Has «Mindset» today been implemented in the entire organisation?
– It has been introduced to the organisation, but it’s now our offensive starts.  Our purpose is to revitalise the concept, Nornes replies, and lists the three pillars upon which the concept is built:

  • Produce power as effectively as possible
  • Lower the vessels’ overall power consumption
  • Energy saving through competency and knowledge.

– These pillars, along with the company vision of being a leading, innovative supplier of high-quality maritime services and through legislation, will guide Østensjø Rederi in its pursuit of becoming a leader within sustainable operations, says Nornes. It’s a tough ambition, however, the foundation is already in place. Skare joins in with a final remark:
– The three last letters in Mindset stand for Superior Environmental Thinking. That’s our gold standard!