Welcome to the Gearbulk Sustainability Report for 2019
2019, the year before the pandemic, was relatively calm considering the extraordinary situation which began to unfold in the early weeks of 2020. Although 2019 proved to be challenging in its own right, the Company’s performance was satisfactory.
We have continued to develop G2 Ocean (Gearbulk 65 %, Grieg Star 35 %) – both expanding its business and developing the organization.
We have spent considerable resources on the digitalization of Gearbulk – including cross-functional way of working and improved communication between ship and shore. A Digital Roadmap was established and operational data analysis and reporting was developed for safety statistics and port state inspections through dashboards.
Gearbulk renewed its ISO 14001:2015 certificate for the core fleet in 2019, demonstrating the Company’s dedicated focus on and commitment to reducing our environmental impact.
In collaboration with our partners, G2 Ocean, High Heat Tankers and Grieg Star, we successfully made the transfer to Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) – thereby meeting the new sulphur regulations on time.
As the reduction of plastic use is a target area for Gearbulk, we introduced trials to replace bottled water with high quality fresh water mineralizer on the ships. This will reduce consumption of plastic water bottles by 70 – 80 %.
Ballast Water Treatment systems were retrofitted on a number of vessels, reducing the risk of contaminating local areas with foreign species through ballast water. Gearbulk’s environmental footprint continues to drop and we have seen improvements in a number of KPI’s.
Good safety culture has a very strong focus in Gearbulk; we therefore put our officers through a Safety Leadership Training Program and all crew members through a Reflective Learning Program.
The Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Foundation continues to support a number of social projects, mostly in health and education.
Gearbulk has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic along with the rest of the shipping industry. Our highest priority has been to keep our seafarers and shore staff, along with their families, harm free and to minimize the potential of infection. Rigorous protocols have been implemented to protect our staff, and at the time of this report being written (September 2020) we are pleased to report that no staff onboard or ashore have tested positive for Covid-19.
However, many of our seafarers and their families have been negatively impacted. Due to port restrictions in response to Covid-19, the vast majority of our crews have had to extend their contracts by months; as a result on-signers have not been able to re-join the vessels and provide an income for their families. Gearbulk therefore implemented a Covid-19 allowance, both for those having to extend their stay onboard and for those having to remain at home. Furthermore, the Gearbulk community came together and raised money for a Solidarity Fund where all Gearbulk ratings are eligible to apply for additional monetary support.
It is with great relief we now see that the number of overdue crew is being reduced and that crew change activity is resuming. Our seafarers have shown a very professional attitude and impressive resilience in this challenging time, for which the company is much grateful. I trust this new digital format of our Sustainability Report demonstrates to the reader our steadfast focus on improving our environmental and social engagement and our aim towards becoming a more sustainable company on all levels, making us a preferred partner to our customers and stakeholders.