The Energy Transition Meets Energy Realism

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Ardmore’s Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Gurnee, reflects on the past year and how Ardmore Shipping, has made an organization-wide commitment to transform the ideal of the energy transition from theory to reality. With the second consecutive Progress Report now published, Ardmore has measurable and comparable results to analyze when considering how Ardmore, and the industry, can meet and exceed the necessary regulatory targets.

Ardmore Shipping’s 2021/22 Progress Report showcases what we, as a company, are doing today regarding the full range of environmental, social and governance sustainability. It also features metrics from the year 2021 – in line with our commitment to transparency – as we continue to measure and report change, so that we can have a meaningful impact going forward.

We call this a “progress report” instead of a “sustainability report” because we want to emphasize not only the progressive nature of our company and its activities, but also to hold ourselves accountable for achieving progress each year regarding something we believe in very strongly. For us it is not just a report, it is a report card. It’s a self-assessment of where we’ve come from, where we are currently, and where we’re striving to be as a leader of shipping’s journey towards a sustainable future – reflecting, too, on what has changed in the global business environment over the past year with regard to sustainability.

A global threat, a universal challenge

As the need to decarbonize increases at an alarming rate, it’s important that we acknowledge the lack of progress that the shipping industry has made so far. This, in turn, reflects how little progress has been made globally, across all sectors. This is due – in part – to the long-term nature of the timeline for decarbonization, but it’s also clear that the pace of legislative and regulatory change in the shipping industry must be accelerated.

Our response to this reality is to acknowledge our collective goals, and to stress the need to collaborate as an industry, while also keeping in mind our individual responsibility to make progress now where we are able to. As is made clear in this edition of the Progress Report, we believe there is a lot which shipping companies can do even with existing technologies, rules and regulations.

Turning talk into action

Last year contained an abundance of enthusiasm for decarbonization, including bold pledges for zero and net-zero by certain dates, by nations and enterprises alike. This year, reality is setting in: technological challenges, the uneven nature of renewable energy production, and the difficulty of storing reserves, the need to power a still rapidly growing global economy, and the cold hard facts around geopolitics and the incentives associated with what is the ultimate “multi-player prisoners dilemma.”

We must also acknowledge not just the tragic consequences of the Ukraine conflict, but also the disruptive effect it is having on the energy transition; it is on the one hand very distracting with more immediate security concerns coming to the fore. But on the other hand, it may in fact help to accelerate the transition – for example, in Europe – where decarbonization is now very much in sync with the need to achieve energy security.

This is the “energy transition” confronting “energy realism.” Ardmore’s approach is to acknowledge both: on the one hand, we are seeking investments and new cargo markets on the path toward decarbonization, while on the other hand we are still involved in the movement of fossil fuels which the global economy needs while doing so as efficiently as we possibly can. Both are of the utmost importance.

To access our latest Progress Report, click here: