Welcome back to An Industry for All! The latest instalment in our series showcasing and celebrating diversity, inclusion and talent within shipping, sees Marthe Lamp Sandvik, First VP, Energy Transition Solutions, DNB, delivering insight into working with an evolving industry, and the power of building broad-based business understanding.
Watch out for further interviews as we work to support a push towards sustainable equality of treatment and opportunity for everyone within maritime.
If you’d like to nominate someone as a future interview subject please do get in touch!
What is your current position and how long have you had the role?
I work with the Energy Transition Solutions team in DNB Ocean Industries. Our team focuses on the overall value chain in terms of the energy transition and how it impacts our customers in the ocean space. That includes the decarbonization of the shipping industry. I’ve been with the department since last summer, prior to which I worked in the DNB shipping department.
How did you get involved in maritime?
After obtaining my Masters from the University of Edinburgh, I returned to Norway to study for a second degree in Shipping Management at the Norwegian Business School BI. As a student I worked in DNB part-time in the SME segment, but also got to see how important the bank was for the shipping industry. That was part of triggering my interest in ship finance.
During my second year I was hired as a shipping analyst at a Norwegian shipbroker firm, where I got to learn all the workings of the industry from the bottom up. Since then, I’ve had various roles within ship finance, gradually gravitating towards the intersection of finance, decarbonization and sustainability.
Why do you believe people should consider a future within the maritime industry?
Shipping carries around 90% of global goods around the world – which means working in this industry is like having a finger on the pulse of the world economy, as it’s at the centre of global trade. The fundamentals can change quickly, and it’s by nature a very international industry that navigates in tandem with the global economy and geopolitical realities. If these topics interest you, you’ll never have a dull day at work!
What key lessons have you learnt during your time in the industry? What advice would you give to others?
Shipping is still a relationship industry. Not only in terms of your own clients or day-to-day business contacts, but also relating to industry knowledge clusters.
The contacts I made as a young person in the industry, joining YoungShip Oslo, and later when sitting on the Board of WISTA Norway and other organizations, have helped me understand the industry from different perspectives that go beyond my individual work and educational experience. Being proactive and contributing to these types of organizations, if you have the time and opportunity, is something I would really recommend for those wishing to gain more of an all-round understanding.
What do you think are the industry’s key strengths and weaknesses – how would you like to see it evolve?
The strengths and weaknesses of the industry are intertwined. Due to its international nature, it is placed directly in a changing regulatory and economic landscape, which can be volatile, complex to navigate, and affect the risk picture. But the industry is used to complexity, and the skill to navigate this is also one of its key strengths.
The decarbonization of the industry is one such current complexity, and trying to solve it will take time. Currently shipping represents around 3% of global emissions, and the path of mitigating this over the next thirty years is not clear. A lot of the necessary technology for low carbon engine solutions etc. is already under development, for example, but fuel availability and commercial viability remain issues to be solved. This again brings us back to the knowledge clusters in the industry value chain that are truly a key strength – and the way cooperation across the industry is central to finding solutions.
We see many examples of great strides being made by business leaders and companies from all parts of the industry working together to find new solutions.
What do you like best about a) your current role and b) the industry in general?
The interesting complexities of the industry and the people trying to make sense of them will always be my favourite parts of this business. The way that DNB Ocean Industries works with the Energy Transition is extremely rewarding to be a part of; getting to interact with clients in our global portfolio that have set priorities and targets, and really understand the challenges and business opportunities the transition presents for them is a privilege.
What are your personal ambitions within the industry?
The major trends over the next five to ten years will continue to tie into the transition and decarbonization of the industry. The relevant financial markets have a key role to play in this, but one party cannot do it alone and we are dependent on good cooperation between financial actors, the industry, regulatory forces, and those setting standards to really propel this development forward. Hopefully, there are many people who can play small, but constructive roles in the total picture over the coming years.