Today (June 8th) marks World Oceans Day - where people around the planet come together to celebrate and honor the ocean, which connects us all.
The theme of this year’s World Oceans Day is to highlight how we can all play our part in helping protect 30% of the World’s oceans by 2030.
This reflects Total’s recent joining of the Getting to Zero Coalition and our ambition to help achieve the target set by the International Maritime Organisation of getting commercially viable deep-sea zero-emission vessels powered by zero-emission fuels into operation by 2030 and reduce Greenhouse Gases emissions from shipping by at least 50% by 2050.
As part of World Oceans Day, we speak to Captain Bernard Lesegretain, Total’s Trading & Shipping HSE Manager & Country Security Officer, to discover how Total is helping minimize its impact on the oceans.
The oceans of the world are at the very heart of our business as they are for many of our customers. We recognize the importance they play in almost every aspect of our organization and we take our responsibility for this very seriously -especially when it comes to our own operations at sea.
Every day we have between 200-250 chartered vessels at sea or in port. Between them, they carry out approximately 4,400 voyages per year, transporting more than 145,000,000 metric tons of cargo (not including lubricants and fuels).
Our approach to chartering vessels is an extremely stringent one with every vessel having to pass through a rigorous validation process, the “vetting assessment” prior to its charter.
Driving this vetting assessment is paramount for the Group. It is extremely robust and conducted by a team of dedicated and highly qualified experts, all ex-Seafarers. And because consistency is critical, the vetting assessment is the same no matter where in the world we are looking to charter and operate a vessel.
Safety is the principle value of Total – and a benchmark for how we operate. The mission is to support the Health Safety Environment Quality charter of the Total Group.
By applying the vetting assessment policy, we ensure the quality of the vessels employed by the various Group entities, the crew experience and the quality of the technical operator of these vessels. We achieve this by undertaking vessel inspections, technical operator reviews and Total terminals marine facilities internal audits.
As an organization we carry out more than 20,000 vetting assessments every year. If they do not meet the criteria we do not charter the vessel. It is that simple.
Respecting Our Oceans
The best way we can pay respect to the oceans is to charter the best quality vessels at sea. Combined with that, the quality of the crew is absolutely critical. We believe this combination proactively reduces the risk factor through quality, experience and expertise.
The Marine industry is one that is constantly evolving. We invest time, money and people to strive to ensure we are at the forefront of the industry. As a result, and in line with our continual internal processes and compliance to international marine and shipping standards, we carry out regular training around safety and crisis management scenarios. We are also active members of the main Shipping industry NGOs such as the OCIMF (Oil Companies International Marine Forum), the SIGTTO (Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators), and the SGMF (Society for the Gas as Marine Fuel).
An Experienced Team
One of the ways we help deliver the standards we set is through our highly experienced team here at Total. We have many experienced ex-seafarers – Navy and Commercial - within the Total team.
Traders, trading operators, Charterers, Shipping operators, demurrage analysts, Naval architects and HSE people all form part of the team. Every one of them brings their experience and expertise to our own operations helping ensure our own operating decisions around shipping are based on hands on, time served experience and specialist marine knowledge.
Within the Group, and its social network, our ‘Shipping At Total’ community has over 800 members / 4,500 posts and is a community constantly discussing, exploring and dealing with all maritime issues.
Anti-Pollution Task Force
We also have a dedicated Anti-pollution Task Force within the business looking at a whole range of potential pollution scenarios and how we could manage these should any issues arise.
We know that things can go wrong in such an industry as shipping is. As a result, we have built very robust processes around reducing and preventing any possible pollution issues, through modelling, scenario setting and training.
We prepare for all possible scenarios and plan contingency and response measures for the very worst situation – no matter how small or big an issue. All members of our team are fully prepared to deal with any eventuality.
Protecting The Oceans
We have a responsibility to help protect the very oceans on which our business is built. It’s a responsibility we take seriously and that is a continual element of our daily life here at Total.
As a member of the Getting to Zero Coalition we strive to both play our part and work with others to encourage them to help drive down the human impact on the world.
Read the Press announcement - Total joins the “getting to zero coalition” to contribute to shipping industry’s decarbonization