Women's International Shipping & Trading Association

WISTA Hellas Annual Forum 2018

November 20, 2018

 WISTA HELLAS Annual Forum

Shipping supports sustainable goals

The WISTA HELLAS Annual Forum has become a tradition of the Greek maritime community supported by speakers, sponsors and participants. This year’s event, entitled “Shipping supports sustainable goals”, was held on Tuesday, 20 November 2018 at the Hilton Hotel where more than 270 representatives of the shipping community gathered to hear speakers and play an active part in the three panel discussions.

Angie Hartmann, President of WISTA Hellas, opened the Forum by saying that in WISTA Hellas celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2018. She thanked members and members of the past seven Boards for their patience and persistence which laid the foundations upon which the Association has grown to become what it is today. WISTA Hellas decided to celebrate its first quarter-century by discussing ways in which shipping can support the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals and demonstrate its determination to do whatever it takes to achieve them as sustainable development is the only way to preserve life in our planet.

In the first panel discussion, “How companies achieve particular goals set by the UN: Best practices for some of the 17 Sustainable goals” moderated by Effi Boni, General Manager of Face-to-Face Consultants, panel members addressed how shipping can support specific sustainable goals.

Elena Athoussaki, Head of Maritime Sustainability of one of the four largest multinational professional service networks, PwC, spoke on Goal 9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”, analyzing the cost-benefit ratio of technological development and adding that we live in a world of transformation for human resources, technology and the environment.

 Despina Panayiotou-Theodosiou, President of WISTA International and CEO of TOTOTHEO, drew on her experience with an international women’s professional association to consider Goal 5 “Gender Equality”, noting the need to work together for the better.

The implications of the policies of various international organizations related to Goal 13 “Climate Action” were considered Panos Zachariadis, Technical Director at Atlantic Bulk Carriers Management Ltd, who noted that “balanced development” would be a better term than “sustainable development”.

Helen Polychronopoulou, President of HEMEXPO and Executive Vice President of Environmental Protection Engineering, drew on her experience working for a company offering environmental protection services to expand on Goals 14 “Life in water” and 6 “Clean water and sanitation”, stating that onshore implementation of regulations is also required.

Goal 7 “Affordable and clean energy” and how to ensure access to affordable, reusable, reliable and sustainable modern forms of energy was address by Vassilis Stamatopoulos, Business Development Manager of BUREAU VERITAS VERIFUEL.

The second panel discussion tackled the question “How the achievement of sustainable goals impacts the operation and culture of a shipping company or organisation” under the moderation of George Xiradakis, Managing Director of XRTC Business Consultants and President of the Propeller Club (Port of Piraeus). Panellists expanded on the ways the company or organisation they represented supports the UN goals, as well as their individual company or organisation’s view on corporate culture supporting sustainable goals. This led to an interesting discussion featuring: Valentios “Eddie” Valentis, Chairman and CEO, Pyxis Tankers; George Pateras, President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping and CEO at Aegeus Shipping S.A.; John Platsidakis, Managing Director at Maran Dry Management Inc. and Chairman of INTERCARGO; Spyridon Tarasis, General Manager of Olympic Vision Maritime Inc.; and Akis Tsirigakis, CEO of Sevenseas Capital Management. The participants drew on their experience at the helm of companies active in cargo markets, as representatives of organisations and from their years of shipping experience to answer questions posed by the moderator and audience members.

In an interview with journalist Penelope Gavras, Andreas Papandreou, Professor of Environmental Economics at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, presented a multidimensional view of sustainable development from the environmental, economic and geopolitical perspectives. He stressed their importance for societies, governments and the economy, and prompted an audience debate by stressing the importance of transnational efforts and cooperation of the scientific community with citizens, the business community and the public administration. Professor Papandreou noted that almost all sustainable development goals relate in one way or another to shipping, as has been communicated in several IMO campaigns. Although Goal 14 regarding the sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources most directly relates to shipping, the sector also has an important role to play in achieving Goals 1 (“No Poverty”), 2 (“Zero Hunger”) and 10 (“Reduced inequality between nations and peoples”) as it is a key player in world trade. One of the greatest challenges shipping faces is that of atmospheric (and ocean) pollution, and it is imperative for both the future of the planet and the shipping industry that Climate Action is taken as outlined in Goal 13.

Professor Papandreou said this presents Greek Shipping with a unique opportunity. Though the country is small and thus unable to contribute significantly to the prevention of the climate change, the Greek shipping community can play an important role. Indeed, it could be the only occasion when a small nation can have such a great global impact. “I would like to see how Greek ship-owners will handle the technological transition without, of course, forgetting the pursuit of profit,” he said. In closing, in his capacity as Co-Chair of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Greece (SDSN Greece), supported by the European Union, for the promotion of innovation in climate change, Professor Papandreou called for the shipping industry to transform Greece into a hub for climate change innovation.

In his introductory remarks, Christos Lambridis, Secretary General for Ports, Port Policy and Maritime Investment, addressed Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Island Policy on a range of issues on behalf of the Minister Giannis Plakiotakis (Nea Dimokratia Member of Parliament and the party’s spokesman on maritime affairs) and Leonidas-Dimitriades-Eugenides, IMO Ambassador and President of the Eugenides Foundation, noting that the fate of the planet is inextricably linked to that of shipping.

After the Forum ended, a cocktail reception was held to honour the speakers, sponsors and delegates.

The event was supported by:

  • Platinum Sponsor: Bureau Veritas Hellas A.E.
  • Gold Sponsors: Marine Tours, IRI-The Marshall Islands Registry, TE.MI.KA. LTD and STARBULK
  • Silver Sponsors: American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company Limited, Hill Dickinson, Marichem Marigases Worldwide Services, MATRIX Broker at Lloyds, Panamanian Services SA, West of England P&I Club, QBrokers Hellas S.A., ShipMoney, TMS-Bulkers
  • Bronze Sponsors: Blue Aigaion, DORIC Shipbrokers, Groupama Asfalistiki, Future Care, Hellenic Marine Adjusters, Margetis Maritime Consulting, Orion International Brokers and Consultants LTD, Thomas Cooper
  • Badges Sponsor: Gulf Agency Co (GAC)
  • Media partners: AllaboutShipping, Economia, efoplistesnews.gr, ELNAVI, Hellenic Shipping News, Naftemporiki, naftemporiki.gr, maritimes.gr, Naftika Chronika, nafsgreen.gr, Newsfront NAFTILIAKI, Safety4Sea, SHIPPING.

Supporting Organisations:

  • ALBA Graduate Business School
  • Hellenic Shortsea Shipowners Association
  • Masters and Mates Union of the Greek Merchant Marine (PEPEN)
  • Piraeus Association for Maritime Arbitration



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