SAFETY4SEA: Your organization has been shortlisted for the 2019 GREEN4SEA Awards in the ‘Initiative’ category alongside a number of other distinguished nominees. What would you like to share with industry’s stakeholders with respect to this development?
Mark Riggio: BEMA is honored to be mentioned in the company of the other great nominees for this Award. When we started BEMA, we had no idea what to expect. From those humble beginnings, we created an organization that has a servant’s heart, and as such it came as quite a surprise to be nominated. Our focus has always been, and remains, to provide value for our members and to the shipping industry as a whole, and we hope to be able to use this prestigious award as a means to continue to get the message out that we are here to help foster a more environmentally-friendly shipping industry.
S4S: How has your initiative influenced industry’s landscape? What are the key areas of attention?
M.R.: We strive to bring all parties together to create harmony in an otherwise chaotic space. Our initiative has been a great centralizing force to bridge the gap between regulators, ship owners, and the manufacturing community in order to improve the perception of our member’s products and facilitate implementation of IMO’s critical Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention and United States regulations.
S4S: Do you have any new projects on the pipeline and/or plans that you would like to share with the rest of the industry?
M.R.: As a relatively new Association, we are currently focusing on creating a solid foundation for the Association and its Members, and communicating our central message to all stakeholders. Once the BWM Convention implementation cycle commences at the end of this year, we look forward to finding other ways we can serve the industry by advancing the environmental stewardship of ships.
S4S: If you could change one thing about the shipping industry, what would it be and why?
M.R.: If we could change one thing, we would break down the walls between manufacturers and ship owners. We would create a collaborative environment where both sides worked together to streamline the interference that equipment creates to the ship while maximizing the effectiveness of environmental technologies.
S4S: What is your key message to the industry for a more sustainable future of shipping?
M.R.: Shipping simply must be environmentally conscious. If the industry cannot address the environmental impact of shipping, increasing pressures will create more friction between the public and the industry. Consumers are becoming more environmentally sensitive and the savviest owners are already benefiting by marketing themselves in this way.
You may cast your vote for BEMA at 2019 GREEN4SEA Awards dedicated webpage till 22nd of February 2019!
The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.