What is more, building a strong network can only be a useful tool for inspiration, knowledge and new career paths. In the sustainability sphere, Mr Haugland would like to see the sector ''taking much bolder steps'' toward decarbonization.


SAFETY4SEA: How did it come about that you joined shipping industry and your field of expertise specifically?

Bjørn Haugland: I grew up close to the ocean in Bergen, on the west coast of Norway, and it has always played a central role in my life. I realised at a young age that wanted to become a naval architect and pursue a career in the shipping industry, which plays a critical role in the development of the Norwegian welfare state as we know it today. I have held various management and business development positions over the past 30 years, and I have a particularly strong interest and expertise in sustainable shipping matters.


S4S: What about your current job/ role most excites you and why?

Bj.H.: I have a strong passion for sustainable development, and I also enjoy learning and working with new technologies and solutions. In my present role I get to work across different industry segments with players across the entire value chain and doing cross-industry collaborations like this enables technology transfer and business model innovation.


S4S: When you think of the word successful who's the first person who comes to mind and why?

Bj.H.:I have always been inspired by Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen. They are Norway’s most famous polar explorers and adventurers, and together they were the young country’s undisputed national heroes in the years following independence in 1905. They were both pioneering polar researchers, explorers and they piloted new technology in Arctic shipping and polar flights. They filled roles as nation builders and polar heroes.  Nansen was also a diplomat and politician, and did much  humanitarian work for the League of Nations, that  earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922.


S4S: What is the best and what was the worst piece of advice you've ever been given and why?

Bj.H.:The best piece of advice I have got is always to be curious, open and respectful in meeting with new people and cultures. This has been useful for me as I have traveled a lot during my career and worked and lived in both Korea and China. The worst piece of advice has been everybody that has put my focus on problems rather than solutions. It’s all about which mindset you choose.


S4S: What is the most worthwhile career investment (in energy, time, money) you’ve ever made?

Bj.H.:For me the most important career investment has been to build my network. I strongly recommend systematic building and maintenance of your personal network - it will first and foremost be a source of learning and inspiration, but also unlock career opportunities.


S4S: If you could give a piece of advice to your 18-year-old-self one thing, what would it be and why? What piece of advice should you ignore?

Bj.H.:My best advice will be to always be yourself and be kind and respectful with everybody you meet along your way, even – no, especially – those you disagree with.


S4S: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your business life?

Bj.H.:I am an active user of social media and have discovered the enormous potential these technologies have to influence, learn and build networks and help us to communicate.



S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape and your area of expertise specifically and why?

The maritime industry is moving towards more sustainable practices across the entire value chain. However, I still say we are not doing enough, and we are not moving fast enough. I would like to see the sector taking much bolder steps to decarbonize the entire industry.


S4S: What is your personal motto?

I like to live by the famous Mark Twain quote, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.”



About Bjørn Kjærand Haugland, Chief Sustainability Officer, Norway203040

Bjørn Kjærand Haugland is the new CEO of Norway 203040, a business-led climate initiative to support Norway in achieving its national climate commitments by 2030. He is the former Executive Vice President and the Chief Sustainability Officer in DNV GL Group. Haugland has extensive experience assisting multinational companies in areas such as sustainability, climate change and innovation. He is board member in StormGeo, the University of Bergen, WWF and Global Maritime Knowledge Hub. He is responsible for the Global Opportunity Report and the Global Opportunity Explorer.