SAFETY4SA: How did it come about that you joined shipping industry and your field of expertise specifically?
Sofie Hebeltoft: I joined shipping as a project manager in DFDS’s internal strategy consultant team a little over two years ago. And after a year I got the assignment of developing our CSR strategy and that led me to my current role.
S4S: What about your current job/ role most excites you and why?
S.H.: It is really exciting to work with CSR and sustainability in an industry like shipping. There are a lot of challenges but also a lot of opportunities and this mix is very interesting. At the same time it’s a topic that many people cares about, so it has relevance for many people both internally and externally with customers and stakeholders.
S4S: What is the best and what was the worst piece of advice you've ever been given and why?
S.H.: I can’t remember that I’ve ever been given a bad advice, but I think the best advice was to just jump out in the deep and take a chance. The times I’ve followed this advice I’ve newer drowned but instead learned a lot. But I also have to admit that it sometimes can be a difficult advice to follow, leaving the comfort zone.
S4S: What is the most worthwhile career investment (in energy, time, money) you’ve ever made?
S.H.: Working as a management consultant for 5 years in the beginning of my career has opened a lot of doors for me. Being able to work with people and organisations and tackling their challenges has given me a lot of experience and personal development that I still benefit from today.
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?
S.H.: Again I don’t think any advice is bad advice – it’s just a different perspective on a specific situation. But if I could coach my 18-year-old-self, I would encourage her to take more chances and not being afraid to fail. Ask more questions and encourage curiosity is also a good advice to young people. Things are changing so fast these days, but sometimes you don’t see it when you are busy with everyday work. But questions on status quo can really make people stop and think – and change.
S4S: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your business life?
S.H.: Being able to work with CSR and sustainability has put a totally new dimension to my business life. It is very rewarding to be able to work with topics that are crucial for all – both people and companies. It has made me see business in another perspective – both as part of the problem but also very much as part of the solution.
S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape and your area of expertise specifically and why?
S.H.: I would create better opportunities for maritime companies to move towards green. Right now there are a lot of challenges relating to cost, regulation, risks etc.. But the willingness to change is there, so it would be great if that transitions could be faster and smoother.
S4S: What is your personal motto?
S.H.: Try to be a bit better today than yesterday – it can be the start of a great journey. And remember to have fun along the way.
About Sofie Hebeltoft, CSR Director, DFDS
Sofie Hebeltoft is CSR Director in DFDS and was responsible for launching the updated CSR strategy in 2019. Sofie is part of the team behind DFDS large investment in biofuel to reduce ferries' CO2 emissions. In her first job in DFDS she was part of a team of internal strategy consultants. Prior to DFDS Sofie has held different positions in Falck, Coor Service Management and EY. All the time focusing on project management and implementation. Sofie holds bachelor in Philosophy and economy and a master’s degree in Supply Change Management – both from Copenhagen Business School.