During Dr. Juha’s doctoral thesis, entitled ‘Sustainability in shipbuilding innovations and reflections on management’, the management teams from shipyards in South Korea and China were used as sources for data for qualitative analysis, with results indicating that top management is the strongest driver of sustainability innovation, followed by strategy and relevant legislation in the business context.

In his research, Dr. Juha compared the sustainability strategies of nine shipyards – five in South Korea and four in China. The findings revealed that the nine shipyards had a deep commitment to both sustainability and CSR, driven in part by demands from customers – particularly those in Northern Europe – and also by their own values.

“People might think China is lagging behind when it comes to sustainability, but we mustn’t underestimate their commitment and expertise. These shipyards are very focused on safety and keen to learn about the latest environmental legislation and solutions to meet them,” says Juha.

Going forward, Wärtsilä  said it will use Dr. Juha’s research to better understand the priorities that drive one of its most important customer segments.

“At Wärtsilä, we pride ourselves on being sustainability frontrunners but, in the past, we may not have been aware that the environmental profile was so important to our Asian shipbuilding customers. Now we know that it’s actually key to our customer value offering,” he says.