Beyond IMO 2020:  Ali Riaz, CEO of OrbitMI

Adam Riccoboni
September 7, 2020

Part of our ongoing series on sustainability and IMO 2020 Compliance. Interview featuring Ali Riaz, CEO of OrbitMI


Ali Riaz, CEO of OrbitMI 1. In the overall context of global sustainability, how important is sustainability in shipping and why?


Sustainability in shipping is increasingly important and not just because of the obvious reasons such as IMO regulations and ethical demands.  Firms in the shipping sector that actively and sincerely support sustainability effort will do a better job of attracting talent in younger generations. These workers seek meaning and purpose in their lives and will be more likely to join a firm that shares those values. 


2. What can shipping companies do to reduce carbon footprint in line with regulations? 


Not every company is in the business of building green ships so first, they need to understand how their operations impact the environment. Second, they should then identify how they can make a meaningful difference. For some it may be using data to make better decisions. For others it may be installing scrubbers.  For other it may be route optimization.  


3. What are the benefits of being sustainable for shipping owners & operators? 


Improving the environment and a better company reputation, for starters.  Furthermore, there are studies that demonstrate how in the long-term investment in sustainability drives both higher return on investment and profitability. 


4. What are risks or pitfalls to avoid in developing more sustainable solutions? 


Being knowledgeable and mindful about sustainability are noble, but insufficient. Drive your knowledge and sincerity towards specific, measurable actions that you can share with your employees, investors and stakeholders.  Intention without action amount to delay, and the problem only gets worse if we do nothing. 


5. Name two or three obstacles for achieving sustainability in shipping (e.g. Standards? Culture? Uncertainty in regulations?) and describe why they matter? 


Lack of standards is a big obstacle, but other industries have created standards; so will shipping. Even so, once there are standards, that information must get to the people who can make an impact in real-time, versus a static report that tells you what already happened.     


6. How can technology be leveraged to support sustainability? 


Better data improve decision making, and solutions to transform data into actionable insights are emerging. At OrbitMI we have developed a maritime intelligence platform that can optimize vessel routing. We have evidence which shows how using the Orbit platform improves profitability and substantially.  More efficient routing reduces bunker consumption which reduces cost and emissions.   


7. What's the one thing that you'd want our readers to take away from this roundtable? 


Deepen your understanding of how you can make a difference. Identify best practices and seek out tools and partners to help you meet your goals.   



Learn more about Comply, our Sustainability and IMO Solution


IMO 2020 Compliance Sustainability In Maritime


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