The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI), is a 21-strong coalition of some of the biggest organizations across the shipping and associated sectors. It was convened by the NGO Forum for the Future in 2010 to find ways to get the shipping and supply chains industries to create a more sustainable shipping industry. Its members, from across the maritime and associated sectors, include Maersk Line, Rio Tinto, Unilever and WWF.

It has now becomes its own independent organization and appointed Helle Gleie, who has worked for Maersk Supply Service and the Baltic and International Maritime, to lead the organization from London. Gleie has 35 years’ experience in the shipping industry.

The SSI was started by Forum for the Future and has been led by the NGO’s staff since its inception in 2010. In September the SSI became an independent organization, with Gleie at the helm to drive the members in their joined mission to achieve a shipping industry which is both sustainable and profitable.

Danish-born Gleie, 55, has a diverse background in maritime, commercial and operational areas. She is CEO of her own company, Denmark-based ITOLEAD Consulting Group, and has recently worked as head of crew operation globally at Maersk Supply Service. Gleie has worked for the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), an NGO whose members in 120 countries control 65% of the world’s tonnage, for several years.

Gleie is a member of WISTA (Women in Shipping and Trading Association), the Danish charterers club and the CMI (Comité Maritime International).

The expertise and specialist understanding of varied issues in the industry garnered from these positions will give Gleie a firm footing to drive the SSI towards its ‘Vision 2040’.

Founder director and trustee of Forum for the Future, Jonathon Porritt, said: “The SSI becoming an organization in its own right is a promising move. Its ambition is clear to see. It has a key role to play within an industry which carries up to 90% of global trade, and has the potential to have a great impact on a raft of environmental issues. We wish Helle great success in her new role.”

Gleie added: “Heading the SSI is a fantastic and unique opportunity.We are undertaking an extremely important mission to promote previously unknown levels of cross- industry co-operation and drive innovations in financing, fuels, technology and contracting. I am particularly excited to be involved in the SSI’s important industry conference in September, where I will be discussing the industry’s achievements, sustainability barriers and the SSI’s future endeavours with senior stakeholders from throughout the industry.”