CEO's Column - NORDEN News Magazine Winter 2008
We have left 2007 behind, which turned out to be a great as well as exciting year for NORDEN, and now we look ahead – towards new challenges. Let me just give you three examples:
Like everyone else, NORDEN must find its place in a world in which companies are relied upon to act as good corporate citizens taking responsibility for safety at sea, work environment, the environment in general, employees’ circumstances and opportunities as well as other topics which fall within the complex known as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
For a number of years, we have worked with these topics in NORDEN – mostly based on common sense than on an actual structured CSR policy. Now we are working on formulating such a policy, and we are having the necessary but useful discussions on what we want and what it is allowed to cost. We do not aspire to save the world at NORDEN, and we do not claim to know everything. We approach the matter most humbly, and as part of the initial steps we have recently decided to invest in a programme to reduce CO2 and other emissions from our vessels even further. Focus naturally remains on our owned vessels. Learn more about the actions we have already taken and where we will focus our future efforts on pages 4-5 in NORDEN News Magazine, winter 2008.
The expansion of our fleet is in itself a challenge as NORDEN expects to expand both the active fleet in general as well as the number of owned vessels specifically in the years to come. It is not unrealistic that we will own about 30 vessels in a few years – which is more than double that which we own today. An expansion of the owned fleet will increase our need for qualified employees at sea and on land. We will have to attract a lot of new, qualified officers and mariners in a market in which other shipping companies are expanding their fleet as well and where demand for qualified people therefore is heavily on the rise. Consequently, we have to increase our HR efforts both at home and abroad in terms of quality which is something you can learn more about on pages 6-7.
In a third area, NORDEN is also facing an exciting challenge. Last year, the NORDEN share was the eighth most traded share on OMX Nordic Exchange Copenhagen, and it was therefore admitted to the benchmark OMXC20 index of the 20 most liquid Danish shares at the end of December 2007. This will increase the focus on NORDEN even further – something which was already hinted at in early January when we held a well-attended capital markets day for international and Danish analysts and investors.
We must be able to handle the increased interest from a growing number of stakeholders, not least the customers. We are therefore working with business intelligence processes which you can learn more about in the article on pages 10-11. Here we explain how we continuously improve the processes so that they may assist us in doing intelligent business.
The three areas – CSR, recruitment and talent development as well as the close dialogue with a growing number of stakeholders – are not as such new challenges for NORDEN. The new aspect of it is that these challenges have begun to fi ll more and will get to fi ll even more. I also think that this will be evident when we, in the course of 2008, present key points in the Company’s new strategy plan towards 2010 and the following years. The strategy planning has just come to an end, and I don’t give away too much by saying that we have some busy but exciting years ahead of us.