Sustainable Shipping Initiative Appoints First Director

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Sustainable Shipping Initiative Appoints First Director

The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) has appointed Helle Gleie as its first director and head of the organisation
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 2:45pm

CONTENT: Press Release

The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) has appointed Helle Gleie as its first director and head of the organisation.

Helle, who has 35 years’ experience in the shipping industry, will lead the SSI from Monday 2 September 2013. The SSI is a global coalition of companies and NGOs aiming to make shipping economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable by 2040. It now comprises 21 member organisations from across the maritime and associated sectors, including Maersk Line, Rio Tinto, Unilever and WWF.

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 becomes an independent organisation, with Helle at the helm to drive the members in their joined mission to achieve a shipping industry which is both sustainable and profitable.

Danish-born Helle, 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. Helle 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.

Helle 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 Helle 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 organisation 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 per cent 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.”

Helle 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 later this month, where I will be discussing the industry’s achievements, sustainability barriers and the SSI’s future endeavours with senior stakeholders from throughout the industry. I am confident that my experience, passion and energy will drive the Initiative in its progress.”

Helle’s directorship, based in London, will focus on co-ordination of the Initiative’s forward-looking plans and key areas for action building on the impressive co-operation between the members.

The SSI’s conference in Singapore on 26 September 2013 will be a perfect opportunity for Helle to make immediate positive impact in her new role. Ship-owners, charterers, operators, shipbuilders, engineers, marine financiers and supply chain managers from around the world will be able to meet Helle at the conference, registration for which is available at

Previously based in Denmark, Helle is a keen sportswoman and a mother of three.


Further information

In the UK / Europe

Richard Rigby, Rolf Merchant and Debbie Hindle, Four Communications

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3697 4200


In Singapore / Asia

Lars Voedisch and Melody Espanol, PRecious Communications

Tel: +65 3151 4760


About the SSI

The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) is an ambitious coalition of shipping leaders from around the world, which is taking practical steps to tackle some of the sector’s greatest opportunities and challenges. The group is working to achieve a vision of an industry in which sustainability equals success.

The SSI has been an independent organisation since September 2013. It was started by NGO Forum for the Future and has been led by the NGO’s staff since its inception in 2010. The cross-industry group represents ship owners and charterers, shipbuilders, engineers and service providers, banking, insurance, and classification societies. 21 member organisations are already involved including key industry players such as Maersk Line, Lloyd’s Register, Cargill, DNV, Rio Tinto, Unilever and Wärtsilä. It is the first time the shipping industry has joined forces on such a cooperative global scale to tackle big sustainability issues.

The ultimate goal is to show that collaborative action is possible, and to mobilise support across the industry, demonstrating that shipping can contribute to – and thrive in – a sustainable future.

For more information please visit or follow us at @SustShipping.

About Forum for the Future

Forum for the Future is a global sustainability non-profit which works with business, government and others to solve tricky issues together. We share what we’ve learned so that others can benefit – and act.  Working with pioneering partners, we transform the essential systems of food, energy and finance to secure a more fulfilling life for us and future generations. Forum for the Future has facilitated the first phase of the SSI and has enabled it to become an independent organisation.

Keywords: Environment | Maersk Line | Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | Sustainable Shipping | Value Chain | collaboration | csr | low carbon | supply chain

CONTENT: Press Release