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Positive effects from International Shipping

#UN16 #UN17

International shipping brings people together from all parts of the world. Solvang is a good example of this.

Our vessels are built in South Korea, Germany and Japan with equipment and technology from Norway and other European countries. Employees from South Korea, Poland, Norway, Lithuania, the Philippines and numerous other nationalities contribute to the construction of the new-buildings; our vessels load and unload worldwide, and we are currently employing seafarers and office staff from more than 10 different nations.

To work, this complex structure depends on cooperation across different cultures and professions. We acknowledge that decisions made in Solvang’s board room in Norway may have great impact on our employees, their families and the local societies in the Philippines. We take this perspective and responsibility very seriously.

Shipping as an industry is often criticised, but run in a good way, international shipping has a lot of positive effects that rarely make it to the media headlines. Solvang’s goal is not only to be in compliance with rules and regulations but to contribute to a high standard for quality shipping around the world. The world trade depends on shipping – and we strive to increase our positive impact on our surroundings the best we can.

This ambition is not achieved over night but is an ongoing process. Our most important “tools” are our core values quality, friendliness, enthusiasm and team spirit. These should shine through everything we do and everyone we meet on our path – colleagues, customers, owners, competitors, public sector, society and the local and global environment. Done right, we hope our efforts contribute to a positive spiral with positive dialogue and improved standards in an international perspective.

 As a supporter of the principles in the UN Global Compact, member of Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) and ISO 14001-2015 certified, Solvang ASA adheres to high ethical and environmental standards in the way we conduct business.

Examples of how we work to improve standards

Ethical Guidelines 

Solvang has introduced ‘Ethical Guidelines’ comprising our core values, our responsibility for an ethical and conscientious relationship with our employees, stakeholders and the societies we are a part of. 

The ‘Ethical Guidelines’ specifically instruct employees to be very careful about giving and accepting gifts or other services; it is not allowed to offer or accept any form of personal fees, provisions or services that may be interpreted as attempts of influencing decisions or give or accept any form of gift or service in relation to negotiations, or as acknowledgements for a specific contract or behaviour.

We promote “the ethical conduct test” using three simple questions (Is it legal? Is it right? Can it be justified?) to guide our decisions in minor or major ethical dilemmas.

Procurement

We have a ‘Supplier code of conduct’ embracing the UN Global Compact. 

As a member of Incentra we use suppliers with high standards within health, safety, environment that meet Incentra Supplier Code of Conduct and provide quality products and services at competitive terms.

All purchase transactions require support documentation such as: A purchase order (subject to Solvang Terms and Conditions for Purchase Orders) or a stand-alone contract (such as a master purchase agreement).

All Solvang purchases of products or services are subject to Solvang Terms and Conditions for Purchase Orders. Supplier’s acceptance of a purchase order indicates acceptance of both the Terms and Conditions, and of the price, currency and shipping date as stated on the purchase order.

Solvang requires an original invoice (also referred to as a tax invoice). Solvang does not allow payment based on either pro forma invoices or statements. Invoices must meet Solvang requirements for payment.

International custom regulations require duty to be paid on the true net value of imported goods. Therefore, charges such as packaging, freight, and handling must be itemised separately on all invoices submitted for payment.

The only method of payment used by Solvang is by electronic transfer (direct deposit) – we do not accept cash payment.

The Clean Shipping Alliance

Solvang is a member of the The Clean Shipping Alliance 2020. The alliance represents a group of leading companies from the commercial shipping and cruise industries that have been leaders in emission control efforts and have made significant investments in research and analysis, funding and committing resources to comply with 2020 fuel requirements through the development and use of Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS).

In addition to serving as an advocate for companies working to reduce marine exhaust gas emissions, CSA 2020 will support the scheduled implementation and effective enforcement of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) requirement for a 0.5 percent global sulphur cap on fuel content as of January 1, 2020.

Social support

Since more than 95% of Solvang’s maritime employees are from the Philippines, it is natural for us to support activities in that country in particular.

Through the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, Solvang has (as one of 12 members) been supporting the SOS Children’s Village in Cebu with annual funding for their operations since 2008.

In Norway we also give financial support to various activities like The Norwegian Sea Rescue Society, The Salvation Army and Varmestuens Venner to mention some.

Jente i SOS-barnehage på Filippinene. Foto SOS-arkiv