Feature / 04 Dec 2022

Sweet smell of success stands out at inaugural Chairman's Sustainability Excellence Awards

There’s a sweet side benefit to one of the projects that earned GAC UK the top prize in the first Chairman’s Sustainability Excellence Awards.

The awards recognise companies throughout the Group for the real, practical initiatives taken to contribute to and promote a sustainable future on environmental and human levels, making sustainability an integral part of our daily activities.

Varied projects
GAC UK earned the top spot with its raft of varied sustainability projects, including sponsoring some beehives in a secret Scottish location. Not only does the initiative support all-important pollinators, but staff and customers enjoy a supply of beeswax candles and honey which won first prize in the Scottish Honey Championships at the Royal Highland Show! To help the bees create that top-notch honey, GAC UK also sponsored a local farmer who turned one of his nearby fields into a wildflower meadow ideal for pollinators like bees and other local wildlife and plants.

At the other end of the country, in Cornwall, south-west England, GAC joined forces with Falmouth Harbour and marine restoration charity Our Only World in sponsoring a seagrass regeneration project to help the delicate marine eco-system.

A third initiative that contributed to GAC UK’s award success the Road to COP26 - GAC Cycle Relay in October 2021. The UK leg of The Ocean Race’s 'Relay4Nature' left GAC Southampton with amateur cyclists including several GAC staff members carrying 'Nature's Baton' on a 500-mile journey to COP26 in Glasgow.

GAC UK’s people are key to its success, and the company considers their health, wellbeing and inclusion as a key part of its commitment to sustainability. The company a became chartered member of the Diversity in Maritime group, led by Maritime UK and the British Ports Association, in March 2021. To do so, they set targets and provide an ongoing commitment to promoting all areas of diversity and inclusion within our business and within the wider UK maritime sector.

GAC UK biodiversity project
GAC UK's Managing Director, Herman Jorgensen (left), together with partners in the GAC beehives and wildflower meadow biodiversity project, Gael the beekeeper (middle) and Colin the farmer (right).
GAC UK COP26 GAC Cycle Relay
The Nature's Baton held by Dan Greenwood (left), GAC UK's Managing Director, Herman Jorgensen (second from left), Guy Partleton (middle), GAC Pindar's General Manager, Jeremy Trouhgton (second from right), and Race Chairman of the Ocean Race, Richard Brisius (right).

Mangroves are arguably nature’s greatest defence against coastal erosion, so efforts to protect and restore them play an important role. GAC Sri Lanka’s hands-on involvement in a project to restore the mangrove ecosystem in Kiralakele sanctuary helped it win the second prize in the inaugural Chairman’s Sustainability Excellence Awards. Solar panels to power the Galle office and workshop, with the excess power generated fed back into the national grid, helped raise the company’s credentials even further.

A multi-pronged approach also played a role in GAC Singapore’s success as second runner up with a range of initiatives including forklift safety enhancement, sustainable maritime delivery using drones, tree planting activities, supporting young maritime talent and a total wellbeing framework as part of the company’s Wellbeing policy.

GAC Sri Lanka solar panels
Solar panels installed on the rooftop of GAC Sri Lanka's Galle office.
Supporting young maritime talent The Genie
GAC Singapore's Managing Director, Sofie Bager, presenting the company's annual book prize to Singapore Polytechnic student Nur Raeis Bin Chairilyany as part of the MaritimeONE scholarship programme spearheaded by the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF).

Making a difference
“The winners of the inaugural awards demonstrate just how much can be done to contribute to sustainability on different levels,” says Group Executive Chairman Björn Engblom. “We can all make a positive difference – whether it be in supporting projects to protect nature, reducing the impact of our operations on the environment, promoting safety and putting our most precious assets – our people – at the top of our corporate agenda.”


Donations of USD 10,000, USD 5,000 and USD 2,500 will be made to the winners’ charities of choice.

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