We are building up to the Singapore Norway Innovation Conference 20 October 2021. The time is ripe for adopting smart, sustainable solutions. Our planet is at a breaking point and we need urgent actions. Who will be the winners of the future by adapting to change and embracing the business opportunities of the green transition?
In the upcoming weeks we will present our sponsors for SNIC 2021. First up is bronze sponsor Thome Group. Big thanks to longstanding NBAS member Thome Group for your support! A key to understanding the Thome Group is that they put people first. That is whether it concerns their customers or their employees. A clear focus on empowered employees seems to be Thome Group’s key to innovation and sustainable solutions.
The maritime industry continues to undergo digitalization and improves its efforts towards decarbonization. Hence there is a growing need for seafarers to learn new skills. Therefore, Thome strives to be at the cutting edge of new training techniques to enhance the learning and development of its people.
Thome is situated on 43th floor in the historical Hong Leong building in the Central Business District in Singapore. In the elevator one can often see polite, well dressed women and men of all nationalities stepping out of the elevator and entering the Thome offices. Their offices have kept the vintage 1960’s charm.
The best of two worlds
With a little luck you can get elevator-company from the group’s executive vice chairman Claes Eek Thorstensen or CEO Olav Nortun. They are both approachable and extremely knowledgeable. So, if you say hello, you are in for some elaborate views on the maritime industry’s current challenges.Or, you can learn interesting maritime history.
This summer it is 58 years since the company established itself in Singapore. The executive chairman at that time was Claes Eek Thorstensen’ s father, Olav Eek Thorstensen. He took over the sole ownership of Thome in 1981 and is still chairman in the family-owned company. Building on their rich history and experience – the Thome Group of today is a modern company. It is recognized as one of the world’s leading independent international ship managers with offices and agents worldwide. Their services include ship management, offshore structure management, crewing and training, newbuilding and conversion project management. Observers of the maritime industry characterize Thome as a company that harvests the best from two worlds. It originates from the Scandinavian shipping tradition and has developed in tandem with Singapore’s dynamic growth as an international maritime centre.
Cutting edge training
A clear focus on customers’ demands and a genuine appreciation of its employees runs through the company’s history and current values.The employees are not only well-dressed women and men entering Thome’s office in the Hong Leong Building. Thome Group also has 300 vessels under its management. 800 shore staff and more than 12,000 crew members operating worldwide service these vessels.
Being a seafarer is widely recognized as being one of the most hazardous trades in the world. Seafarers serve long term voyages which leave them isolated from friends, family and loved ones for up to nine months at a time. This can put a strain on relationships with loved ones, as well as on an individual’s mental health. In addition, seafarers must endure extreme weather conditions, long working hours and the imminent threat of piracy in many places in the world.
True to their commitment to their employees, Thome Group aims to continuously offer the best training possible. Hence, Thome’s Training Centre provides a broad selection of maritime training courses. These are covering all aspects of the daily operation of ships. The courses range from safety, security, environmental issues, to risk management, audits and inspections, planned maintenance systems and various simulator and workshop-based training courses for deck and engine officers. Thome conducts the training both at modern training facilities around the world, and through virtual and augmented reality.
Thome group – people first
2020 was an unforgettable year due to the challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. In the ship management industry, the global restrictions on travel and movement made the business environment more challenging. Thome faced these challenges head on. The company was praised in the media for the ways in which it tackled these challenges, and it received awards for its effective response to the pandemic. Thome prioritized safety, health and quality and well-functioning IT services, in order to ensure its seafarers were able to perform their roles efficiently and safely at the same time.
Thome also won the Mission to Seafarer’s innovation award for the launch of the TMS Privilege Card. The program aims to aid offshore and onshore staff with their quality of life. Accordingly, it contains special rates and discount packages, ranging from car and housing loans to healthcare plans, mobile phone deals and different insurance policies.
Equally impressive was Thome’s MPA win for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Search and Rescue Operations in 2020’. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore was impressed with Thome’s rescue operation involving one of its managed vessels, the KSL Santiago. By working closely with the US Coast Guard, the crew of the bulker managed to rescue two people from a sailboat that had been disabled by bad weather 300 nautical miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. In the announcement the MPA of Singapore praised the actions of the Master and crew of the KSL Santiago. They immediately changed course to go to the rescue of the sailing boat after having received a weak Mayday message.
Reducing carbon footprint
This summer the new report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that it is code red for humanity. In fact, we have just a small window of opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint drastically to prevent catastrophe. Thome Group takes its responsibility with a clear mission statement of zero pollution. Thome has a zero-tolerance approach to any non-compliance or violation of applicable environmental laws.
The company is also taking tangible action to reduce its carbon footprint. An example is its transition from plastic water bottles to fountains and refillable metal bottles. By replacing plastic bottles on its ships, Thome has helped the carbon footprint by approximately 2355 kg per vessel per year and eliminated about 11, 777 of 1,5 plastic water bottles per vessel per year. For this, and several other initiatives, like green packing, Thome last year achieved the Green4Sea’s Dry Bulk Operator Award. The jury stated that Thome Group is a “ship operator of bulk carriers that demonstrated environmental excellence and performance.”
Thome also received the Safety4Sea Tanker Operator Award in 2020. Thome received the award for excellent safety. In addition, the jury praised Thome for their focus on crew health as an operator of oil, chemical or gas tankers.
Tribute to the seafarers
CEO Olav Nortun beautifully demonstrated that Thome puts people first with his acceptance speech. “It is a tribute to our seafarers, who have coped with the additional burdens brought about by new protocols to keep everyone safe. Also, to the remote, normally office based, colleagues who are always there to support them.”
So, there you have your talking points if you bump into one of the Olavs or Claes at the Hong Leong building or any of the other nearly 13, 000 employees around the world – people first and a tangible action for sustainability.
We thank SNICs bronze sponsor Thome Group for their support. To get in contact with Thome and learn more about the company and their services, please visit their excellent website https://www.thome.com/