Warwick Norman, the CEO and founder of online vetting portal RightShip, has been awarded the Order of Australia today for his commitment to improving safety in the maritime industry as well as protecting the marine environment.
The Order of Australia recognises Australian citizens for exceptional achievement or meritorious service.
RightShip was established by BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Cargill in Melbourne in 2001, led by Norman, to improve global maritime safety standards. It now has over 300 customers and over 2,000 users of its vetting system.
Commenting on the honour, Norman said: “I am immensely proud and delighted to be recognised in the Order of Australia. From beginning my career as seafarer cadet, over the years I have become more and more passionately committed to protecting our seafarers, our cargo, our vessels and our precious marine environment. Today, RightShip’s data is seriously influencing the decisions of charterers, port operators, ship owners and maritime financiers for the better, as they seek to reduce carbon emissions and improve their risk management.”
Speaking to Splash today, Norman said he hopes others in the industry will see this as further incentive to focus attention on safety, sustainability and seafarer welfare.
“Overall I think it’s great to raise the profile of shipping industry in Australia, which too often goes under the mainstream radar,” Norman added.
Last year, Norman announced his retirement and was due to be replaced in September 2017, however he’s since extended his tenure as CEO until the end of January.
“Work on my replacement is ticking along behind the scenes, and the Board – who are being very diligent in ensuring the right person step in – are hoping to have an announcement very soon,” Norman said.
Asked on where the industry could make some quick environmental gains, Norman was quick to point to the introduction of ambitious industry-wide emission targets, clean and quick acceptance of the 2020 low sulphur regulations, and stressed that any tax that is to be levied on fuel should be directly used to improve the efficiency of vessels, or remove the least efficient vessels.