Dividing complex projects into manageable phases is a good way of making progress. This approach helps businesses to identify challenges and map them spatially (i.e. where do the problems exist), and temporally (i.e. when are the problems likely to be encountered or by when will solutions be needed?).
It’s clear that decarbonising the shipping industry is a very complex project. But while each business will have its own unique challenges and timelines, every project can be understood using three phases of transition. These span the process from defining the problem to implementing solutions, multiplied across three transition domains – the operation; the asset; and the human element.
One size does not fit all, but readers should find this framework helpful for understanding the fundamentals of maritime decarbonisation and arranging the tools needed to tackle their own decarbonising efforts. The three phases are discover, understand, engage.
Phase 1: Discover
The Discover phase consists of three actions designed to set out the problem, gather the information required to begin solving it, and put in place tried and tested techniques to turn data into understanding. This is a critical first step for any successful energy transition strategy.
Phase 2: Understand
Gaining understanding is about realising the root causes of a problem in order to set about finding the right solutions. The purpose of this is to ultimately avoid wasted effort and convert learning into action. This begins with a systematic diagnosis in order to select the right tools to apply.
Phase 3: Execute
Writer, philosopher and polymath, John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) once wrote, “It is far more difficult to be simple than to be complicated; far more difficult to sacrifice skill and easy execution in the proper place, than to expand both indiscriminately.”
What Ruskin describes is the result of effective discovery and understanding prior to planning and taking action. If undertaken effectively, phases 1 and 2 should highlight the simplest and most efficient route to success. Therefore, creating a plan and putting that plan into action represent the final phase in a well considered maritime energy transition strategy.
In conclusion, the journey towards maritime decarbonisation can be effectively navigated using the structured three-phase approach: Discover, Understand, and Execute. By segmenting this vast endeavour into these distinct stages, businesses can systematically address the multifaceted challenges they encounter. It’s about first comprehending the problem, delving deep into its root causes, and then implementing robust actions. Emphasising the importance of a well-laid strategy, this framework not only simplifies the complex process but also provides businesses with a clear roadmap. As they venture into their unique decarbonisation challenges, this framework serves as a foundational guide to shape their energy transition strategies.