IBIA Closes Conference on Ethical Note

Friday November 9, 2018

The International Bunker Industry Association closed its conference in Copenhagen with a look at what role ethics might play in the bunker industry.

Two industry presentations shared their experience of what could prompt a marine fuels company to pursue an ethical path.

Monjasa's head of compliance, Victor Garcia-Bragado, said two events had shaped the company's views on running an ethical business. One was of the collapse of OW Bunker, whose fourth anniversary fell duing the conference. The other was Monjasa's own fraud case in the Danish courts from which the company was fully acquitted. The experience of going through such a case informed company thinking.

"We understood the importance of governance, compliance and full documentation trails," Garcia-Bragado said

Speaking for Bunker Holdings, company law officer Caspar Pasgaard Dybdal said finance was a factor in his company embracing an ethical business policy. He cited the new raft of US-imposed trade sanctions against Iran. Customers want to know where the fuel comes from while financial institutions increasingly expect to see functioning compliance in companies.

"We need to sell compliant products," Dybdal told the conference.

Cecilia Muller Torbrand was on hand to give a broader view of the work of Maritime Anti-Corruption Network where she is programme director.

What ethical business means in practice dominated the debate following the presentations. Going by the number of attendees (around 60 people, an impressive number for the final session of a business conference), the issue has caught people's attention.