Our daily operations are focussed on activities that create value for our Members, clients and employees, whilst at the same time positively affecting the environment and society at large. Our strategic objectives are based on three pillars of excellence – knowledge and expertise, financial strength and long-term relationships, with CSR being a key part of each pillar.
We work to continuously improve our business practices to strengthen our reputation for sustainable operations, creating a working environment where employees focus on doing the right thing. Our ethical guidelines and whistle-blowing programme ensure that all employees across the globe act in accordance with our agreed standards and guidelines.
Our focus on continuous improvement has placed our employees at the forefront of our industry – and our desire for constant improvement is a key element of what sets us apart from our peers.
CSR is also an integral aspect of our investment strategy, and we fully support the UN Principles of Responsible Investment and actively encourage fund managers to sign up to them. These Principles recognise that long-term sustainable returns are dependent on stable, well-functioning and well-governed social, environmental and economic systems.
Knowledge sharing is a key foundation
We are committed to making a positive contribution to the industries we serve by offering dedicated resources for knowledge sharing and participation. For example, members of the Gard team make a strong contribution to the work of the International Group (IG). By providing a wide range of expertise in legal, insurance and technical matters to the IG’s subcommittees and working groups they help both the industry and society at large.
We are involved in various global industry initiatives with other maritime organisations, and Gard Updates are widely distributed and shared across the industry. We believe that, by sharing our insight, we can help to improve industry standards and promote collaboration among industry participants for mutual value creation. We have also instigated other digital initiatives to improve collaboration and knowledge sharing across the organisation, and to help reduce the group’s environmental footprint.
We look to build long-term relationships with external stakeholders and maintain a network of partners to enhance knowledge sharing on corporate responsibility issues. We develop strong relationships with local communities, regulators and partners to drive sustainability. We form strategic alliances with learning institutions to build competence and sustainability-related capabilities internally and externally. At the heart of this is the Gard Academy, which was set up in September 2002 as a centre of learning, offering tailor-made courses, workshops and seminars for both employees and external parties to improve their knowledge and skills.
We have supported of the Arendal International School since its launch, and 2016 sees it celebrate its 10 year anniversary. Over the past decade the school has grown from 20 to 180 students, from over 50 countries.
Supporting humanitarian work
In 2015 we signed a partnership agreement with the Norwegian Red Cross. Having supported the organisation in its work handling the aftermath of natural disasters for many years, this is the start of a broader and deeper relationship.
In addition to financial aid at international, national and regional level, the Red Cross will be able to access Gard’s expertise and global correspondent network to receive assistance with its projects. In return, our employees will benefit from the Red Cross’s field expertise in crisis handling, crisis communication, infrastructure and international agreements.
The annual Claes Isacson Scholarship for maritime education was set up in 2013 to help finance an education at university level, with a view to its recipients finding work within the shipping and marine insurance sectors. In 2015 two scholarship were awarded to Vincent Yeung from Hong Kong and Chentao Xie from Singapore.
We also continue to support the World Maritime University (WMU), founded in 1983 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialised agency of the United Nations and a centre of excellence for maritime post-graduate education and research The WMU aims to further enhance the objectives and goals of the IMO and its member states around the world through education, research, and capacity building to ensure safe, secure, and efficient shipping on clean oceans. Gard’s Chief Human Resources Officer serves on the Executive Board and, since 2011, we have sponsored a number of students at the university.