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Pole Star and CarbonChain receive the GTR Leaders in Trade for Sustainability Award

The GTR Leaders in Trade awards highlight excellence in the trade, commodity, supply chain, export finance, and fintech markets. This year, Pole Star and carbon accounting solutions provider, CarbonChain, have been recognised for their support of sustainability efforts across the industry with their joint solution.

With the global commodities sector contributing 50% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 70% of a commodity traders’ carbon emissions relating to shipping, the collaboration aims to tackle rising greenhouse gas emissions in shipping by combining Pole Star’s sanctions screening and regulatory compliance solution, PurpleTRAC, with CarbonChain’s best-in-class GHG emissions calculation tool. Companies can now easily measure their GHG emissions in PurpleTRAC and incorporate this data into their financial reporting and sustainable trade finance programs. 

We caught up with Pole Star’s Global Head of Maritime Trade Technologies & ESG, Simon Ring, and CarbonChain’s CEO & Co-Founder, Adam Hearne, to discuss the partnership and the use of ESG-based solutions in the maritime trade industry going forwards.

Simon, how does CarbonChain’s emissions tool fit with PurpleTRAC?

“PurpleTRAC already enables institutions with sanctions exposures in maritime trade to screen and track vessels, and their associated ownership and management, to ensure their compliance with industry regulations. By incorporating Carbon Chain’s emissions calculations on over 76,000 vessels into the solution, companies can now calculate their environmental impact and that of the vessels in their supply chain too, making compliance with environmental regulations and driving down emissions much simpler. Essentially, they can now incorporate this data into their financial reporting and sustainable trade finance programs, and be rewarded with lower costs for doing so.”

Why is Pole Star supporting sustainability in trade?

“Not only is sustainable trade finance becoming essential for many of our banking and trading clients, but Pole Star understands the urgency in promoting and supporting the move towards sustainable supply chains for the benefit of our environment. Globally, every organisation now carries the responsibility of ensuring a sustainable future is possible and, for Pole Star, the partnership with CarbonChain allows us to enable others in the industry to choose the most environmentally-friendly business options for themselves.”

Your thoughts on being awarded the Leaders in Trade for Sustainability Award?

“We’re incredibly proud to receive this award. It is a testament to the quality of PurpleTRAC and this additional function, as well as the partnership and team behind it. This year has already seen a significant growth in the industry’s focus on sustainability, so this award reflects our commitment to driving that, while increasing efficiency and digitisation at the same time. We’ve always placed a strong emphasis on our collaborations with other members of the industry and our partnership with CarbonChain is no exception; we look forward to continuing our work together.”

Adam, why are ESG-based solutions so important now?

“The groundswell of demand for sustainable solutions is unprecedented at the moment. The last week of announcements is a case in point, with the US and the UK accelerating their decarbonisation trajectories dramatically. Government, society, and industry are taking huge strides towards newly defined sustainability goals. We are witnessing cohesiveness of action that is similar to post war periods in history. Covid-19 has been the inflection point for global alignment of such a high degree. We are essentially retooling the economy towards sustainability with a post-war / post-pandemic level of ambition. History shows that when an economy is retooling, there is money to be made. Companies need the tools to make existing practices more sustainable. If you are not taking action now, you are getting left behind. The cost of decarbonisation will only get more expensive as each year passes. Economists and policy makers globally are making sure of that. The time is now to move on your ESG-initiatives.”

What impact/benefits will this solution have on the industry/planet?

“What gets measured gets managed. The combined solution of CarbonChain and PurpleTRAC means customers can screen vessels to ensure they meet their carbon footprint goals. For traders, vessels emit a majority of their greenhouse gases so we are giving them proactive control of a majority of their annual carbon emission performance. First movers are seeing more favourable engagement from customers, which highlights that a green price premium does exist when companies can confirm that their goods are actually delivered through a green supply chain. Ultimately, the planet benefits too from reduced greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping sector. Shipping is a “hard to abate” sector, as defined by the World Economic Forum, so when the shipping sector moves forward on climate change, the entire planet moves forward.”

Any final thoughts on receiving this award?

“We are humbled and proud to receive this award. Collaboration is an effective lever when it comes to decarbonisation, and this award is a testament to the power of that collaboration. We would like the award to serve as a signal to what solution providers can achieve when they listen to their customers. We will continue to keep customers in the driving seat of this product and look forward to helping more customers with their ESG goals.”

Learn more about Pole Star and CarbonChain's joint solution.

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