Tracking activities in maritime trade is critical for managing ESG across multiple large transport vessels. Pole Star Global has acquired a London-based technology startup, Vasanda, which specialises in sustainability risk assessments of commodity transactions. The company believes this acquisition will allow its customers to carry out a pre-trade risk assessment of vessels and transactions, which will cover the environmental, social and governance risks.
Pole Star Pioneering Technology
Vessel tracking and screening is the main focus of Pole Star, as it develops new technologies for maritime insights that empower real-world decision-making. The company works with governments and businesses to create security, transparency, and environmental compliance in the supply chain. The firm also plays a crucial role in the safety of ships, cargo, livelihoods and territorial waters.
What Will The Acquisition Offer?
Pole Star is collaborating with Vasanda to enhance its maritime transport monitoring. The ‘Ecosphere’ is a product developed by Vasanda that allows for real-time monitoring of climate impact data. This includes all environmental activity such as deforestation, soil erosion and fire. The system also assesses environmental degradation in the commodity value chains.
Vasanda’s system will be used alongside Pole Star’s PurpleTRAC solution, which is currently used to monitor international trade risks. Polestar says this will provide a “360-degree view of regulatory and sustainability risk relating to any actively traded commodity”.
According to Philip Lilliefelth, Acting Chief Executive at Vasanda, the partnership “has come just at the right time for banks, lenders and companies engaged in the international trade finance supply chain”. He continues by saying, “All around the globe, regulators and investors are intensely concerned about the environmental and social impact of the commodity industry.”
Julian Longson, Managing Director at Pole Star, also commented on the partnership. As our climate emergency worsens, there is an immediate need for greater transparency and accountability across the supply chain, particularly in the maritime industry.”As our climate emergency worsens, there is an immediate need for greater transparency and accountability across the supply chain, particularly in the maritime industry.”
Partners With Responsible Organisations
Pole Star has expanded its focus on supply chain sustainability, specifically in vessel screening services. Last year, the company partnered with CarbonChain, an organisation that supports businesses to improve carbon reduction. This partnership raised some insights into the levels of carbon emissions among vessels, of which some are five times higher than other vessels of similar size.
Following an injection of private equity investment, Pole Star’s stake in Vasanda will support the company in tracking its sustainability indicators, with potential for changes in financial terms if companies comply with ESG standards. Longson says, “if the carbon rating or polluter status of a ship can be tracked and compared to its peer group, the institution concerned can potentially be a few basis points better off in terms of working capital and finance packages they receive from the banks.”