The Portrait - Cecilia Andersson


Stena Line aim to become a leader in sustainable shipping. As the Environmental Manager at Stena Line, Cecilia Andersson is a driving force in attaining this goal.

In 2016, Stena Line’s management decided to put sustainability high on the agenda, and in conjunction with this, an entirely new sustain-ability department was formed with the aim of intensifying work with sustainability for all Stena Line’s ports, vessels and offices. Cecilia took on the role and challenge as Environmental Manager and her job description became much wider than before.

“When I started as an Environmental Controller at Stena Line in 2010, I worked mostly with environmental and permit issues for our Swedish ports and Scandinavian vessels,” says Cecilia. “My duties included supporting the ships and ports with environmental goals, monitoring and implementing various projects. Everything from waste and chemical handling improvements to reduced noise and emissions into the air and water.” At the group level, I was responsible for sustainability reporting to Stena AB and introduced the SAVE e-learning to inspire and educate our colleagues how to save energy and resources.

“My current role involve all ten countries in which we have operations, and sustainability is high on the agenda, encompassing environ-mental, ethical and social issues.”

The UN has set 17 global goals for sustainable development, and based on these, Stena Line has developed five focus areas and linked them to the company’s operations. The five focus areas are Good Health and Well-being, Clean Energy, Responsible Consumption, Life Below Water and Equality, and Inclusion.

“Activities related to these focus areas is largely driven by other functions, but we maintain the overall approach, provide support, report to management and produce a sustainability overview,” says Cecilia. “There are many different sustainability issues we need to deal with because our operations are so broad. On the one hand, it is about technical operation and environmental impact in ports and on vessels, but we also have hotel and restaurant operations, which have completely different challenges. My job also includes monitoring global developments and communication, not least for gaining new knowledge and learning from others. An important part of this work is that since the spring of 2019, I’ve chaired the Environmental Committee at the Swedish Shipowners’ Associ-ation, where various shipping companies learn from each other, monitor new legislation and try to influence future laws.”



“Internally, the biggest challenge is in getting everyone to understand that the things we do together actually make a difference,” says Cecilia. “But it is important to communicate this in the right way, and a decision made at the head office can be difficult to implement in a large organi-sation. It is primarily about leadership, acceptance and willingness to change one’s behaviour. We have 20 ports, 37 vessels and over 5,000 employees, and change takes time. We’re now launching an updated e-learning, Save More, which we hope will prove to be a good tool and provide inspiration and help along the way. 

“Another challenge is in making our sustainability journey sustainable even from an economic perspective.  Our customers take it for granted that we work with sustainability but are not always prepared to pay more for environmentally friendly travel and transport. We’re also lacking enough good means of control for further development of greener shipping. Even if we could technically make certain investments and use cleaner fuel, this would simply be too expensive to implement.” 

Compared to Cecilia’s previous experience in the steel and automotive industries, which have a long history of environmental regulation, she says that shipping’s degree of maturity in sustain-
ability was low when she started at Stena Line nearly 10 years ago. A big change can now be seen in terms of demands from authorities, the general public and the global operating environ-ment, as well as from within the company.

“Since I started, a lot has happened. We have gone from having one person working with environmental issue to the entire company accepting that sustainability should permeate everything we do,” she says. “My dream is for everyone to understand that what each of us do, really does matter. We cannot stand still, and if a hotel can be eco-labelled our vessels must be able to accomplish this too. Our ambition is to be a leader in sustainable shipping. But must show our customers that we actually live up to this. It’s about credibility and our brand, but in the long run it’s about the survival of the company. Ashore, the development of cleaner fuel and electrification is moving at a fast pace. Shipping must never be the least environmental friendly mode of transport.”



“My husband and I share everything that concerns the children and the home, which is very important in achieving a good work-life balance. If you want to reduce your environ-mental impact, park your car and cycle as much as possible. Dare to try something new, like a vegetarian lunch. Last summer, the whole family took the train to Croatia. It was great fun and we want to do it again. In my work I take many meetings via Skype, but of course it’s also important to physically visit sites now and then.”

NameCecilia Andersson
TitleEnvironmental Manager, Stena Line
Years at Stena9,5
FamilyHusband Rickard and three children, 6, 11 and 13 years of age.
InterestsExercise in all forms, spending time in the nature and going to concerts.


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