Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2020


We support sustainable industrial transformation

Sustainable innovation

With our significant research and development investments in sustainable innovation, KONGSBERG demonstrates our long-term commitment to the environmental sustainability agenda. Our most important environmental contribution is to use our technology, capabilities and expertise to develop ever more climate friendly solutions for our customers, with focus on industrial efficiency while strengthening the safety, security and reliability of their operations.

In addition to our investments in sustainable R&D, KONGSBERG invests heavily in marketing our innovative green solutions and in supporting our customers in the green transition to integrate more eco-friendly products and solutions. Our proactive end-to-end approach is made to ensure these sustainable options are not only available but are implemented so they can deliver their positive environmental contribution as soon as possible.

Research and Development

KONGSBERG is investing heavily in the upgrading of our existing product portfolio and the development of new products. The upgrades and improvements to the product portfolio are focused on ensuring that our customers have access to new versions and improvements where required. It is also important to invest in existing products to ensure that they can continue to be produced and maintained throughout their lifecycle.

In recent years, KONGSBERG have spent between a third and half of its R&D investments on the development and innovation of new products and services, and in 2020 this amounted to around MNOK 1,350 (950). A significant portion of this, around MNOK 400 (350), was spent on what we categorize as sustainable innovation. We continue this strategic initiative, alongside to developing our methods for categorizing economic activities according to the EU Taxonomy, both as a driver of technology development, and to prepare for new reporting requirements.

Sustainable innovation for the Shipping sector

The shipping industry contributes over 3 per cent of the global carbon footprint, being responsible for broader environmental impact due to for example transporting sea life to places where they could displace local fauna and flora. KONGSBERG aim to find innovative, greener and disruptive solutions leveraging our extensive maritime experience and the strength of strategic partnerships. An example of this is the HullSkater project: Kongsberg Maritime and Jotun have launched their new remotely operated Jotun HullSkater – a revolutionary robotics-based solution for proactive hull cleaning, with the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 10 million tonnes annually if just 25 per cent of ships in challenging operations converts to this solution by 2030. In addition, Hullskater can reduce pollution from micro plastic and poisonous chemicals from ship-bottom paint, and mitigate the risk of transmitting unwanted organisms.

Kongsberg Maritime and Jotun have launched a revolutionary robotics-based solution for cleaning of ship’s hull.

Increased safety and security at sea

The Vanguard vessel is designed for the the needs of coastal nations for both military and civilian operations, such as search & rescue, harbor and assets protection, subsea survey, exercising authority and sovereignty, anti-access/area-denial, anti-submarine warfare and mine clearance, and detection and disposal. Vanguard, by design, is highly adaptable, with modules based on commercially available technology enabling use of unmanned vehicles for different operational roles. This will reduce both costs and environmental footprint compared to bespoke navy vessels available today.

Moving towards zero emission transport 

We deliver systems for integrated maritime automation and navigation, cargo management and level sensors, temperature sensors and pressure transmitters to the merchant marine and passenger market. Our bridge systems ensure safe and efficient passage for vessels around the world. Our control and monitoring technology continue to introduce new efficiencies for ships, enabling smarter, more profitable operation through fuel reduction, hybrid solutions and process automation. An example of this is the ASKO project, where Kongsberg Maritime and Massterly will equip and operate two zero-emission autonomous vessels for ASKO. These vessels will replace 2 million kilometres of truck transport, saving 5,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

Kongsberg Maritime and Massterly will equip and operate two zero-emission autonomous vessels for ASKO.

Sustainable management of the oceans

Food and life under water are key elements in the UN’s sustainable development goals. Technology companies such as KONGSBERG are important for the resource utilisation of the oceans in a sustainable way, and we see great opportunities and have clear ambitions that the “ocean space expert” KONGSBERG will be an important partner in exploiting this potential. We are investing in solutions for offshore aquaculture, which will enable the development of solutions to move fish farms further away from the coast, where local pollution and fish health are less challenging. KONGSBERG is also perfecting solutions to increase our knowledge of developments in fishery resources in the ocean, which will in turn help to combat overfishing. We are a world-leading manufacturer of scientific instruments for research on fisheries. Single beam and multibeam echosounders and sonars are used on research vessels globally, where scientists rely on our technology and precise measurements.

Through the partnership in the UN Global Compact – Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business, we have participated in the development of the principles of sustainable oceans with the aim of providing a framework for responsible business practices across sectors and geographical areas. We are also an adviser to the UN High-Level Panel for Sustainable Oceans. Read more about this on the UN website

Space surveillance to monitor the health of the planet

KONGSBERG have an extensive space product and services portfolio, from satellite payload and launcher platform products, to antennas and ground services. Many of our solutions are routinely being used for Earth monitoring and surveillance, from oil spill detection, illegal fisheries tracking, to ice monitoring. As an example, our partly owned company KONGSBERG Satelitte Services, will together with partners Planet and Airbus deliver satellite-based optical imagery for deforestation monitoring and control to Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI).

Making the Energy industry greener

KONGSBERG has extensive experience in automation, analysis and sensors. This is how we can provide the energy industry with applications and features for smart data and decision support. We also continuously develop our capabilities and products within digital solutions aim to increase the operational efficiency, safety and reliability of energy assets.

Sustainable innovation

EU’s research programme Horizon 2020 – KONGSBERG’s contribution in flagship programmes

EU’s research programme Horizon 2020 – KONGSBERG’s contribution in flagship programmes

KONGSBERG has participated in a series of environmental research projects during 2020, with focus on safe and sustainable sea transport. We are a highly relevant partner for these important research projects, due to our unique position in maritime system integration and automation. 

HYSEAS - The world’s first sea-going hydrogen-powered RoPax ferry and a business model for European islands 

The project is constructing and testing the vessel hybrid fuel cell power system at full scale and producing the final specification for the vessel fuelling infrastructure that will influence the transition to zero-carbon marine transport. Total funding for the project is MEUR 12.3. 

AUTOSHIP – Autonomous Shipping Initiative for European Waters

The project responds to EU’s need to increase multimodal transport and relieve road congestion. It will develop, equip and run full scale operational demonstrations of autonomous functionality for two vessels and related shore control infrastructure, accelerating the future adoption and commercialization of autonomous shipping. Total funding for the project is MEUR 20.1.

NEXUS – Greener offshore wind operations

The main objective of the NEXUS project is to develop new Service Operation Vessel (SOV) designs and business concepts to meet the urgent and growing needs of the offshore wind operations and industry. The project aims to reduce the costs of maintaining wind farms and thus securing the growth of offshore wind energy sector. New designs will contribute to a 30 per cent reduction in C02 emissions compared to existing vessels. Total funding for the project is MEUR 3.3.

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