22 September 2023

WA Marine Company leading the way

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Lee Bartlett, CEO of WA-based marine company TAMS, talks about using Climate Clever on ICNL Gateway to measure and reduce the business’s climate footprint and get ready to meet the sustainability disclosure requirements of the future.

As an innovative marine and harbour services company, WA-based TAMS is proudly leading the way when it comes to sustainability. 

The company, which employs more than 500 people across Western Australia and Queensland has recently signed up to the ClimateClever platform. 

CEO Lee Bartlett said the company chose to start measuring and reducing its carbon footprint as part of being a responsible corporate citizen. At first, we wondered if TAMS was too small to make a difference and able to inspire change. 

“We don’t need to be a follower. We wanted to be part of the change and play our part to inspire it. Our assets are boats, we have lots of outboard and diesel engines.  

“We are mindful, I suppose, that the industry needs to evolve, and that’s a good thing,” Lee said. 

While sustainability efforts don’t form a material part of any tender processes yet, TAMS is mindful of trying to get ahead of the curve. 

“Those questions will start to come, and I want to be able to tell my clients that we have a plan and already working our way through it to become a more sustainable organization,” Lee said. 

“I feel one of the biggest challenges for smaller businesses, is in understanding the rules around carbon monitoring and reduction, it can be confusing. 

“As an accountant, I like one plus one equals two. With environmental reporting, I didn’t like the fact that There were judgmental elements to the recording and reporting. 

“The platform itself has been exceptional, the ability to import some of the data directly into Climate Clever’s system without actually having to manually do it, has been a big time saver. 

TAMS is rolling out the platform by geographical location and is about 95 per cent through that rollout. 

The company is very early on in its climate journey and has not yet identified targets but has already started investigating local marine based projects for buying carbon credits. 

“We have started forming relationships with Fremantle Seaweed and also the Canopy Blue kelp project, both local Fremantle-based organisations.’  

“Once we’ve done our mapping, we’ll know what carbon footprint we are working with and we can then look at methods of reducing our footprint and also investing in carbon credits.  

If I have the opportunity between buying Australian, and especially local versus International, I think I will always go local,” Lee said. 

So far, TAMS has not seen anything surprising with its footprint mapping, but Lee says the biggest eye-opener has been the realisation that the marine industry as a whole isn’t leading the way to really embrace carbon reduction.  

“The marine technology for battery powered or bio fuel engines are still developing and reliability still yet to gain confidence. I think it will be a while yet for marine companies to swap out their traditional marine fleet with new technology.” 

“That’s why we are working with Fremantle Seaweed, and also the kelp project,” he said. 

“We might not be able to take the diesel engine out of the boat straightaway and put an electrical engine on it, but if can help install these seaweed farms, then that’s me doing my bit, early on in the journey.” 

Meanwhile, TAMS has also been looking at what they can change regarding their shore-based operations, such as switching to sustainable energy options where the infrastructure allows it and has embraced carbon-offsetting with flights. 

While Lee does not expect direct competitive advantage for the company as it monitors, and hopefully reduces, its carbon footprint, he does expect some indirect benefits. 

“I don’t think I’ll win or lose a job on my approach to being more green-friendly, but I think it will help,” he said. 

“You’re naturally going to be inclined to go for the company that’s well presented [and doing the right thing!].” 

Go to the company website to find out more about TAMS.

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