Vision of Teus van Beek

Moving towards a cleaner future
and a sustainable society


The company Wärtsilä means business when it comes to sustainable solutions. “We are taking a pioneering role when it comes to sustainability. But we cannot do it alone. The whole logistic chain needs to be involved. Only together we can make a real impact.”

Teus van Beek is General Manager Ecosystems Innovation for Wärtsilä. In this role he helps other companies make decisions to become more sustainable. “It used to be that the focus was solely on the products. Then we started to talk about how our products could improve the performance of a vessel. Now we are looking at the whole ecosystem the vessel operates in and we try to make that more efficient and sustainable.” Van Beek believes the maritime industry is ready to change. “2018 was an important year, because last year our industry recognised that sustainability is an important issue. Not only from an environmental point of view, but also businesswise.” He believes that companies have to step in and come up with green solutions, otherwise it will be hard to remain in business. “Regulations but also the market demands it.”


Wärtsilä wants to be a frontrunner in this transition period towards a sustainable world. Their company motto is ‘enable sustainable societies with smart technologies’. The necessity is there, believes the Finnish powerhouse. In Wärtsilä´s corporate movie it states that the future is not what it used to be. Cities cannot continue growing like they used to because resources are stretched to a breaking point. The movie speaks of a ‘broken city, a broken dream’ while it shows disturbing images of riots and violence.


The movie is an introduction of a project called ‘An Oceanic Awakening’. The key towards a sustainable future, according to Wärtsilä, is to work together and make use of the oceans.

The project wants to create a global movement focused on the radical transformation of the world’s marine and energy industries into one supremely efficient, ecologically sound, digitally connected and collaborative ecosystem. “One company cannot tackle these issues alone. Every one of us has a part to play,” says Van Beek.


Connectivity

Wärtsilä’s new vision is to enable sustainable societies with smart technology, from data analytics and the Internet of Things to machine learning. “Connectivity is going to be essential. A whole ecosystem, from a shipping company to a port authority should work together to make logistics more efficient.” Connecting data can result in ‘just in time’ arrivals of vessels in ports. This is more efficient that what often happens now: vessels having to wait in open sea until a terminal can unload the goods. “When a captain can adjust the speed and arrive just in time to unload, fuel is saved.”


The drivers to create sustainable societies are not completely altruistic. Wärtsilä has products that can deliver, for example, a ‘just in time’ arrival. The company sells intelligent routing and navigation software called NACOS Platinum. If you combine this with autonomous shipping and a fully integrated vessel hybrid power system Wärtsilä HY a ships journey can be more efficient and thereby more sustainable. “The payoff for being a frontrunner in the transition is the opportunity for Wärtsilä to position its technology at the heart of these new ecosystems.”






















The key towards a sustainable future, according to Wärtsilä, is working together and make use of the oceans. The company envisions Floating Distribution Hubs in the ocean. Photo by Wärtsilä

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To make a real impact in the chain Wärtsilä has diversified its product portfolio; a process that started years ago. The interview takes place in the Technology & Services Centre in Drunen, the Netherlands. It is the company’s global knowledge centre for propulsion and it also houses a Land and Sea Academy where clients and employees follow specialised courses. “I started working here in the early eighties at Lips Scheepsschroeven, a company that made marine propellers. Lips was bought by Wärtsilä in 2002 because the company wanted a broader portfolio,” says Van Beek.

Nowadays the company has a strong focus on digitalization. In 2016 it bought the company Eniram, a clean-tech software engineering company which specializes in marine energy management products and services for ship-owners and operators of commercial vessels. “Change is constant, and our company needs to be involved in the newest techniques to stay a frontrunner.”

Sometimes clever solutions do not have the shape of abstract software. Take the EnergoProFin, an energy saving propeller cap with fins that rotate together with the propeller. The propeller’s energy losses are among the factors related to the flow phenomena around and behind the propeller boss. Installing the Wärtsilä EnergoProFin helps to reduce these energy losses and increase overall propulsion efficiency.

It was developed at the Drunen office. “This solution provides average fuel savings of two per cent, with a payback time of less than one year,“ says Van Beek.

Nowadays the company has a strong focus on digitalization. In 2016 it bought the company Eniram, a clean-tech software engineering company which specializes in marine energy management products and services for ship-owners and operators of commercial vessels. “Change is constant, and our company needs to be involved in the newest techniques to stay a frontrunner.”

Sometimes clever solutions do not have the shape of abstract software. Take the EnergoProFin, an energy saving propeller cap with fins that rotate together with the propeller. The propeller’s energy losses are among the factors related to the flow phenomena around and behind the propeller boss. Installing the Wärtsilä EnergoProFin helps to reduce these energy losses and increase overall propulsion efficiency. It was developed at the Drunen office.


“This solution provides average fuel savings of two per cent, with a payback time of less than one year,“ says Van Beek. A reduction of fuel of two per cent, seems modest, but Van Beek emphasises that we have to look at all the aspects of the logistic process to make an impact. “There is, at this point, no silver bullet when it comes to create sustainable societies. Every step forwards counts.”

Name: Teus van Beek


Date of birth: 13 July 1957


Family: Married with 4 children


Leisure time: Nature, Jogging


Education: Hydromechanics, Delft University of Technology

Professional experience:


General Manager Ecosystems Innovation, Wärtsilä

2015 – Present


General Manager Development Navy, Wärtsilä

2003 – 2015


Various positions, Lips BV Drunen

1980 – 2003

Van Beek believes that there has to be a business model when it comes to green initiatives. “Sometimes a green solution only benefits the environment. When it is not easy to earn your investment back, you cannot expect that everybody is going to buy that product. We need to take responsibility together, as an ecosystem.”

One revenue model he thinks has potential, is based on the carbon credits , a voluntary system that generates values given CO2 reductions.

“Extending the Carbon Credits to shipping is expected to further incentivize companies to invest in technologies that reduce emissions, by having an independent green verification.” What are his expectations for the future? “I hope open industry platforms will reign. Through a collaborative, joint approach with customers, financiers, and different stakeholders we need to develop these open platforms,” says Van Beek. “Because we have to do it together. Sustainable societies are going to create themselves.”



























The Wärtsilä EnergoProFin energy

saving solution increases propeller

efficiency and creates fuel savings.

Photo by Wärtsilä