Progress in 2022

Prosperity

As prosperity is inherently linked to people and planet, the KPIs used to measure progress in this area also have some overlap with those used for people and planet.

Here we describe activities undertaken in 2022 to recruit both new employees and interns as well as increasing Mercuria’s employer brand. In addition, much of our innovation and research & development is done through our investments, especially those into companies progressing the energy transition and building the supporting technology and infrastructure that the transition will be reliant upon.

Hiring & internships

For over 10 years, we have been a supporter of the Forum EPFL, Europe’s largest recruitment fair that sees more than 200 companies and 100 start-ups gather to meet students and graduates from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. Each year we recruit several students onto our internship program. 2022 was no different and the program was so successful that we were able to offer a permanent role with Mercuria to every intern on completion of their degree with a 100% acceptance rate.

In North America, we attended recruitment fairs at campuses across Texas, including at Harmony Public Schools, a system of 60 Texas public charter schools that provides rigorous, high-quality education focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Through a caring and collaborative environment, Harmony provides students from traditionally underserved communities the opportunity to excel through project-based learning where they learn the skills necessary to become a contributing global citizen. With a college acceptance rate of 100 percent, Harmony Public Schools have earned the reputation of providing a distinct, high-quality education. Our schools also have the honour of being Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) field pioneer schools.

Mercuria was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for its participation in the Harmony School of Ingenuity’s Career Fair, where we hope we inspired a new generation of scholars.

We are delighted to share the success of our apprentice program. Since its inception in 2016, it has provided aspiring individuals with an opportunity to gain industry knowledge, develop skills, and launch a successful career in the energy sector.

In 2022, all the apprentices in the program made significant contributions to our organization and some have already been converted into operations roles.

One such example is Xhenita Ali, an immigrant from Albania in the United States. She began with Mercuria as an Operations Apprentice and is now a full-time employee working as a Junior Settlements Analyst in the Financial Operations department in Houston.

The success of our apprenticeship program is a testament to the efforts of our team, who have worked tirelessly to ensure that our program is comprehensive and effective.

Technology & innovation

Mercuria supports revolution and digitalization of the markets in which we trade and we are committed to using technology and innovation to advance our business and to help the energy transition.

We have dedicated teams of technologists who are working to develop new applications and solutions that can help us to achieve our goals. One of our key areas of focus is on the use of remote sensing data. Remote sensing data can be used to track a variety of factors, including weather patterns, deforestation and biodiversity. We are using this data to develop new applications that can help us to reduce risk, increase transparency, and improve our decision-making. For example, we are using remote sensing data to track deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. This data is being used to identify areas that are at risk of deforestation, to help develop strategies to prevent it and mitigate the effects of climate change.

We believe that transparency and standardization are essential for fair and safe markets. We support these objectives by working with a number of industry consortiums and tech companies on the development of new technologies. 

This past year we have continued our partnership with Rise-X, who helped us to develop our Minerva Bunkering digital delivery platform ADP, designed to ensure customers get the quality and quantity of product that they purchase.  Rise-X is now building with us and for us a number of technical solutions to further modernize our processes and help with our efforts in the carbon space.

Read more about Rise-X and ADP in the overall Technology & Innovation section.

We are also working on a number of other innovative projects, including the development of new energy storage technologies and the use of blockchain to track the provenance of commodities. We believe that these projects have the potential to help us to achieve our goals and make a significant contribution to the energy transition.

Mercuria Hackathons

In 2022, we combined our strategies for both technology and innovation and hiring and internships to create the concept of the Mercuria Hackathons. The intention is that these are a series of weekend events around the world where interdisciplinary teams come together to create innovative software development solutions that solve big energy transition challenges whilst using fewer physical resources and energy more efficiently.

Our inaugural Mercuria Hackathon took place in Switzerland in December 2022. A weekend event where 50 participants came from all across Europe to create innovative solutions for software development that used fewer physical resources and energy more efficiently. Held in the Swiss Alps at the Villars Alpine Resort complex in the beautiful Villars-sur-Ollon, the challenge was for the interdisciplinary teams to experiment with cutting edge technology and create real solutions which could form the foundation for innovative change in the shipping industry.

The challenge the teams were set to work on was that 90% of world trade is transported by sea and carbon emissions from shipping are increasing. If left unchecked, scientific studies predict that shipping could become responsible for 17% of global emissions by 2050.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) – the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships – aims to reduce the shipping sector’s overall greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050.

The challenge was broken down into 3 independent, yet inter-related, parts;

  1. Monitoring, reporting and verification
  2. Voyage route optimization
  3. Cargo logistics optimization

This allowed teams and participants of different skill and experience levels to take on the parts that they were most capable of, or most interested in, solving. The winning team were successful in working on all 3 parts of the challenge and developing a working prototype for demonstration.

Feedback from event was very positive and has helped to build the Mercuria brand as an innovative and progress company for  graduates and experienced hires to thrive in their technology related careers.

Social projects

Mercuria & Barefoot College International Partnership Progress Update

Mercuria and Barefoot College International began their partnership in the Casamance region of Senegal in 2022. This Southern region of Senegal is poorly linked to trade and metropolitan centers and still suffers from the after-effects of violence, displaced persons and gender marginalization after a regional-scale civil war, for which a unilateral ceasefire has been in place since 2014. Given this context, both Mercuria and BCI felt that the provision of clean energy access, educational and economic opportunity, especially the kind led by BCI’s exclusively female Solar Engineers. Mercuria and BCI partnered together to introduce both clean energy and carbon capture technology that not only dramatically improves lives

through energy that allows for clean lighting, cooking, and safe work and movement after dark, but also ensures that communities are able to take sustainable measures to preserve their fragile ecosystems for the long-term.

Work has proceeded apace, with four women already fully trained as Solar Engineers, educators and entrepreneurs; these ladies have electrified 250 homes in their communities and surrounding areas, and have begun implementing educational and vocational courses for both children and adults; training plans for further female Solar Engineers and livelihood courses are already underway. Additional advanced solar engineering courses and training modules have also been offered to female Solar Engineers who were previously trained in this part of Senegal by BCI, and who are seeking to advance their skills further. Livelihood uplift courses run by the female Solar Engineers are also proceeding well, and are currently focused on bio charcoal production, sewing and textiles, as well as the production of sanitary napkins.

To ensure that communities can enjoy long-term, sustainable energy and healthy local ecosystems, BCI has developed with Mercuria’s support carbon capture prototypes that work on non-cellular networks, and which can communicate to share status updates. These modules collect performance data that includes amount of energy derived from solar power, power consumed by lights, and power stored in batteries. The prototype modules are fully lab tested, and are awaiting field testing, which will take place in mid-2023.

To date, this partnership has already made an incredible difference to the lives of rurally poor communities in Casamance who now have full solar home lighting systems, as well as access to portable solar goods such as lanterns thanks to the hard work of their trained female Solar Engineers. These communities have safe lighting for cooking and work after dark, travel, and to enable children to do homework; they also now have access to practical and effective educational and economic uplift programs that leverage solar energy into long-term, stable improvements in quality of life for all.

Update on other social and community projects globally

As part of its commitment to sustainability, Mercuria has implemented a donation-matching program that supports charitable causes in areas such as environment, education, and community enrichment. In addition, Mercuria encourages its team members to participate directly in charitable causes. For example, in 2022, in the US and Canada, we supported over 30 charitable organizations. Some of these activities include:

Operation Santa in Greenwich Connecticut: Mercuria participated in Operation Santa, an annual fundraising event that helps children in need during the holiday season.

Turkey Drive at Smalls Steps Nurturing Center: Mercuria supported the Turkey Drive at Smalls Steps Nurturing Center, an organization that provides early childhood education and support to underprivileged families.

Donations to De Pelchin Children’s Center: Mercuria has made significant contributions to De Pelchin Children’s Center, a non-profit organization that provides care and support to children with special needs.

In Singapore, Mercuria worked closely with Fei Yue and participated actively in their EIPIC (Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children) Year End Celebration Event in November 2022. Mercuria volunteers were at one of the centers from morning to afternoon, dressing up as Mascots and taking photographs with the children and distributing tea snacks. They brought much joy and a memorable celebration to the children.

In Indonesia, Mercuria donated towards many community development programs to improve the community’s welfare as well as contributed to their cultural, economic and social developments. These included school bus facilities, tents for social activities, village road repairs, installation of water pipes, art performances and honeybee cultivation.

School bus facilities

One of the Community development programs is in the field of education, where currently the company is providing school buses.

This bus operates in two elementary schools in Gendang Timburu Village and Manunggul Baru.

Village road repairs

In Rampa Manunggul, the road that connects the village with the dock becomes muddy when it rains and dusty when it’s hot.

By collaborating with the Indonesian National Armed Forces who supervised the repairs, and providing mini excavators to level the roads and spread stones, we were able to help the people that live in the village to repair the roads and make them more resilient to the weather.

Honey bee cultivation & Tent donation

We made donations to the kelulut honey beekeepers to help with their bee keeping. The honey produced becomes a source of income for farmers and an input to the local economy.

We also donated money for Manunggul Lama village to purchase tents for community social activities such as funeral ceremonies and holiday celebrations.

Clean water piping

In the village of Manunggul Baru we made a donation for the installation of over 2km of plastic pipes.

This has allowed for  clean water to be distributed to the village and improve the health of the people living there.

We are also proud to support the Reef Alert Network, a not-for-profit organization founded by a group of passionate underwater explorers, marine scientists and researchers with the aim of shaping a new generation of conservation divers ready for action. This new frontier of recreational scuba diving is not only to educate all divers to respect the environment, but also to train them to help science monitor and recover the most threatened habitats. Through its network of conservation volunteer divers, researchers and affiliated dive facilities, they support local diving communities to achieve their goals and all those who want to take action to protect biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea.

As a local partner in the Middle East, in 2022 Mercuria continued to support the Dubai Dragon Boat Paddle team for the 2023 racing season. 

Overall, we are proud of our corporate initiatives and the positive impact they have on our employees, communities, and the world. We look forward to continuing our efforts to make a difference and to create a culture of excellence at Mercuria.

Continue reading

← People in 2022

Agenda 2030 →

Reporting areas

Governance

Planet

People

Prosperity