Violaine Balland
Head of Procurement - Wilhelmsen Ships Service
Violaine's introduction

I am a leader in Procurement with over 15 years of experience spanning diverse industries such as Energy, Rail and Maritime across regions including Europe, Australia and Singapore. I believe Procurement has the huge responsibility to influence the supply chain to make a difference for our planet and communities. This belief fuels my passion and elevate my ambitions. There are countless opportunities to embed sustainable practices in Procurement, which fascinates me!

Countries where Violaine can help you: Australia, Singapore

What brought you to sustainability?

My story with Sustainability truly began when I became a parent. Just then Australian Damon Gameau had released his documentary "Regeneration 2040" where he projected his young daughter into her adulthood, and what the world would look like. It ignited a profund urge to take action towards creating a better world for the new generation.

I joined bp as they announced their ambition to become a net zero company by 2050. Huge investments were made to diversify into renewable energies and hydrogen/ammonia production. I have since been passionate about the energy transition.

My domain of expertise being Procurement, I have embedded Sustainability considerations in sourcing of suppliers, supplier management, category strategies, etc. It is fascinating to grow together with our suppliers in designing the world of tomorrow.

I am also an active member of the Sustainable Procurement Pledge - chapter of Singapore.

In 2023, I completed a course on Business Sustainability Management (from Cambridge Institute for Sustainability) which empowered me to drive the sustainability agenda forward.

Which sustainable actions are you in charge of or have you implemented in your organisation?

As Head of Procurement for Wilhemsen Ships Service (cylinder business), we have 3 workstreams around sustainability:

  1. Supporting the group ESG targets, such as scope 3 GHG reporting, human rights and circularity
  2. Taking inspiration from ISO 20400:2017 we are designing our own sustainable procurement approach
  3. One of our core business is to buy and sell refrigerant gases. These F-Gas have high Global Warming Potential, so we are working all along the value chain to reduce the use and leakage of these gases.
Which challenges did you meet and how did you overcome them?

We run a global business with huge variance when it comes to supplier readiness and local regulation.

Some suppliers are on the forefront of sustainability initiatives and reporting, and are themselves requesting information from us. Others are just beginning their journey, with little knowledge and resources and need guidance.

Moreover, regions such as the EU have established robust frameworks and regulations, which have a huge impact on the market (for refrigerant specifically), where other countries are slowly joining the move.

What are you most proud of?

I take proud in each small step forward, whether at individual or corporate level. I believe in building brick by brick, it is a long journey.

What is the most rewarding for me is advocating for change and witnessing the seeds germinate in others.

What would be your top 3 pieces of advice to the Matcha Initiative users?
  1. Start now, there is no wrong way to begin
  2. Each drop counts
  3. Connect with others, it is really energizing
In which field could you help The Matcha Initiative users as a buddy?
  • Best Practices sharing
  • Experience Sharing
  • Expertise Sharing
Please describe how you could help The Matcha Initiative users as a buddy?

I am open to discuss with professionals on their sustainable procurement journey. I can share my experience and provide advice. I am happy to open my network too.

Violaine's main sustainability skills

Sustainable Procurement / Scope 3

Violaine kindly accepts to answer your questions.

If you need additional insights, you can send her a message.