22 November 2023

The world’s shift from fossil fuels to sustainable alternatives is a gradual but imperative process. This transition necessitates meticulous decision-making, as individuals and companies weigh factors such as efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and long-term viability.  

One of the decision-makers in this process is Philippe Bernard, MB92 Group Procurement Director. He has played an important role in implementing sustainable solutions at MB92 La Ciotat in recent years, and his position involves evaluating alternatives and managing supplier contracts to ensure mutual benefits. We sat down with him to delve into the latest advancements and the decision-making process that drives procurement across the group. 

Philippe Bernard uses one of the latest advancements in La Ciotat as an example of how this process takes place. “For our on-site machinery at our La Ciotat facilities, we’ve made a significant shift to Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO). This transition was relatively straightforward due to the comparable performance of HVO to diesel, requiring minimal or no modifications. While there’s a short-term increase in cost compared to diesel, this additional investment is outweighed by the long-term benefit. In this case, it represents a commitment to alternatives that could potentially reduce emissions by up to 97%. Furthermore, this approach offers encouragement to other companies with innovative ideas and solutions that there is appetite out there and opportunities available”. 

Beyond the daily machinery used by shipyard personnel, HVO is also replacing diesel in heating systems for projects that require stringent environmental controls. Starting this November, project-related activities like paintwork will be heated using HVO-fuelled systems, marking another significant step toward reducing the carbon footprint of projects within the MB92 Group facilities. 

Philippe elaborates on the process of implementing sustainable solutions like the switch to HVO, emphasising the need for consistency. “We maintain a robust network of suppliers, actively encouraging and embracing new ideas from within. Any proposed changes undergo internal scrutiny, involving our Sustainability Committee, MB92 Group Sustainability Coordinator Marc Hervás, our Commercial Department, and other relevant stakeholders. Each solution is evaluated with meticulous care.” 

“This approach offers encouragement to other companies with innovative ideas and solutions that there is appetite out there and opportunities available.” 

The proximity of HVO supply played a vital role in the decision to transition as logistics didn’t offset the benefits of switching. Philippe adds, “We are proud to be one of the few businesses in France authorised to make the change to HVO for heating systems, which added impetus to support this decision.” 

Philippe’s primary responsibility revolves around managing the network of suppliers offering services to clients across MB92 Group shipyards while ensuring quality standards. With an engineering background and six years at the company, following 15 years in the aeronautic industry, Philippe has overseen a period of significant transformation. “The aeronautic industry is highly structured when it comes to procurement, and I wanted to bring this structure to our portfolio. When we formed the Group in 2018, the benefits of this structure meant we could leverage on our synergy to enhance the service offering, and this is reflected in the contracts we agree, ultimately resulting in benefits to the client.” 

Given the paramount importance of how work is managed to achieve success for clients, the Procurement Department plays a pivotal role in the relationship between MB92 Group and its network of partners. It’s not just about selecting the right companies but also choosing the right values and people with whom to collaborate with. Philippe believes that the department offers a unique opportunity to influence the company’s progress and demands a specific skill set. “Ours is a link in the chain that receives a lot of pressure from all sides so being able to manage details, risk, and negotiate adeptly are important success factors. The reward can be seen in how our network of suppliers adds value to our service and I am proud of the contribution we offer in this regard. “ 

For more information on our global network of suppliers or are interested in becoming an MB92 Group working partner, please contact our team.