While 2016 was a challenging year in some of our core markets, we made great advancements within a wide range of areas, notably through digitalization and decarbonization initiatives.
In the maritime world, 2016 presented a set of particularly challenging market conditions for most shipping segments as well as the offshore segment. Rates remained under substantial pressure, asset values continued to deteriorate and 2016 was the third-highest year ever for scrapping.
In the oil and gas industry, all players have been forced to take painful cost-cutting measures by reducing their capital expenditure and headcount. Several companies throughout the value chain are making strategic shifts in their portfolio towards lower-cost projects, shorter investment cycles and higher levels of flexibility.
During 2016, we took an important step towards our ambition of becoming carbon neutral in relation to our travel and office buildings by 2020. A pilot project was run in Norway and through various measures and offsets we managed to achieve carbon neutral operations. Our results have been verified by an independent third party.
Our new BREEM Excellent standard office building at our Group Headquarters was finalized in November 2016.
To facilitate friction less connections between different industry players, domain experts and data scientists, DNV GL started working with Microsoft Azure and other partners to launch Veracity, a secure industry data analytics and data management platform.
The potential for smarter use of data is enormous. The key to unlocking this potential is trust and the ability to operate across silos. This is where we in DNV GL see ourselves playing a critical role. We see this as a natural extension of our role as a widely trusted, independent party with deep domain expertise and strong analytics capabilities.
Our customers are increasingly turning to us for advice about the long term. The two foresight studies we issued in 2016, Technology Outlook 2025 and Future of Spaceship Earth, were very well received in all markets across the world.
Collaborative innovation continues to be a cornerstone for our company. One out of many joint industry projects we launched in 2016 is on standard-setting for floating wind turbines. The project is run together with 14 companies from the wind, oil & gas and maritime sectors.
DNV GL carried out the first unmanned drone production surveys in ship tanks and started training drone pilots in Pireaus, Singapore, Houston and Shanghai. Drone surveys can reduce survey times, costs and safety risks for certain types of surveys.
To further strengthen our energy services, we acquired power systems expert Gothia Power in Sweden and Green Power Monitor in Spain. This strengthened not only our energy position, but also our ‘digital power’ position. Green Power Monitor is a leading harvester of data from solar plants and uses this to provide insight and give advice to operators.