DP World earmarks $500 million to cut CO2 emissions across its business

vessel at DP World terminal
Illustration; Image credit: DP World

Dubai-based logistics heavyweight DP World plans to invest up to $500 million to cut CO2 emissions from its operations by nearly 700,000 tonnes over the next five years.

Illustration; Image credit: DP World

The move was announced by the company’s Chairman and Group CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem while he was addressing delegates at the UN Climate Conference (COP 27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt earlier today by video.

He also reinforced DP World’s commitment to sustainability by taking on the Green Shipping Challenge (GSC). Launched earlier this year by US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, the challenge encourages countries, ports, companies, and other actors in the shipping value chain to come forward with concrete announcements to further ocean-based climate actions.

“Global trade has been an enormous force for good, keeping our world connected and lifting millions out of poverty over the last few decades. But this growth is not without consequences – from the scale of energy required to make, move and use goods to the resource intensity of logistics and the challenges economic growth can bring. As a leading enabler of global trade, we have the tools, ingenuity and drive to lead a step change in logistics,” Bin Sulayem said.

The planned reduction in carbon emissions by nearly 700,000 tonnes represents a 20% cut from 2021 levels, the company said.

Overview of waterside and landside interface of High Bay Storage system; Image credit: DP World

DP World’s plans include replacing its global fleet of assets from diesel to electric, investing in renewable power and exploring alternative fuels for vessels and port vehicles.

“Our World, Our Future’ is our sustainability strategy, one that is designed to deliver responsible operations. We have already committed to becoming a carbon neutral enterprise by 2040 and a net zero-carbon enterprise by 2050. We will work with our global partners to develop an action plan to advance the goals of the GSC and encourage industry players to devise plans to address climate change,” added Bin Sulayem.  

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“Our ports and terminals business is making steady progress, by following the strategy of maximising efficiency, equipment electrification, supply of renewable electricity, low carbon fuels and carbon compensation,” he said.

In January, DP World entered a strategic partnership with the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, an independent, not-for-profit organisation, undertaking intensive research and development to find practical ways to decarbonise the global maritime trade industry.

Launched in 2020, the center is undertaking intensive research and development to find practical ways to decarbonize the maritime industry through several global initiatives.

As a partner, DP World has committed to long-term strategic collaboration and contribution to the development of zero-carbon technologies and solutions for the maritime industry.

“Decarbonising the maritime industry requires the complete rewiring of the entire system, imagining new supply chains and structures. It is a huge undertaking, but one that we are ready to venture into. We bring extensive expertise in integrated logistics and infrastructure, and deep understanding of the complexity faced by the industry, having grown from a local port operator in Jebel Ali to an end-to-end supply chain solutions provider, moving around 10% of global cargo”, Bin Sulayem added.

As explained by the port operator, one of the biggest challenges comes from the marine services and logistics businesses which represent a major portion of the DP World’s total carbon footprint through their fleets of vessels and trucks. Addressing this will be an important part of developing solutions as the company pursues its net-zero targets.

DP World noted that it was also working with local communities where it operates to establish carbon offset schemes and carbon sinks such as mangrove forests.