Activity Report 2016

Dredging Solutions
Dredging Plus Solutions
DEME Fleet

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is about people, planet and prosperity. CSR is an integral part of DEME’s corporate practices. For DEME, this means that all business units always strive to do business sustainably. DEME improves business efficiency, mitigates social and environmental impacts, inspires local participation and seeks original solutions to address global challenges. DEME strives to build partnerships that help create a positive influence on the communities in which DEME works. It can be seen in the DEME4Life campaigns, employee-initiated CSR projects, as well as DEME’s drive for protecting and promoting the personnel’s well-being.

DEME4Life Foundation

DEME’s drive for sustainable solutions is highlighted by its CSR initiatives, which are overseen by the DEME4Life Foundation.
In 2016 DEME was involved in a wide variety of projects across the globe.


DEME’s strenuous efforts for a sustainable business have led the company to adopt five of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: people, planet, partnership, prosperity and peace. One project that represents all of these goals is DEME’s dredging project on the Congo River.

Surinder Sandhu


“We cannot build our own future without helping others to build theirs.”

DR Congo

Helping Congolese youngsters fulfil their career ambitions

In a broad-based project in DR Congo, a 10-year, public private partnership (PPP) has been set up with the local dredging company “La Congolaise des Voies Maritimes” (CVM) to dredge the Congo River.
An important part of the PPP is that CVM will eventually have its own vessel and three crews so it can be self-reliant in the future.


‘New Belgica’

DEME is supporting a fascinating project, which involves unemployed youngsters building a replica of the famous three-masted ship used by the polar explorer Adrien de Gerlache- the ‘Belgica’.


Young people who are unable to find work are helped by the non-profit organisation De Steenschuit, which provides training courses in shipbuilding. The organisation is hoping that the ‘New Belgica’ will be ready for the Tall Ships Race in 2020.

Volunteers help the Special Olympics athletes stay healthy

The Special Olympics uses sport to improve the lives of those with intellectual disabilities. In May 2016, the national games took place in La Louvière in Belgium, where 3,600 Belgian athletes participated.


DEME has been assisting the athletes taking part for the last four years by mobilising volunteers to help with the Special Olympics Health Athletes Programme (HAP), together with the Lions Club of Belgium. DEME also provides financial assistance to cater for the necessary equipment and logistics.


Several projects are underway in India, largely organised by DEME’s joint venture company International Seaport Dredging (ISD).

Namma Beach-Namma Chennai project

DEME supports the Namma Beach-Namma Chennai project, which aims to clean the beach at Injambakkam-Akkarai and the surrounding streets. The project has provided the local Injambakkam School with water taps, blackboards, sitting mats for the youngest pupils and tables with benches for the senior students.


SPEED Trust is another organisation that has been supported by DEME in recent years. 

SPEED Trust concentrates its efforts on one of the largest slums in Chennai where 2,600 families live. DEME is supporting various health and medical projects such as the SPEED Trust Dispensary, Hygiene & Health Education camps for children and it provides assistance for disabled people and widows by helping them find employment.

Sister Jeanne Devos

The DEME4Life Foundation supports the Indian fund of the Belgian missionary sister Jeanne Devos in recognition of her efforts to help children and women in India, such as the initiative for daughters of exploited domestic workers. DEME is providing a classroom and a teacher to help the girls with their homework so they can continue their education.


DIAP partners The Red Pencil in Singapore

Since 2015, Dredging International Asia Pacific (DIAP) – the Singaporean subsidiary of DEME – has been working with The Red Pencil, an NGO headquartered in Singapore that offers both creative and clinical arts therapy services to various organisations including hospitals, family centres, shelters and schools, as well as to humanitarian missions outside of the city-state.
In 2016, DIAP participated in The Red Pencil Ride for Hope to raise money for the NGO. Additionally, DIAP supported two charity fundraising concerts by bringing two of the best contemporary Belgian ensembles to Singapore, the Belgian Saxophone Ensemble and Incantevole.
DIAP is working on the huge Jurong Island Westward Expansion development in Singapore and Hedwig Vanlishout, project director, also decided to appoint The Red Pencil as the project’s official charity. Sam Verrelst, construction manager for the Jurong project, has become a Red Pencil ambassador. He gives talks to companies, highlighting the benefits of art therapy and The Red Pencil’s work.


DEME4Life carried out several initiatives in Vietnam during 2016. The Foundation provided support for the Ta Ngai Cho Kindergarten in the Muong Khuong district. Food, kitchen equipment, water filters, clothes and 1,000 books, amongst other items, were donated by the Foundation. Speaking at a meeting with DI Vietnam, the school principal Hien said: “With the contribution from your company, the children will have clean water, more food and kitchen equipment to keep and ensure better food quality and safety for the new school year.”

Disadvantaged fishermen in An Hai and Xuan Dai districts

DEME4Life supported disadvantaged fishermen in the An Hai and Xuan Dai districts. There had been wide-scale flooding in the area, impacting the fishermen’s livelihood. DEME4Life provided rice and noodles, cooking oil and medicines for the fishermen.


Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Creeks clean-up campaign

DEME sponsored an ambitious clean-up campaign in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Creeks, through its local joint venture DI-MEDCO, based in the United Arab Emirates.

During the 7-day campaign “Marine environment, our responsibility” approx. 45 tonnes of waste was recovered, including 28 shipwrecks, tyres, fishing nets and cages.

In recognition of its efforts, DI-MEDCO was honoured with a Marine Environmental  Trusteeship Award presented by the event’s organisers.


The DEME4Life Foundation supported two Brazilian projects in 2016. 


Local employees from Dragabras, the Brazilian subsidiary of DEME, initiated a project to help underprivileged children from Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. The DEME4Life Foundation made a donation so the NGO “Mais Caminhos” could purchase computer tablets for the organisation’s complementary  Education Programme. 


In 2016 the children were involved in several interesting projects using educational apps that raise awareness about the preservation of the oceans (close to DEME’s heart), avoiding pollution and about different species, fauna and flora.

Supporting families

In Belgium, DEME is supporting the Brazilian community through involvement in “Raiz Mirim”.


“Raiz Mirim” is an educational and sociocultural organisation which provides support to families who have emigrated from Brazil to Belgium. Originally, this project focused on Brazilian children living in Belgium and provided a vital link to their homeland. Every week the children take part in creative and cultural workshops. Then the project further developed because it became clear that some of the families needed more support, so the Foundation also provides assistance for help with any psychological issues that children may be experiencing.


 As well as offering funding, DEME4Life organises special outings for the families. “Raiz Mirim” was, for example, invited to take part in the launching ceremonies of the TSHDs ‘Minerva’ and ‘Scheldt River’.

Jaco Bester


“Take me to the sky, where I will be catching my dreams! Anything is possible at DEME… Creating land for the future all around the world or in our personal lives. DEME stands behind its employees, encouraging them to take on opportunities, to live healthy and be fit. This is for our benefit, jump on board and you will never look back. Commit to be fit and make a difference for yourself.”

Commit to be fit

Wherever they are in the world DEME employees were On the Move, with hundreds of people taking part in sporting challenges in 2016, regardless of age or fitness level.

DEME On the Move

In February 2016, the 12th DEME On the Move Campaign was officially launched at the headquarters in Zwijndrecht. And the year was packed full of sporting events ranging from cycling in the Alps to rowing in Dragon Boats, to running in the hills of Boma in DR Congo. 


DEME made a significant investment in its health platform Energy@DEME. Everyone who subscribed was given a pedometer, enabling them to count their steps and synchronise them to the platform. More than 2,000 colleagues are now linked in. And a distance of more than 2.5 million km was synchronised to the Energy@DEME platform by the end of 2016!


Climbing for Life

Once again, DEME sponsored the Climbing for Life event, which provides challenges for cyclists, runners and walkers. Held in the French Alps (Les2Alpes and Alpe d’Huez) in August, the event saw more than 120 DEME participants join, of which 94 were on their bikes and 33 on foot. DEME is the event’s Silver Sponsor. In this way DEME is giving its support to the event’s accompanying diabetes awareness campaign.

Keep on running

In Belgium, 12 runs were organised in 2016 starting with the Antwerp Urban Trail in March. The special family event, the Antwerp 10 Miles in April was a particular highlight.
Plenty of sporting effort was also seen around the port city of Boma in DR Congo and in Singapore during the Red Pencil Ride for Hope.

In early 2016, colleagues from the Congo River maintenance dredging project initiated a sportive endeavour to organise regular runs in the scenic hills around the port city of Boma. Both locals and staff enjoyed the picturesque paths amid the verdant tropical foliage. With bubbling enthusiasm and having put plenty of practice in, they were able to conquer the highest point of Boma, which is 291 m.

In December 2016, over 100 DEME employees participated in the Standard Chartered Marathon running event in Singapore.
Meanwhile, more than 30 employees from DEME’s Indian subsidiary International Seaport Dredging took part in the Wipro Chennai Marathon.

Dragon Boat Race in Antwerp

In China dragon boat races are a tradition dating back more than 2,000 years. They represent team spirit, goodwill and collaboration and there was plenty of that on show in September 2016, when two DEME boats took part in the sixth edition of the Dragon Boat Race in Antwerp. The DEME Dragons A got into the final without a hitch and rowed themselves into a very respectable third place. The DEME

Hercules Trophy

proudly added to the DEME trophy cabinet

The Hercules Trophy is a renowned competition, organised all over the world between teams from different companies. The competition consists of a mix of teamwork, physical tests, tactics and agility. This year nearly 90 teams took part in the event, which was held in Antwerp. Three DEME teams participated, and one team ‘The Prodigies’ won and took home the trophy!

DEME Heroes

This was the culmination of DEME’s campaign to inspire employees who would not usually be so sporty. For the first time ever and after a rigorous selection, 10 candidates from DEME’s employees were chosen to receive sports, medical and nutritional coaching to enable them to reach the summit. The DEME Heroes threw themselves into the challenge and got ready to cycle up the mountain in just three months! After a tough climb they all managed to reach the finishing line, encouraging each other along the way, and they have all now been named our DEME on the Move ambassadors.