As an inspiring example for all our offices, a dedicated Energy Master Plan has been developed at DEME’s headquarters in Zwijndrecht with clear targets such as energy independence, CO2 neutrality and efficient energy use. Several measures have already been put into place including cold and heat storage, solar panels, a wind turbine and charging stations for electric vehicles and bikes.
Additionally, DEME maps its carbon footprintand its emission of greenhouse gases annually. The inventory complies with the internationally recognised ISO 14064 Standard and is verified by Lloyd’s Register.
In 2016, DEME became the first Flemish hydraulic engineering and environmental
company to achieve the highest certification level under the newest standard conditions of the CO2 Performance Ladder, which is also certified by Lloyd’s Register (Level 5). This instrument enables DEME to demonstrate sustainable behaviour and to encourage its suppliers to further develop best practices for their own operations. The CO2 Performance Ladder, which is used in the Benelux, stimulates companies participating in tenders to be aware of their CO2 emissions in their business operations and in the performance of projects. DEME is the first marine engineering group to obtain the Lloyd’s Register Level 5 certification according to the new 3.0 standard.
All of the new additions to DEME’s Fleet for the Future are fitted with the most advanced equipment, not only technically speaking but also from an environmental point of view. They are equipped with solar panels, heat recuperation and dual-fuel main engines that can run on natural gas and diesel oil. DEME’s newly built dredgers will be the first in the world to be able to run purely on LNG (See fleet investment programme page XX). On board biodegradable fats are also used. In addition to
the maritime fleet, DEME also invest in hybrid technology when it comes to company cars and DEME has new hybrid cranes.
One significant way of reducing CO2 is through the development of green and blue energy. Right from the start DEME has been taking the lead in this arena. The company was one of the founding partners of the first Belgian offshore wind farm C-Power, and it has now become a renowned player in the European offshore wind market. Through DEME Concessions, DEME’s traditional construction, installation and maintenance activities have been extended into full project development, including the associated financing. The DEME Group is eager to repeat the successful formula deployed for the award-winning German offshore wind
farm Merkur, and the Belgian Rentel offshore wind farm.
Tidal Power For example, DEME Concessions has acquired an interest in the Scottish development company Tidal Power Scotland Limited (TPSL). Together with Scottish Enterprise, TPSL controls the planned MeyGen project, the world’s first tidal multi-turbine, tidal stream power to be connected to the electricity grid. In the meantime, DEME continues to be a front runner in the groundbreaking blue energy world, which has led to the first full-scale, wave and tidal energy application.
One project that highlights DEME’s sustainable remediation efforts is the Blue Gate project in Antwerp. Here DEME is participating in the Blue O’pen consortium, which has been awarded a public-private partnership (PPP) tender to carry out the remediation, redevelopment and commercialisation of the historically polluted Petroleum Zuid site in Antwerp. This last urban wasteland will eventually be redeveloped into a top location for eco-innovation.
DEME has been dredging the Congo River regularly since 1989 but until recently this was always carried out on an emergency basis. The River had silted up to such a degree that inland cargo ships of a certain draught were no longer able to reach the ports of Boma and Matadi.
With its very strong bond with the African continent and recognising that this crucial river artery is hugely important for economic prosperity, DEME decided it had to find a more sustainable solution. This led to the creation of a 10-year, public private partnership (PPP) with the local dredging company “La Congolaise des Voies Maritimes” (CVM).
A toll system was introduced for vessels on the Congo River to ensure the financial resources needed are in place to maintain the river depth and to counteract the silting up problems on a permanent basis.
Work began in 2015 using the DEME dredger ‘Orwell’ and, whereas the river used to have a 20 ft draught, DEME now guarantees 26 ft, which is very advantageous for shipowners but also for the local and regional economies. It is estimated that keeping this section of the Congo River silt free leads to a 70 million USD economic boost for the country.
This project was set up in the wider context that DEME would rather co-invest in entrepreneurial ideas, rather than hand money to a charity. It truly believes that if a project is going to be sustainable there has to be a return on investment for everyone involved.
Another vitally important part of the PPP is that it needed to make sure that CVM will eventually have its own vessel and three crews so it can be self-reliant in the future.
DEME is providing training for 40 Congolese youngsters. This includes a 4-year study programme at the Antwerp Maritime Academy. And following a preparatory year in Congo, the first two students arrived in Belgium last year to embark on their studies and future career.
For the benefit of the project, DEME is also working closely with the Antwerp Port Authority, which is making its expertise available.
This project represents what DEME is trying to achieve and the five goals – Prosperity (it is sustainable), Partnership (working with CVM and the NGOs), Planet (contributes substantially to CO2 reduction by making use of the river), People (people from different cultures and countries are working together to achieve the same goal) and Peace (this will only come when there is sustainable business and economic prosperity).
In recognition of this very special project DEME was presented with the Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs Award for the most sustainable company of 2016. This award honours companies from the North that sustainably promote entrepreneurship in the Southern hemisphere.