We believe that working in a sustainable and responsible way is essential to building a strong business for our customers, our people and our society.

Our World, Our Future is our global programme to bring sustainability into every aspect of our work.

Our commitments

We are investing in the long term in our business around the world, driving best practice, investing in innovation and measuring our progress, always seeking to do more. We focus on four commitments to:

  • Minimise impacts on our environment by better managing natural resources and emissions
  • Invest in our people by embracing diversity, encouraging personal development and providing them with the tools to drive change
  • Ensure the safety of our people and strive for zero harm at work
  • Build a vibrant, secure and resilient society through strategic investment in the issues that affect our people and our industry

We look for ways to innovate and improve across all of our commitments. We are dedicated to sharing what we do with our customers, suppliers and partners to encourage sustainable practice.

Reducing emissions

Way back in 2005, DPWS was the first container terminal operator in Europe to introduce a vehicle booking system. Refined over the years, this innovation at the Port of Southampton has continued to reduce congestion and emissions within the area. It is just one example of the company’s determination to be ahead of the curve when it comes to enhancing the environment in which it operates. More than half the HGVs visiting the port are Euro VI compliant, meeting European standards for acceptable levels of exhaust emissions while up to 40% of containers arriving at Southampton enter or leave by rail which means that the port handles more boxes by rail than any other UK container terminal. Charged by parent company (DP World), with reducing emissions through decreased energy consumption, DPWS has achieved a 4.3% drop in CO2 emissions since 2008 despite handling more cargo.

Fleet upgrade

This has been achieved partly through operational efficiencies but primarily through the constant upgrading of its plant, most notably its fleet of straddle carriers.  Since December 2016, a total of seventeen new ones have been introduced to modernise the fleet   

All are significantly more fuel-efficient than the seventeen they replaced as an independent study for DPWS had previously identified the highest polluters in its fleet so that it could replace those first.

Over the past three years, DPWS has decommissioned 36 straddle carriers which means that more than 40% of the 84 it operates are less than five years old and meet the European regulations for acceptable emissions.

The company’s business plan includes purchasing a further 20 more new straddle carriers  by 2020 -  again replacing a similar number.  This  will mean that nearly two-thirds of the fleet are under five-years-old

This guarantees lower NOx emissions as they are the cleanest, most fuel-efficient on the market.   

All the engines automatically switch off after five minutes which also reduces consumption and emissions as does constant “toolbox talk” – advice communicated to drivers on their optimal usage.

As part of a planned maintenance and replacement programme, tyre pressures are constantly monitored along with other elements to ensure optimum performance to reduce consumption and therefore emissions and cost. 

Tyres are remoulded and recycled, reducing the need to purchase new ones – another environmental bonus.   New tyre purchases have fallen by nearly 50% over the past 12 years which has also halved the carbon footprint associated with tyre procurement and use in the process.

Fuel efficiency

All quay cranes are electric-powered and re-generate power during the load/discharge cycle, with any excess fed back into the port’s electrical substation.

DPWS is evaluating alternative fuel options and, at another DP World terminal, the group is trialling all electric options. 

It has now begun to introduce electric berth vehicles for staff transportation and will be replacing all the empty container carriers (forklift trucks) with the newest on the market over the next couple of years.

Even though DPWS has achieved significant increases in the volume of its business through its Southampton terminal – the second-largest in the UK, its overall fleet has actually reduced through the use of more efficient vehicles, fleet management and maintenance.

It also runs a programme to persuade staff to change from diesel or petrol cars to electric cars or bikes. Earlier this year, it arranged for Nissan to enable its staff to test-drive electric vehicles.

Continous improvement

It has introduced LED lighting, water-saving systems, removed CFCs and upgraded to a more energy-saving air-conditioning system. 

It has also trialled a small project to put solar panels on a security building.  If this proves successful, it will expand the scheme – in conjunction with its electrical supplier, ABP - to other buildings.

DPWS is committed to being part of a sustainable operation for the port and the city so also puts a strong emphasis on waste reduction and recycling (running at more than 90%) down to ensuring that all the egg-boxes it uses go to a local farmer for re-use rather than landfill.