13 October 2021 − With an ever increasing focus on sustainability the recently established Sustainability Committee (2020) defined a sustainability framework, giving direction for both present and future activities.

With the publication of the book “Dredging for Sustainable Infrastructure”, and more recently the report Financing Sustainable Marine and Freshwater Infrastructure: A joint study to explore financing of green coastal, river and port projects, this has become even more of a spearhead for IADC.

At IADC’s 2nd digital Annual General Meeting, held on 16 September 2021, 4 members of the Sustainability Committee and the Secretary General gave presentations highlighting a number of their activities. The focus here has been on developing tools and methodologies that will help IADC and its members to promote even further, and to a wider audience, the “know-how” and the commitment that the industry has to ensuring dredging projects are executed in the most sustainable way possible.


Sand as a Resource, Jan Fordeyn − Director Project Development & Conceptual Design (Jan De Nul)

In our day to day lives most of us are not aware of how many industries rely on sand as a part of their working process. The amount of sand consumed has dramatically increased over the last few years and this can be largely contributed to the world wide construction boom. How is this going to affect us in the future?

There is ”more” in maritime infrastructure, Marc Huygens − Environmental Manager (DEME)

There are opportunities to develop and implement new solutions for maritime infrastructure challenges. In addition to technical-economical values there is a big commitment to create both environmental and social values. To take the industry to the next level it is necessary to attract students and young professionals to the industry to ensure all externalities are taken into consideration from the onset of a project. The “Social Benefits Wheel” is a tool that can help track the degree to which a project or programme is attaining its social development targets and goals.

Hondsbossche and Pettemer Sea Defence an example of sustainable asset valuation, Sven Kramer − Director Sustainability (Van Oord)

This presentation shows the practical implications of taking all externalities into consideration as early as possible in a project procedure. It is complex but asset valuation is gradually becoming more and more feasible for large infrastructure projects. The independent International Institute of Sustainable Development carried out a study on the benefits of “Nature Based” coastal Protection compared to traditional “Grey” solutions. Their report is expected to be published mid-November 2021.

Private Financing of Green Solutions, Mark van Geest − Project Finance Manager (Boskalis)

Lots of investors and financial institutions are looking to deploy their funds in infrastructure and the group is growing – green and sustainable qualifications are more often a pre-requisite. The sustainability market has seen a rapid coming of age and is partially driven by regulatory policies such as the Paris Agreement 2015, many green deals all over the world and recovery funds to fight the effect of the COVID pandemic. In general the strong awareness with regard to preserving and enhancing nature and addressing climate change make green solutions and sustainability more important for all capital markets. Private capital can accelerate the green transition of sustainable infrastructure solutions, so how can we unlock the private capital potential?

IADC and Sustainability

Click here to read more about IADC’s commitment to sustainability transitions.