Sustainability is vital in all industries, including dredging. IADC promotes the industry’s contribution and its role in the global sustainability transition.
The last decade witnessed an increasing level of attention to sustainability and sustainable development across all sectors all over the world, including the dredging industry, which increasingly recognises the importance of sustainable dredging practices. The outside world however, is generally unaware of the contribution of the industry to our daily lives. Without dredging many areas are likely to erode and/or flood, vessels can’t call to a port as access channels are not maintained, and land reclamation and trenches for pipelines cannot be made. The dredging industry wants to work in a sustainable way that is often not recognised by stakeholders. Nevertheless, multiple case examples are available. IADC wants to promote the industry’s vital roles in the global sustainability transition and contributes to solutions for sustainability challenges.
Sustainability and dredging
The dredging industry has vital roles in the global sustainability transition and therefore sustainability is a top priority on our members’ agenda. The industry has to work on improving the image and reputation of the sector related to sustainability. This can only be realised by promoting innovations in technology, processes and procedures, and encouraging other dredging companies to work sustainably. Legislation has to be in place to stimulate sustainability. Sustainable design and execution such as the use of low carbon fuels should be legally facilitated and rewarded. Tender requirements should focus on sustainable design, project execution and inclusion of externalities.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)
Communication within the sector is mostly based on three pillars: environmental, social and economic. On the other hand, communication to stakeholders outside the industry and to the public in general should be based on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). According to the United Nations that developed the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, the SDG’s are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The 17 goals are all interconnected and, in order to leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve them all by 2030.
IADC Sustainability Committee
To safeguard employees of member companies and involved parties, IADC has established a Sustainability Committee that enables its members to share best practices amongst its members. The members embrace their leading role in improving sustainability within the industry. When it comes to sustainability, the members consider themselves partners not competitors. Read more about the Sustainability Committee and its members here.
The Sustainability Committee focuses on 6 out of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and the book Dredging for Sustainable Infrastructure as the starting point for its work. These 6 goals are:
- Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all;
- Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all;
- Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation;
- Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts;
- Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development; and
- Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the Global Partnership for sustainable development.
Sustainability and the 2020 IADC Annual General Meeting
At the 2020 Annual General Meeting the IADC members – all contractors in the private dredging industry -, together with the Sustainability Committee, looked at the Association’s role in promoting sustainability to the widest possible audience. The meeting focused on four sustainability topics:
- Added Value of the Dredging Industry to society in general;
- Nature-based Solutions;
- Green Finance; and
For each topic presented during the AGM programme a brief video introduction was given followed by a presentation by an external expert. It is important to note that all the introductions are based on what the world will look like in 2035.
A special YouTube playlist has been created in which all videos can be viewed:
Green solutions in ports, waterways and coastal projects have increasingly become available thanks to many years of research and pioneering efforts in practice. These sustainable and/or nature-based solutions have shown to be good alternatives for classic solutions, but application is far from mainstream yet. One of the major hurdles is the lack of access of private capital to finance these kinds of solutions despite the strong interest of capital markets in green infrastructure opportunities. Identifying the hurdles and paving a way forward to overcome these hurdles could therefore help to increase the uptake of those green solutions.
The planet is facing enormous challenges caused by human activity, increasing the vulnerability of communities and ecosystems to the forces of nature. This is worsened by the effects of climate change, which is threatening the world’s coastal defences. Van Oord has responded to these challenges by developing the Climate Adaptation Action Plan. The plan is designed to encourage meaningful dialogue between stakeholders in order to provide ready-to-scale marine solutions that help increase the resilience of the communities and ecosystems of coastal areas.
During his distinguished career as professor of Coastal Engineering at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), Kees d’Angremond served as head of Hydraulic and Offshore Engineering, chair of the department of Hydraulic and Geotechnical Engineering, and dean of the faculty of Civil Engineering from 1989 to 2001. Now professor emeritus, he still works as an advisor and independent consultant. We invited Kees to a conversation with Stefan Aarninkhof, professor of Coastal Engineering and chair of the department of Hydraulic Engineering at TU Delft, to talk about their careers in the dredging industry and the role of academia in the industry today.
The use of nature and natural processes is an innovative way to increase water safety and create added value through nature development and recreation. This exploratory study provides an initial inventory of the impact and costs of existing Building with Nature projects in the Netherlands. It also includes an analysis of the decision-making process in choosing this type of project and identifies success factors. Building with Nature projects deliver added value but often also involve additional costs compared to traditional reinforcements. These costs give an indication of what we as a society are prepared to pay for the development of nature and recreation as part of hydraulic engineering projects.
Climate change and increasing environmental damage are demonstrating the urgency of transformation to a sustainable global economic model. The implementation of the sustainable development concept tends to narrow to integrating environmental, social, and economic concerns in the decision making. In economics, the definition of such concerns is an externality that represents the divergence between social and private costs. This study investigates the available sustainable asset valuation methods that can include the externalities materialised in maritime infrastructure projects and compares them based on economic, social and environmental criteria.
In today’s world, expectations for sustainable practices are fast becoming the norm. Countries, the public and communities are requesting transparency, the application of higher environmental standards and involvement in decision-making processes when new developments in a marine environment are proposed. Marine infrastructure projects not only require environmental permits and works licences to be in place, they also need a Social Licence to Operate (SLO). This article describes the social licence in this fast-changing context of information and technology, and explores tools that can be used to develop a ‘responsible project’ and provide a successful and sustainable outcome for society and the environment.
Over the past decades, there has been a growing interest in exploring innovative ways to minimise the environmental footprint of coastal developments and in nature-based approaches for shoreline protection. At Mubarraz Island near Abu Dhabi (UAE), an international oil company beneficially reused ~12 million m³ of dredged material to protect pipelines, construct a causeway and create mangrove habitat to manage coastal erosion. This ‘Working with Nature’ approach has provided a cost-effective nature-based solution for shoreline protection, with added benefits for biodiversity conservation.
In June 2019, the research team of the LIFE MARINAPLAN PLUS project began operating the first-of-a-kind demonstration plant installation at the harbour entrance of Marina di Cervia (Italy). Fulfilling the project’s objective to apply at industrial scale a reliable technology for the sustainable management of sediment in marine infrastructures, this technology prevents harbour silting through the use of submerged devices called ‘ejectors’ installed on the seabed.
Stéphanie Groen works as the Director of Coastal & Climate Change, Asia for Aurecon. Based in Singapore, she was appointed to the position at the beginning of 2020. Previously, Stéphanie was involved in marine and environmental projects for more than 15 years with DHI and her education is in civil engineering and business administration. IADC also knows Stéphanie as the winner of the Young Author Award in 2007. More recently, she was appointed as a committee member to the prestigious FIDIC Sustainable Development Committee. We were interested to hear more from Stéphanie – her views on sustainability, the collaboration with the dredging industry through FIDIC and what her new role can mean for sustainable water infrastructure projects.
At present too little use is made of the opportunities that the design and construction of land reclamation offer for the underground storage and recovery of fresh water. The managed aquifer recharge systems in the coastal dunes of the Netherlands are a good example of successful subsurface water storage. And it is to be expected that the sandy deposits of land reclamations could serve a similar purpose. This in turn will contribute to a sustainable development of land reclamations.
Armed with degrees in both Marine Engineering and Engineering Economics as well as 35 years – and counting – of experience at the Panama Canal Authority, Ilya Espino de Marotta has blasted through the glass ceiling wearing a pink hard hat. Amongst the diverse roles she has under her belt, ranging from Marine Engineer in the shipyard to Vice President for Transit Business, Ilya has notably led the Canal’s expansion as head engineer and now oversees operations from the second highest position at the authority.
A paradigm shift is being increasingly embraced within the dredging industry. The traditional engineering approach is becoming a holistic approach in which the ecosystem is leading and values for people, profit and planet are integrated in an interdisciplinary manner.
Building with Nature is an innovative approach that combines natural processes with innovative engineering methods to realise sustainable projects. Permeable dams are being utilised as part of a Building with Nature solution to help restore the eroding mangrove-mud coast of the Demak district in central Java, Indonesia.
March 10: panel session hosted by IADC, CEDA and PIANC at the UN Science, Policy and Business Forum on the Environment in Nairobi. The UN Science, Policy and Business Forum on the Environment will convene its second global session in Nairobi, Kenya, from March 8-10, 2019 in the lead up to the Fourth Session of the UN Environment Assembly. The forum’s work is aligned with the theme of the assembly: Innovative solutions for environme
Presentation: ‘Hondsbossche and Pettemer Sea Defence an example of sustainable asset valuatio’ by Sven Kramer (Van Oord) − Director Sustainability
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.
Presentation: ‘There is ”more” in maritime infrastructure‘ by Marc Huygens (DEME) − Environmental Manager
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.
Presentation: ‘Sand as a Resource’ by Jan Fordeyn (Jan De Nul) − Director Project Development & Conceptual Design
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?
A contribution by Polite Laboyrie, President of CEDA, to the Paving the Waves 2020 conference is linked to the IADC-CEDA book Dredging for Sustainable Infrastructure. The book and also Mr Laboyrie’s presentation presents guidance to achieve dredging projects that fulﬁl their primary functional requirement, while adding value to the (natural and socio-economic) system.
Webinar: The Multiple Benefits of the Hondsbossche and Pettemer sea dunes, valued by the SAVi methodology
This webinar is especially of interest for policymakers, infrastructure developers, investors and other stakeholders with an interest in green infrastructure. But also for both technical and non-technical professionals in dredging-related industries like consultants and advisors at port and harbour authorities, offshore companies and other organisations that execute dredging projects.