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:

  1. Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all;
  2. Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all;
  3. Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation;
  4. Goal 13.  Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts;
  5. Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development; and
  6. 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:

  1. Added Value of the Dredging Industry to society in general;
  2. Nature-based Solutions;
  3. Green Finance; and
  4. Carbon-Neutrality.

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: