From Vision to Action: Inside DP World's Sustainable Future Blueprint

From Vision to Action: Inside DP World's Sustainable Future Blueprint

By Ashok Raman, 12 November 2023
From Vision to Action: Inside DP World's Sustainable Future Blueprint
DP World Logo

DP World’s ‘Our World, Our Future’ sustainability strategy, developed in 2019, guides the Group in a responsible way that prioritises sustainability and impact on the people, communities, and environment in which the Group operates.

The strategy is split into two components which align with the UN SDGs. The first is ‘Our World’ which focuses on the seven priority areas, including Safety, Security, Wellbeing, Ethics, Community Engagement, Climate Change, and People Development. The remainder of the strategy focuses on ‘Our Future’, which prioritises three areas where the Group can make a positive difference for future generations, including Women, Education, and Water. DP World is working with leading organisations, partners, individuals, and institutions to deliver on the strategy. Through its partnerships, the Group is committed to a shared value approach, shaping business priorities in a responsible way which prioritises sustainability and impact. 

Our World Our Future WheelImage: Our World Our Future Wheel

Key examples include, but are not limited to: 

1. UNICEF – distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and related medical supplies, whilst offering worldwide access to logistical services free of charge 

2. Logistics Emergency Team – response to disaster or humanitarian crises 

3. Blue Marine Foundation – supporting ocean health through research and science-based action

To deliver its strategy, DP World is working with several leading partners and institutions:

To deliver its strategy, DP World is working with several leading partners and institutions:

DP World has adopted the ESG framework to measure the impact of its sustainability programme and initiatives and uses several internationally recognised reporting frameworks from Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), WEF Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), UNGC Sustainable Ocean Principles (SOPs) and UN Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs). The company is further rated by independent rating agencies such as MSCI, Sustainalytics and Moody’s.

Key Partnerships

The Group recognizes that in order to accelerate climate action, partnerships and collaborations must be prioritized to become the engine of progress. The aim is to engage with local government entities to develop supportive policies for decarbonization, increase sustainable trade flows, and offer solutions to customers on green energy to help accelerate and achieve their own sustainability goals. 

Two key partnerships are with Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping and UN Global Compact. The partnership with Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping focuses on development of zero carbon technologies and solutions. DP World’s engagement with United Nations Global Compact work streams include UNGC Principles Commitment, CEO Water Mandate, Ocean Stewardship Coalition and Just Transition Think Lab.

Responsible business practices include financial commitments to decarbonize its business in line with the Paris Agreement. Additional action points include embedding sustainable procurement principles and growing green with mandated sustainable designs for any greenfield or brownfield investment and development in the future. DP World is committed to regular GHG emission assessments and modifying its strategy as needed to address both upstream and downstream Scope 3 emissions, while considering an internal carbon price to guide in investment decision making. Mr. Piotr Konopka, who is Group Vice President - Energy Programmes at DP World, and the rest of the group are confident that the decarbonization set in place can be achieved, while managing the market and operational challenges for such a grand undertaking.

DP World’s Engagement with the UN Global Compact Work Streams:

UNGC Principles Commitment

DP World has signed up to and reports against the 10 Principles of the United Nations Global Compact, emphasizing areas like human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. 

CEO Water Mandate 

DP World participates in the CEO Water Mandate, emphasizing responsible water management in business operations and supply chains.

Ocean Stewardship Coalition

DP World is a signatory to the Ocean Stewardship Coalition under the UN Global Compact, committing to the Sustainable Ocean Principles.

Just Transition Think Lab

DP World collaborates with the Think Lab on Just Transition, an initiative of the UN Global Compact in partnership with the ILO and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).


Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping 


MAN Energy Services

Strategic partnership to find, test and implement decarbonization initiatives

Partnership with Kalmar, a Cargotec company, to operate next-gen electric shuttle carriers at terminals, which consumes 20% less fuel with quick recharging

Strategic partnership to provide decarbonization solutions to clients of the Dry Docks business, including retrofitting a LNG operated engine to an existing one to enable dual-fuel operation

Community Engagement

With regards to Community Engagement, DP World focuses primarily on education, health, water, and emergency relief. There are two key components to this strategy including Community Stakeholder Engagement and Community Investment. Stakeholder engagement helps the group to engage with community members in the areas in which it operates while Community Investment enables DP World to invest in its communities through partnerships and alignment with the SDGs. The company has provided support to over 2.5 million beneficiaries since 2014.

Sample of Key Community Engagement Activities Undertaken:






Across 25 business units

Donation to a primary school

Mobile medical vans in India

Partnered with Senegalese League Against Cancer

Partnered with Stars Foundation to improve outcomes for Indigenous young women

Installed water systems and bio- toilets across villages and schools

Observed SDG Week in September 2022

Climate Change

DP World also takes Climate Change very seriously. It has a Governance and Sustainability Committee at a Board level, which is responsible for reviewing, approving, and overseeing our sustainability strategy and management of ESG matters, with a particular emphasis on climate change. At a management level, there is an Executive Sustainability Council responsible for providing strategic oversight of the Group’s sustainability strategy, including climate change efforts, and ensuring alignment with the overall business strategy. 

Over and above, DP World has a decarbonization strategy which would see the Group achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 and net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Group has launched a Climate Change Asset Resiliency project to monitor and address the future impact of climate change on its assets and is expected to complete this year, by the end of 2023. 

It additionally has an Environmental Impact Strategy, with a focus on driving environmental improvements within its operations and working with and supporting its regions and operating entities through promoting and sharing of good environmental practices, and additionally providing supporting tools and training. Lastly it also has a Waste Strategy, which focuses on achieving improvements in waste generation and recycling. DP World also expects its suppliers and vendors to operate in an environmentally responsible and efficient manner to minimise adverse impacts on the environment through better use of natural resources and effective management of emissions.

Key Climate Change Activities at DP World:





United Arab Emirates


DP WORLD Chile certified as using 100% renewable electricity

DP WORLD Southampton replaces diesel with vegetable oil

DP WORLD begins work on London Gateway green warehouse

Commits to CO2 reduction and takes on the Green Shipping challenge

Planted 100,000 mangrove trees over 10ha in the Jebel Ali Wildlife Sanctuary

Partnered with the "Aterro Zero" project to treat and repurpose all its waste

People Development

This pillar revolves around capability building and has academies addressing the functional requirements. It offers a Commercial and Sales Academy, Technology academy, Communications academy, Internal Auditing academy and HR academy. The Company also provides real-time access to on-demand learning leveraging technology through launch of a LinkedIn Learning programme. 

The Group has Our World, Our Future Webinars for employees, as well as Login & Learn sessions for its Sustainability Champions. Connexions, the Group’s intranet, provides employees with a one stop shop for everything related to the ‘Our World, Our Future’ Strategy. All employees have access to all the up-to-date information on sustainability news, partnerships, ESG, media, thought leadership and capacity building. DP World has also created a CEO Sustainability guide to help business unit and regional CEO’s understand ESG better. 

The Group hosts events, such as World Oceans Day, SDG Week and Global Volunteer Week and uses them as a platform to mobilise communities, demand urgency, and supercharge solutions for the SDGs. The regional offices set up dedicated SDG zones and hold volunteering and engagement activities to share information about the SDGs and what the Group is doing to achieve them.

The Group also focuses on developing a strong leadership pipeline and has an 18-month programme called Evolve. It also relaunched London Business School Global Consortium Programme which exposes DP World executives to learning across three continents and helps to develop a better understanding of driving change in a globalised organization. Through DP World Hub, the company offers various programmes that focus on business improvement in the container operations area, focused on safety, productivity, cost reduction, revenue generation, and the environment.


The Company signed the UAE Gender Balance Council pledge in 2022. DP World is currently working towards achieving a target of 30% of women in middle and senior management roles by 2025. There is also a Women strategy in place which focuses on how the Group will attract, develop, and retain women employees, and is already bearing fruit, as women now account for 17% of total workforce as of 2022. 

There are multiple initiatives including Women on board, MentorHer, Lead Connect and Women Lead @DP World Intermediate programme. There was an analysis conducted in 2021 and 2022, which helped to identify areas of improvement and is committed to increasing gender equality. Along this line, senior leaders and men are being engaged in the pursuit of gender equality, as part of the HeforShe agenda, which is a “global effort to engage men and boys in removing the social and cultural barriers that prevent women and girls from achieving their potential, and thus together positively reshaping society.” In fact, On International Women’s Day 2022, UN Women and HeForShe announced Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, as a HeForShe Champion, publicly signalling DP World’s commitment to gender diversity. Additionally, the company also signed the UN Women Empowerment Principles in 2015, to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. 

Number and Share of Female Employees at DP World


With the aim to create a better future for all by developing the necessary skills and knowledge to address global trade challenges, DP World has a new framework to focus on education. The new framework focuses on three key themes: Access to Education, Industry Exposure and Skills for the Future.

DP World is aiming to reach 100,000 students over five years through talks and workshops. Its collaborations include Jane Goodall Institute and UNICEF. 

Key Collaborations:

Jane Goodall Institute

  • 10,200 students in the UK 262 
  • Roots & Shoots groups in eight countries 
  • Engaged over 6,600 community members 
  • Planted over 40,000 indigenous trees


  • Two vital projects, expected to reach over 30,000 young people, based in Ethiopia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Key Inititatives:

Big Tech Project





Tapping young innovators to create trade solutions

Tap into Emirati and international coders

Partnered with the Mind Your Waste Foundation to educate children on the important of reducing plastic waste in Turkey

Published a children's book called "Ecocuento", in Peru to inspire children to care for the environment and the oceans.

Facilitated opportunities for university students to engage with the company



Being a global leader in marine terminal operations and logistics, DP World knows the importance of oceans for its business and is highly committed to ocean preservation. This pillar is focused on protecting oceans health by restoring blue carbon ecosystems, reducing marine pollution and investing in ocean innovation, while also supporting access to clean water and sanitation. 

Key Participation

DP World is a signatory to the UNGC Ocean Stewardship Coalition along with over 140 other companies including A.P. Møller – Mærsk, CMA CGM, MSC and NYK Line. There are firms from other sectors including financial services, energy, construction & materials, chemicals, and oil & gas producers among others.  

Key Initiatives

1. WaterAid partnership is to address the global water security crisis where DP World will invest £200,000 annually over three years and WaterAid will design and implement long-lasting, comprehensive water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure starting in Mozambique and looking to expand this year.

2. DP World, as a Founding Partner of The Earthshot Prize, announced a £1 million investment to scale the work of two Earthshot Prize Finalists in the UAE and Middle East. These companies are Coral Vita, which focuses on coral restoration, and Living Seawalls, which enhances biodiversity by building innovative and replicable seawall panels bringing marine life back to coastal sea defences. 

3. Supported The Blue Marine Foundation’s (BLUE) Solent Oyster Restoration Project in the UK to restore of the habitat by relaying millions of oysters into the Solent, which is a major shipping lane for passenger, freight, and military vessels. The Group has additionally engaged BLUE to conduct a study on the restoration of oyster and associated habitats in the UAE.

4. Collaborated with Plymouth Marine Laboratories to assess the water quality along the river and determine practical solutions at P&O Ferries Hull. This was required, as it was determined that the water quality was not suitable for effective ballast water treatment. 

5. Actively participating in the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey of the Marine Biological Association (MBA) for several years to assess the ocean’s ecological health through measurement of marine plankton. 

To read more about the power of sustainable trade in the race to net zero – read the full report here

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