​Environment Policy

Like all other forms of transport, shipping has an impact on the environment. Ships are powered by bunkers (fuel oil) that emit CO2, NOx and particles of sulphur into the atmosphere when burned. Antifouling paint can include hazardous heavy metals, and sewage from vessels can add harmful nutrients to the marine environment. In addition, ships can cause noise pollution, especially while in port. Ballast water in intercontinental ships can also contain alien plant and animal species (so-called “invasive species”).
DFDS’ over-arching goal for its environmental work is to develop the operation of our ships and other activities towards consumption of less energy and less impact per transported unit on the surrounding environment.


CO2 is the most common greenhouse gas, and the volume emitted rises or falls proportionally with fuel consumption. The most effective manner of reducing CO2 emissions is therefore to reduce the consumption of bunkers per transported unit.

Reduction of bunker consumption

A project to reduce bunker consumption, launched at the start of 2007, included a number of technical and operational initiatives, as well as more exact measurement of consumption. Technical initiatives included, for example, improved engine efficiency and use of energy, recycling of excess water and better management of onboard energy consumption. Operational initiatives included changes to the ships' service speeds and the regulation of departure and arrival times in order to reduce the service time, which in turn reduces bunker consumption. In 2007, reductions in the region of 2–3% were achieved in energy consumption, and also therefore in emissions.

Large-scale operations provide advantages for the environment

In the longer term, the DFDS fleet will move towards bigger ships for commercial and environmental considerations. The concentration of freight volumes on larger but fewer vessels will reduce energy consumption and emissions per transported unit.

Sulphur content reduced

The amount of sulphur particles emitted by ships' engines depends on the volume of fuel consumed and its sulphur content. In DFDS' primary geographic areas of operation, the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, new international legislation has reduced the sulphur content of bunkers to 1.5% compared to the previous level of 4.5%. It is expected that the move towards bunkers with a lower sulphur content will continue over the next few years.

Antifouling paint

DFDS is in the process of replacing the fleet’s antifouling paint with a new type of silicone-based paint. This is not only environmentally friendly, but also reduces the ships' friction in the water, so energy consumption, and consequently emissions, are reduced. The previously used types of antifouling paints, which contained tin and emitted environmentally damaging heavy metals into the marine environment, are no longer permitted.

Sewage emissions

DFDS’ ships are fitted with biological cleansing units that biodegrade the sewage generated by onboard water consumption. The sewage is then collected in tanks and discharged away from coastal and particularly sensitive marine areas, in order to put as little strain on the marine environment as possible. New procedures, including pumping sewage onshore, are expected to be introduced as appropriate units are set up to receive the waste and as improved cleansing and storage facilities are developed on new ships.

Ballast water

Ballast water from ships can transfer alien species (invasive species) from one ecosystem to another, causing an imbalance in the local marine environment. DFDS’s ships mainly operate in marine areas with closely related ecosystems, so the problem of transferring alien species between different ecosystems must be considered extremely limited.

Less noise pollution

DFDS is actively making efforts to reduce noise pollution from ships calling at and docking in ports in areas with noise-sensitive environments. In particular, work is being done on technical improvements in the form of noise insulation for engines and ramps. Efforts are also being made to reduce noise by changing routines. In addition, noise pollution in general will decrease in the future, as noise reduction is an important consideration in the construction phase of new tonnage.

Focus on environmental policy

In the second half of 2007, as part of the Group's improvement and efficiency programme (the “Go Forward Plan”), a project was launched to develop a new and more proactive environmental policy. The new environmental policy will include all activities, transcending business areas and countries, so that a high degree of consistency is achieved in the approach to the work of reducing impact on the environment. The goal is to use environmental certification to create a dynamic, transparent environmental policy that, on the basis of quantifiable, objective criteria, will ensure development towards a more environmentally-sustainable transport company.
For more information on the Ferry Industry and the environment visit www.discoverferries.com

2. DFDS Group policy

DFDS’s environmental policy

DFDS is committed to reducing its energy consumption and impact on the environment by improving its operations and activities on an ongoing basis. We will regularly record and analyse our energy consumption and environmental impact, and disseminate information about DFDS’ environmental policy among our staff in order to ensure a high degree of awareness about environmental issues. We will continuously develop and extend our technical expertise in order to secure constant progress in the direction of more sustainable operations.

Environmental report

Much of DFDS’ impact on the surrounding environment is associated with the operation of marine vessels and the Group’s environmental work is therefore focused on reducing emissions from ships, as well as on developing and implementing new environmental technology for use at sea.
Environmental work at sea The marine environment is protected by national and international laws and regulations, and DFDS respects and supports the continued development of rules designed to make shipping more sustainable.

Reducing emissions

DFDS is focused on reducing the emission of harmful substances in connection with the use of fuel by marine engines. In particular, the work is directed at cutting emissions of CO2 , NOx, SOx and particles into the atmosphere.


Fuel oil consumption is measured daily on all ships, and is reported and analysed continuously with a view to drawing up reports on consumption trends for each ship, each route area and the fleet as a whole. In 2007, DFDS set the goal of reducing Co2 emissions by 10% over a five-year period, based on consumption per capacity unit (measured in GT: Gross Tons) per nautical mile.
In 2010, the consumption of bunkers per GT per nautical mile was 3.6% lower than in 2009 (excluding Norfolkline). Since 2007, consumption has fallen by 7.9%, and DFDS is thus well under way to achieving the goal of a 10% reduction in energy consumption over five years.
In this context it is important to emphasise that the measurements are calculated per capacity unit, as the total consumption changes every time ships are added to the fleet or laid up, or routes are acquired or sold.
Total consumption thus fell markedly from 2008 to 2009 as a result of lower activity during the financial crisis, while consumption rose overall in 2010 due to the acquisition of Norfolkline and the consequent expansion of the fleet and increased activity in the market. The reductions in fuel consumption and thereby emissions can be attributed to DFDS’ bunkersaving programme, one element of which is reducing ship speed, which is a key factor in reducing consumption and emissions, while taking into account the need to maintain an efficient sailing schedule.
In addition,projects have been initiated to ensure faster transhipment in ports, thereby reducing time spent in port and allowing sailing time to be increased. Further initiatives include optimising machinery and engine power, and better voyage planning using new technology that calculates the most energy-optimal route with the help of information on wind, ocean currents, water depth, wave height and direction.
Efforts are also being made to reduce the amount of ballast water kept on board and to optimise the ship’s trim, taking account of draught and speed. On two passenger vessels, new propellers are being installed with a modern design that is optimised for the speed of the route. Other initiatives include utilisation of waste heat and frequent hull cleanings to reduce water resistance, together with a range of measures to cut electricity consumption in lighting, heating and ventilation on board.
Information and motivation Another major element in these efforts involves motivating staff to save energy through more appropriate behaviour and the use of new technology. Motivation is encouraged by distributing more information on environmental policies and goals, and by involving on-board managers in the drafting of objectives, resources and plans. Structured sharing of knowledge and best practices is also utilised with the aim of reducing energy consumption.

Consolidation in larger ships

The most effective way to reduce energy consumption, and thereby CO2 emissions, is to replace older vessels with new ships equipped with modern, more energy-efficient engines, and to carry freight on fewer, but larger ships. In 2009 the ro-ro vessels TOR FICARIA, TOR BEGONIA and TOR FREESIA were extended by 30 metres, which increased their cargo capacity from approximately 3,800 lane metres to approximately 4,600 lane metres. Despite a capacity increase of more than 20%, the ships’ energy consumption increased only marginally, while CO2 emissions per lane metre have been significantly reduced.

Sulphur (SOx):

The amount of The amount of sulphur emitted from ships is dependent on the amount of fuel oil burned and the sulphur content of the oil. In 2010, two directives entered into force, issued by the IMO and the EU respectively, concerning the use of low-sulphur fuel in the Baltic Sea and North Sea, both of which have been designated ECAs (Emission Control Areas).
From 1 January 2010, the maximum permissible sulphur content of fuel oil used during port calls has been 0.1%. As a result, sulphur emissions to the environment during port calls have been reduced to very low levels. From 1 July 2010, the maximum permissible sulphur content in fuel oil was reduced from 1.5% to 1.0% for shipping in the Baltic Sea and North Sea generally.
Remarks on future sulphur regulations It has also been decided to introduce a new set of regulations from 1 January 2015 which will further reduce to 0.1% the maximum permissible sulphur content in fuel bunker for ships throughout the Baltic Sea and North Sea.
DFDS supports general initiatives which aim to reduce emissions of harmful substances into the
surrounding environment, but it is the view of DFDS, in common with other operators in the Baltic Sea and North Sea, that the planned regulations to come into force in 2015 would in their present form bring about several undesirable consequences which were not taken into account when these regulations were adopted. The considerable price difference between fuel oil with 1.0% and 0.1% sulphur content, respectively, will impose extra costs on shipping of such a magnitude that a number of routes operating in competition with land-based transport corridors are likely to close. Consequently, a substantial proportion of the volume currently being transported by sea will thereafter be transported over land.
An environmental analysis conducted on behalf of the Danish Shipowners’ Association shows that by far the greatest impact on sulphur emissions is achieved by reducing the sulphur content in fuel from 1.0% to 0.5%, while the extra benefit of further lowering the sulphur content from 0.5% to 0.1% is extremely limited. At the same time, the cost of fuel oil rises exponentially for oil with 0.1% sulphur.
DFDS therefore wishes the forthcoming regulations to be revised so that they will not have the undesirable side effect of shifting large volumes of freight transport from sea to land. DFDS, together with the Danish Shipowners’ Association and other operators in the Baltic Sea and North Sea, is conducting dialogue with the relevant authorities on this issue.

New environmental technology

Technology to reduce the sulphur content of bunker fuels on board ships is also under development.
DFDS is collaborating with Aalborg Industries and MAN Diesel to develop a so-called ‘scrubber’, which so far has been produced in a single test model. This test model is an approximately 30-ton installation built into the exhaust system of TOR FICARIA, where, in preliminary tests, it successfully removed almost 100% of the sulphur and 70% of the particles from emissions. The technique may provide an alternative to the use of bunkers with low sulphur content, as the scrubber is expected to be able to reduce sulphur emissions to at least the same level. The test period has not yet been concluded, and the scrubber is still under development. Scrubbers cannot, however, be used on all ships, and the device is not expected to be ready for use before 2015.
NOx: Marine engines expel varying amounts of NOx (nitrogen oxides) during combustion. The amount emitted is dependent on the combustion temperature, and newer engines are designed to operate at temperatures which reduce NOx. Emissions are therefore lower on modern vessels, such as TOR FIONIA, TOR JUTLANDIA, TOR CORONA and TOR HAFNIA . NOx is a particular problem for local areas near port terminals, for which reason ships calling at terminals close to urban and residential centres in Oslo and Copenhagen use catalytic converters to clean the exhaust gases from their auxiliary engines, which generate electrical power on board. Six vessels built in Flensburg in 2003 and 2004 also have auxiliary engines equipped with catalytic converters.
Another way to reduce emissions of harmful substances while in port is to make use of land-based electrical power, which can only be done where special power couplings are available on the quay. This possibility is currently being assessed, e.g. in Gothenburg, in collaboration with the port company. Concurrently with this, several options for environmentally- friendly on-board power production are currently being evaluated.


DFDS has subsidiaries in several Northern European countries, and does not currently have common environmental certification for the entire Group, but various forms of certification in the various companies. DFDS therefore aims to establish a joint environmental certification.
Responsible scrapping It is DFDS’ policy to sell ships for scrap only when it can be guaranteed that the scrapping will take place in accordance with national and international legislation, and in harmony with the intentions of the Hong Kong Convention agreed in October 2009 under the auspices of the IMO.
The latter is an as yet unratified set of international regulations aimed at ensuring responsible ship scrapping in future, and is expected to enter into force in 2013. DFDS supports this convention and other initiatives which, in the meantime, are designed to ensure that ships are scrapped in a responsible manner with regard to both the atural environment and the working environment. This policy was the basis of the sale in early 2010 of a ro-ro ship, TOR ANGLIA, for scrapping at the environmentally-certified Jiangmen Yinhu Shipyard in China.