Sustainable innovations

Our impact on sustainability is greatest in the services we provide to our customers. The following stories are some of the ways we innovate in partnership with our customers and how we contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.

In focus: fuel efficiency and greenhouse gases

With our ECO solutions, we help ship operators reduce their fuel consumption by optimizing the performance of their ships. Currently, more than 200 customers are using our ECO solutions on more than 3,000 vessels, saving a combined 5.7 million tonnes of fuel and 18.8 million tonnes of CO2 since 20151

A specific example is our work with Hamburg-based ship owner, Peter Döhle, to modernize its four largest container ships in 2018. The 12,600 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) ships were built in 2010 and designed to sail faster than container ships do today. By reviewing optimal engine efficiency for lower speeds, cutting the engine turbochargers and redesigning the ships’ bows, fuel efficiency increases of 12–16% have been achieved. The modernization also enabled them to carry 750 additional containers, improving overall efficiency per container transported. The fuel savings alone will pay for the efficiency measures after one year. 

Read our expert story


1 Fuel and CO2 savings are estimated based on global data on the number of ships included, average sailing days and average fuel savings per ship.

SDG 8, 9, 13

Using big data to reduce the risk of coastal collisions

Digital Solutions has worked with the Norwegian Coastal Administration (Kystverket), analysing Automatic Identification System (AIS) data to identify Norwegian coastal areas where measures should be taken to reduce risk of collisions and oil spills. The collaboration led to the development of a system called AISyRisk, which offers coastal administrations the chance to improve emergency readiness based on big data capabilities. 

The risk methodology includes calculations based on 11 million AIS positions every day to determine collision and grounding risk levels. It can easily be adapted for detailed mapping of any coastal area worldwide. The solution has also been extended to include environmental consequence mapping, which will continue until the end of 2019. Read more.


SDG 14

Rewarding consumers for greener driving

Together with partners, we launched two digital ecosystem pilots in China in 2018. The ecosystem leverages the use of new technologies such as IoT, blockchain, smart contracts and tokens, combined with our expertise in verification, to help enterprises and communities empower and reward more sustainable consumer behaviours. 

One of them is a carbon credit application installed on a leading brand of electric vehicles in China. The application tracks the driver’s performance and usage, rewarding the user with carbon credits for clean driving, verified by DNV GL. The carbon credits can later be exchanged or used to buy products from other companies in the ecosystem at a discount.


SDG 11, 12, 13

Using start-up culture to cut shipping’s CO2 bill by 10%

Working with bulk owner and operator, Cargill, and start-up specialist, Rainmaking, DNV GL launched a global challenge to find and scale-up new technologies capable of reducing a ship’s gross CO2 emissions by 10%. The ‘CO2 Challenge’ offers start-ups, businesses and entrepreneurs the chance to share their new technologies, ideas and ways of working to meet the challenge of decarbonization and eventually see their product make it onto a vessel or, potentially, into wider commercial production. DNV GL is offering its technical expertise throughout the project, helping to conduct thorough assessments of the technologies proposed and modelling potential efficiency gains. Read more.


SDG 7, 9, 13

Building a foundation for batteries and fuel cells

DNV GL has launched a joint industry project with more than a dozen partners to advance the understanding and use of lithiumion batteries in the shipping industry. 2018 also marked the close of the FellowSHIP project with partners Eidesvik Offshore and Wärtsilä Norway, which explored the potential of battery, hybrid and fuel cell technology in the maritime industry for over 15 years.

The lessons learned from the project can be seen in the 250 all-electric or hybrid vessels either in operation or under construction. From a baseline of zero electric or hybrid vessels five years ago, the speed of uptake of these technologies is impressive. We continue to support fuel cell development by participating in the e4ships project. This aims to improve energy supply onboard large vessels by using Proton-exchange membrane (PEM) and high-temperature fuel cells.


SDG 7, 9, 13

Assessing the microplastics threat in the sea

The world’s oceans are receiving roughly 13 million tonnes of plastic annually and it is claimed that by 2050 the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans will exceed the amount of fish. DNV GL is leading an evidence-based approach to address policymakers’ concerns about the possible biological effects of microplastics in marine and freshwater environments globally. The project has so far resulted in a report on microplastics in sediments on the Norwegian coastal shelf, developed in collaboration with the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute. 

Collaborating with oil and gas operators and Norway’s national authorities, our Environmental Monitoring Group has used scheduled survey-vessel time to acquire samples from continental shelf sediments. The samples show high concentrations of microparticles and the team will now accurately identify particles that are microplastic and investigate the effects of microplastics in seafloor worms. Read more.


SDG 14

Proving the safety of hydrogen as an alternative to natural gas in the UK

Hydrogen can play a tangible role in a decarbonized energy mix in the coming decades. Hydrogen, when used as a fuel, produces no CO2, so a switch from natural gas to hydrogen could significantly reduce CO2 emissions, depending on how the hydrogen is produced. 

DNV GL is one of five primary partners in a UK initiative aiming to confirm that a 100% hydrogen gas grid would carry comparable safety risk to current natural gas networks. Since 2018, our Spadeadam testing and research centre has been involved in critical studies whose findings will be used in the quantitative risk analysis. 

We are also a strategic partner in the H21 project that has already shown the feasibility of decarbonizing natural gas supply to the UK city of Leeds by using 100% hydrogen in existing infrastructure. H21’s director has said that a positive result on hydrogen safety risk will leave political will as the decisive factor in a large-scale switchover from natural gas to hydrogen in the UK. Read more.


SDG 7, 9, 13

Offshore wind power

With more and more offshore wind farms being developed, the distance to suitable sites is becoming further offshore. China, for example, has exploited nearly all wind farm sites within 10 km of the coastline and is now looking at sites up to 90 km offshore. DNV GL is helping customers open up these new sites with services that support bringing the electricity generated on-shore. With projects in China, India and Europe we are supporting over 1.7 GW of new generation capacity.


SDG 9, 13

Telling the authentic story of wine

Our digital assurance solution, My Story™ was first launched in 2018 with three Italian wine companies. Consumers can scan a QR code on the wine label access the full history of the journey from grape to bottle, with the information checked and verified by DNV GL. My Story™ displays verified facts on a blockchain platform. The system is a scalable and affordable enterprise solution that allows companies to differentiate themselves from less serious competitors or peers. It bridges the trust gap between companies’ efforts and consumers’ concerns. It gives companies investing in sustainable products, processes and value chains a unique opportunity to share their authentic product story with consumers, including information on quality, social, environmental or ethical aspects.


SDG 9, 12

Energy efficiency saves customer 360,000 tonnes CO2 annually

This year, we concluded a project with leading chemicals company, Borealis, to reduce CO2 emissions by 360,000 tonnes annually. Over the course of four years we helped Borealis implement an ISO 50001 compliant energy management system leading to reductions in costs, energy use and emissions, benefitting both the company and the environment. 

Our team of energy management experts assessed how Borealis’ sites were functioning in relation to its energy performance and pinpointed its strengths, weaknesses and focus points, and reviewed the existing company procedures and updated them where necessary. Read more.


SDG 8, 9, 13

Monitoring gas turbine emissions in Oman

In 2018, we started providing Petroleum Development Oman and Occidental Oman with online monitoring of gas turbine emissions. Using a cost-effective solution that meets international standards, the customers can continuously monitor and report air emissions from 44 gas turbine emissions sources to comply with Omani government regulations. 

Our digital solution is a predictive emissions-monitoring system, built for the specific gas turbine type and combustion system, and offers a completely new generation of advanced predictive analytics and reporting. Being able to monitor and report on emissions accurately is the first step in reducing emissions in the future.


SDG 3, 11