4th July 2024

Your organisation's purpose:

The Port of Dover is closing the gap every day between the UK and the world by connecting trade, travel, visitors and communities locally-globally, collaborating with local and international partners to create a more seamless, sustainable and tech-enabled port.

As the UK's busiest international ferry port and a vital gateway for the movement of people and trade, Dover handles £144 billion of trade per year, 33% of UK trade in goods with the EU and welcomes over 11 million passengers.

Dover is an award-winning cruise port, delivering world class travel and visitor experiences to over 20 different cruise lines each year. With a growing and diversifying cargo business operating from state-of-the-art facilities, a new marina which is at the centre of the revived waterfront, plus opportunities for further expansion in the future, Dover’s proud history dating back 400 years has a new modern twist.


What is your impact initiative?

Our vision is for a world where exchange is seamless, smart, and sustainable for all.
The Port of Dover is committed to being a sustainable Port, which can be seen through our Sustainability Strategy and CSR report -
please check out the SDG section at the end of the report to see how we are contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Our Sustainability Strategy covers the Port’s ambitions across all aspects of sustainability and includes ambitious carbon reduction targets, as well as targeting zero waste to landfill, zero impact events and zero pollution events.


The impact your initiative has had:

Carbon and Energy

The Port of Dover has been monitoring its carbon footprint since 2007 with a 5% reduction target each year since then. In 2022 The Port decided to be more ambitious and committed to be Net Zero for scope 1 and 2 by 2025, Net Zero for cope 1, 2 and defined scope 3 by 2030 with the goal of becoming a high-volume green corridor. As of the end of 2023 the Port has reduced its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 96% compared to 2007. This has been through a number of small and large energy saving and decarbonisation projects. This has included:

  • Purchased only REGO (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin) electricity since 2016

  • 1.55MW of solar on port buildings – 1.3 MW on Refrigerated ​Cargo Terminal and 0.25 MW in Eastern Docks.​

  • All landside plant, machinery (including diesel vehicles) and generators transition to HVO in March 2022.​ All Port owned vessels transitioned to HVO in September 2022. In 2023, total emissions from vessels, vehicles, plant and machinery were 43,419 KgCO2e, 514,932 Kg less than 2022 which was the transition year, and 1,316,548 Kg less than 2021 when there was no HVO used on site. In 2023, total emissions from vessels, vehicles, plant and machinery were 43,419 KgCO2e, 514,932 Kg less than 2022 which was the transition year, and 1,316,548 Kg less than 2021 when there was no HVO used on site. 

  • Transition in 2020 to a brand new, state of the art efficient refrigerated cargo facility, including replacing of 30-year-old refrigeration systems and LPG pallet trucks with electric alternatives, reducing LPG usage by 76%.​

  • CMDC 1 (Dover Clean Ferry Project) and CMDC 2 (Green Corridor at Short Straits) projects to investigate feasibility of electrifying the main ferry route by 2030.

  • Changing all lighting, including high masts to LED’s and removing unnecessary lighting.​

  • Lowering the chiller setpoints by 2-3°C on cargo terminal and still achieving the same room temperatures, saving on average 8MWh per week.

  • Controls on HVAC to control max temps and auto shut off systems outside office hours and move temp sensors from ceilings to wall mounted.​

  • Port owned vessels plug in to shore power when alongside at Tug haven.

  • We are also currently working on calculating a full scope 3 emission inventory for the port.

Waste Management

The Port of Dover has been working to reduce our environmental impact from waste production for several years. We have maintained zero waste to landfill since 2021, In 2023 96% of our waste was recycled with the remaining 4% being sent to an EFW plant. We are also working with our customers to help them reduce their waste production. An example of this is with the Port of Dover SEA (Safety and Environment Awareness) Award, launched in 2017 and awarded annually to our cruise customers. We score against number of environmental factors, such as % of waste recycled, following the Ports environmental procedures as well as carbon emissions and the cruise vessel with the highest scores at the end of each cruise season is presented with the award.

We take part in the annual Great British Beach Clean in September alongside White Cliffs Countryside Partnership as well as numerous beach cleans throughout the year as part of our employee volunteering programme. The Port also has 3 Seabins across its marinas to help collect and remove waste that would otherwise end up in Dover Harbour.


The Port of Dover has undertaken a rigorous environmental monitoring campaign since 1992 that covers a wide range of surveys:

  • Bird surveys undertaken weekly

  • Trawling surveys undertaken quarterly

  • Benthic fauna surveys undertaken quarterly

  • Algae surveys undertaken quarterly

  • Air quality surveys undertaken quarterly

  • Water quality sampling in the harbour and River Dour undertaken biannually
    Voluntary Bathing water quality sampling undertaken weekly between May – September

  • Littoral surveys in neighbouring MCZ’s undertaken biannually

  • Terrestrial Ecology of port estate completed annually.

  • At the end of this year of this data is analysed and published on the Ports website.

The Port has also undertaken several projects to enhance biodiversity. These include;

  • Creation of macro-algae habitat on the new marina pier. Worked with the EA in 2018 to design a formwork specialised surface to allow for algae to adhere and colonise new structures quickly.

  • Coastal vegetated shingle habitat is a Natural England UK Biodiversity Action plan priority habitat and in 2010 the Port created the seafront wildlife area to enhance and promote this habitat. The wildlife area is managed by promoting natural colonisation and allowing wild plants to self-seed with the aim of encouraging a natural balance of plants that will provide food and shelter for a range of species. To do this seed heads and dead material is left in-situ to provide overwintering opportunities for insects and birds.  This dead material is removed in spring to make way for new growth.

  • The Port of Dover is working with Kent Wildlife Trust to restore Old Park Hill by converting overgrown scrub into a mosaic of scrub with chalk grassland.


Supporting mental health and wellbeing is a continuous effort, and we prioritise mental health throughout the year:

  • We have open communication by having conversations about mental health issues helping to reduce stigma and encourage others to seek help when needed.

  • We have support resources such as Occupational Health and Mental Health First Aiders.
  • We take regular breaks, use annual leave and aim to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

  • We look out for each other and check in with colleagues. We know a simple ''How are you doing?'' can make a big difference.

  • And we encourage colleagues to take part in well-being walks at least once week with other colleagues.

Preserving and protecting cultural heritage

We have restored and refurbished many heritage assets ensuring that the heritage removed during the construction of the Clock Tower Square could be reincorporation into the public realm area. As part of the heritage protocol, granite copings and sets from the Prince of Wales Pier have been renovated and are being used for flooring, planters and seating.

Lamp standard bases originally from the Prince of Wales Pier, which were suffering from years of exposure to the elements, have been fully restored by specialists and re-sited in the Clock Tower Square and around the new Marina Office.

Also, heritage bollards from the former pier has been used to demarcate the original lining of the pier from its first construction phase back in 1893. The magnificent gates, which used to secure the pier from twilight until dawn, has been incorporated into the public realm as a point of interest.

Have you observed any direct benefits to your business or organisation as a result of the initiative?

With many of the sustainability initiatives, cost savings have been made, e.g. the use of solar energy. These initiatives have had a positive impact on the environment allowing the business to flourish whilst both supporting the environment and the community, this is incredibly important to us as one of our core values is to look after everyone and everything


Have you observed any benefits to your visitors as a result of the initiative? 

  • Surrounded by Kent’s best local produce pop ups, visitors can take the opportunity to relax and enjoy the bustling Dover coast. We are proud of our heritage and waterfront and welcome the community to enjoy what is offer such as Music on the Curve during the Summer months at the Clocktower Square enabling the community to enjoy a lively atmosphere, be with family and try some great local produce from the nearby food stalls.

  • We promote alternative transportation such as bike hire for our visitors, which is an innovative and eco-friendly way to get around in Dover. We have a network of stations connecting the newly developed Market Square and Dover Seafront to the historic Dover Castle and famous White Cliffs.

  • In relation to our Zero impact events we provide a program via 'Sailors of the Sea' that manages and contributes to targeting our sustainable future, where we host clean Regattas on Dover waterfront.

  • Keeping our beaches clean for our visitors is important and we host beach cleans throughout the year either on Dover beach or Shakespeare beach or through our volunteering scheme along with supporting with River cleans along the River Dour. 

  • Our voluntary bathing water quality sampling undertaken weekly between May – September allows our swimmers to assurance that the water around them meets the most stringent standards.

  • Through making all our environmental data available we are educating the community to learn about the wonderful biodiversity that surrounds them.

What category/categories does your initiative fall under?

  • Reducing energy use
  • Reducing waste
  • Nature positive initiatives – conserving, preserving or restoring landscapes, habitats & wildlife
  • Wellbeing
  • Preserving and protecting cultural heritage





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