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Targeting our sustainable future

The team at the Port of plays a vital part in maintaining supply of essential goods to the country.

With £144bn of freight and 33% of all UK trade with the EU passing through, we are a critical part of the UK-European trade superhighway. We are committed to preparing today to continue to be a critical part of the UK supply chain of tomorrow.

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Working with local conservation partners is important to the port to ensure we work collaboratively towards common goals to protect and enhance the environment.


Environmental monitoring

The Port of Dover’s environmental monitoring programme was established in 1992

Measuring environmental quality across a wide range of natural and artificially created habitats within and immediately outside of the Port. This provides an understanding of the habitats and species presentwithin the Port of Dover’s jurisdiction. It allows an appropriate level of protection to be implemented when undertaking operations and developments. Quarterly and bi-annual monitoring draws attention to changes in spatial and temporal trends, which may be a result of natural or anthropogenic factors.

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The Port of Dover is committed to pro-actively managing and delivering a sustainable port operation that will minimise environmental impacts, promote good environmental practice and ensure the service of the Port’s future generations.


Our commitment

The Port’s vision is to operate in a world where exchange is seamless, smart and sustainable for all. The four values underpinning this vision: Working together, Exchange ideas & Innovate, Empower each other and Look after everyone and everything enables the Port to promote a culture of environmental awareness and corporate social responsibility amongst all staff and Port users.

The Port of Dover was the first port in Europe to be certified for its Environmental Management System (EMS) through the Ports Environmental Review System (PERS) in 2002, and the Port is seeking recertification in 2023. The Port’s EMS identifies and controls the significant environmental aspects and impacts of its operations and delivers environmental objectives and targets to reduce the impacts of those activities. In 2008, the Port was certified to the internationally recognised ISO14001 standard which requires demonstration of continual improvement in environmental performance. The Port still maintains this standard.

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Carbon footprint

The Port has reduced its CO2e emissions by 95% since 2007, and 2022’s data showed a 68% reduction from 2021. These reductions have been achieved through a combination of small culture changes surrounding energy consumption and large-scale projects: 

In 2016 the Port switched its electricity supply to renewable energy, between[MT1]  2019 and 2022 the Port installed two solar arrays and in 2022 the Port switched all its eligible landside plant and vehicles and its vessels to hydrotreated vegetable oil. A biofuel made from 100% renewable waste materials that achieves a 98% reduction in CO2 emissions and up to a 30% and 86% reduction in NOX and particulate matter respectively.

The Port continues to prioritise low carbon alternatives throughout its operation and development.

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In order to safeguard the Port environment the Port of Dover carries out extensive pollution prevention training. This training aims to increase staff awareness and the reporting of environmental occurrences.


Pollution prevention

As part of the Port’s commitment to preventing pollution, a high level of preparation is maintained in order to cope with any incident in the Port with the potential to cause environmental harm. 

Pollution incidents are monitored and managed through an occurrence reporting system, which allows trends to be examined and ensures that training and equipment are appropriate and that the Port remains at a high level of preparedness.

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The Port of Dover has committed to send zero waste to landfill. The Port’s current waste management programme ensures that 96% of the Port’s waste is recycled, with the remaining waste being converted to energy, with the exception of certain waste streams that legally require landfill disposal.

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Aware of the amenity value of the water within the harbour, the Port of Dover continues to monitor and achieve excellent water quality within the bathing area of the Port so that everybody can continue to enjoy the Port environment safely. The results from this survey are published on the seafront.

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Cleanliness beyond

The Port recognises that marine litter is a significant threat to the marine environment as well as impacting on community amenities. To help combat the issue locally in Dover, each year the Port supports the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership Shakespeare Beach Survey and Beach Clean as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) Great British Beach Clean. The port has also installed 3 Seabin’s to collect any marine litter within its Marinas.


Noise, light & air

The Port of Dover works with its partners to reduce noise, light and air pollution within and around the Port.

Employing modern equipment, pollution levels are regularly monitored.

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