Torben Carlsen’s CEO letter in DFDS’ 2020 CSR Report:
The power of commitment
2020 was an extraordinary year that impacted us all. As a transport and logistics company, we are used to being exposed to global events and its impact on our infrastructure. However, the corona pandemic impacted us with such intensity and magnitude that I personally have not experienced anything similar before. When the crisis hit us the hardest, and required us to close our passenger business and furlough of 1/3 of our employees, we leaned on our purpose to move for all to grow. Our commitment kept us focused on doing our utmost for customers and employees. In parallel we introduced our climate action plan, committing us to becoming a climate neutral company by 2050.
Becoming climate neutral by 2050
Our climate action plan ensures we prioritise our environmental footprint. In an industry with a large carbon footprint, we are committed to finding solutions that will eventually transform how our industry operates. The plan commits to climate neutrality by 2050 by gradually reducing our footprint. We will reduce CO² emissions by 45% by 2030.
Innovation for green fuels
96% of our CO² emissions come from our vessels, making it a natural focal point in our green transition. However, the challenge is twofold: Vessels are designed and built for today’s fuelling, and green fuel alternatives for vessels do not currently exist. To address the first challenge, we focus on several projects aiming to reduce CO² emissions from our existing fleet over the next ten years, as well as reducing CO² emissions from our trucks, travel, cars, and buildings. To find green fuel alternatives, we joined two sustainable fuelling partnerships in 2020. One project aims to develop a hydrogen and e-fuel production facility in Copenhagen. The other aims to build a 100% hydrogen-powered ferry, running on electricity from a hydrogen fuel cell system that emits only water. More partnerships like these will speed up innovation and help us transition and sustain our company and industry in the years to come.
Moving for employees to grow
It is rooted in our DNA to care for our people. As we operate in logistics locations, at terminals, and sea, our people’s safety is a particular focus of mine. With the outbreak of the pandemic, the safety of our people remained a top priority. Our mental health became an issue of concern, with office employees working from home. For our many non-office colleagues, frequent testing and the creation of safe work shift routines were quickly implemented.
Diversity & inclusion
We must develop diverse and inclusive teams in an industry with a long tradition for being diverse on nationalities but less so on gender. Today, our organisation includes 23% women, and it is our ambition to increase that number to 30% by 2023. In 2020, senior leadership in DFDS pledged to make DFDS even more diverse and inclusive. We made diversity and inclusion a top priority parameter in promotions, recruitments, and projects.
Despite a challenging 2020, I am proud of the progress we made on sustainability. Our commitment to move for all to grow is deeply embedded in our culture and benefits customers and people alike. It helps make us a valuable partner to society.
In closing, I would like to thank our colleagues for their extraordinary commitment to our company during challenging times. A special thank you to customers and our external partners, without whom we would not succeed. Lastly, a thank you to shareholders and our Board of Directors for their continued support.
President and CEO of DFDS Group