Van Oord presented a white paper on Accelerating Climate Initiatives today

Article Image
Photo courtesy of Van Oord

Posted May 23, 2019

Van Oord, an international contractor specializing in dredging, marine engineering and offshore projects, presented a white paper on Accelerating Climate Initiatives today.

Prior to the launch, Van Oord introduced its sustainability program S.E.A. A platform of Sustainable Earth Actions, to advocate successful solutions for facing global challenges.

In the white paper, the focus is on the acceleration of climate initiatives, highlighting the scale and scope of the climate challenges the world is facing and Van Oord proposes ways of meeting these challenges using adaptation measures.

Van Oord’s market & approach

Historically, coastal works account for a market share of roughly 5% to 10% of total annual dredging market revenue or roughly €500 million to €1 billion per annum (EUDA, 2017).

Rising sea levels in the medium to long term, and extreme wet weather events in the near future, will drive the demand for futureproof infrastructure and coastal and flood protection measures.

Van Oord has contributed to coastal and flood protection measures throughout their more than 150 years of existence.

Accelerating climate initiatives

Climate urgency is calling for increasingly extensive adaption and mitigation measures.

New businesses are being developed by Van Oord, the amount of existing climate related activities are increasing.

Action and joint efforts are still required to mobilize public and private funding to accelerate climate initiatives.

The following five sustainability aspects should be taken into account: financial, institutional, environmental, technological and social aspects, said Van Oord.

Excerpt From Van Oord "White Paper on Accelerating Climate Initiatives" (May 2019)

Climate change is one of the largest global challenges that mankind will face in the upcoming century.It demands stewardship from Van Oord in the field of water and energy. Our ambition is to makesocieties more resilient and sustainable, and create a better world for future generations. Sustainability,innovation, and collaboration are key to developing successful solutions to fulfill this ambition. That iswhy we have launched our game-changing S.E.A. programme.

Our S.E.A. programme consists of three mutually reinforcing themes: Accelerating climate initiatives, Enhancing the energy transition and Empowering nature and communities. In this white paper, we focus on the theme Accelerating climate initiatives. We highlight the scale and scope of the climate challenges we are facing and we propose ways of meeting these challenges using adaptation measures. We advocatemaking use of integrated solutions based on design, build, finance and maintain. This includes nature-based solutions and accounting for environmental and social impact.

Accelerating Climate Initiatives

Deltas and coastal areas around the world are facing the effects of global warming. Such effects include sea level rise, changing weather patterns, extreme weather conditions, soil subsidence and endangered biodiversity. In addition to efforts to prevent further warming (climate mitigation), societies need also to adapt to climate change (climate adaptation). This is particularly for societies with densely populated delta areas, which are also extremely important economic centres that provide jobs, infrastructure and utilities.

For Van Oord, this entails increasingly complex projects that
call for an exceptional effort on the part of all concerned. Conventional hydraulic engineering measures such as dyke reinforcement and beach nourishment are still required. Additionally, we call for a more integrated approach based on advanced tailor-made solutions including the option for nature- based solutions. We are rising to the challenge by taking the lead in partnerships that focus on developing such solutions, contributing to a better world for future generations.

Sinking cities will be a common phenomenon

Zooming in on the effects of greatest relevance to a marine contractor – sea level rise and hydrological events (floods) – coastal urban deltas and low- lying island states are most vulnerable to climate change.

The emerging economies of Asia are expected to bear the largest burden related to sea level rise, but other regions, for example the South Pacific Islands, West Africa, Western Europe, and the Southeast Coast of the USA, are also expected to be affected significantly by sea level rise.

The implementation of effective coastal and river defences is thus crucial for the protection of a significant share of our global population.

Climate change is aggravating the problems of soil subsidence, heavy rainfall in the monsoon season and increasing urbanisation in Jakarta.

The Indonesian city is also one of the fastest sinking cities in the world. If subsidence continues at this speed, parts of the city could become entirely submerged. The Indonesian government has introduced the Jakarta National Capital Integrated Coastal Development (NCICD) plan, aimed at guaranteeing the safety of millions of Jakartans during floods and at expanding the city’s comfortable living and working environment more to the north. Van Oord has been tackling marine challenges in Indonesia for more than a century. Our presence in the region will be even more valuable due to the recent impact of climate change.

OUR AMBITION -- To provide integrated and innovative marine solutions

We want to be known for providing integrated and innovative marine solutions for coastal areas and river deltas at risk. We aim to do this by being a global leader and partner in facing the challenges of climate adaptation and by simultaneously contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

In cooperation with its partners, Van Oord will actively participate in the global network for climate adaptation by demonstrating and delivering marine engineering and other expertise and by providing coastal and flood protection solutions.