Damen Shipyards Group has published its Corporate Social Responsibility report for 2022. In this ninth successive report, the company describes challenges, developments and results in the area of sustainability and social policy.

The publication underlines Damen’s strategy to work in line with the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs) and establish itself as a world market leader in sustainable shipbuilding.

Needless to say, the war in Ukraine had a major impact on Damen in 2022, and particularly on its employees in Cherson and Mykolayiv. Damen: ‘Looking back on the past year, our thoughts and support go out to them and we continue to hope that 2023 will bring about a turn for the better for all those concerned.’

Damen says it regrets that there were also accidents within the company in 2022. ‘These incidents emphasise the importance of safety as a leading priority for everyone in our organisation. We learn from these events and we have upgraded our safety protocols to ensure the well-being of our colleagues and partners,’ states the company.

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Integration in business strategy

Last year, Damen integrated its sustainability policy in the company’s overall business strategy. This was achieved by establishing a five-year plan. The result was a better basis for anchoring sustainability in all plans and decisions.

In addition to the upgraded sustainability policy, three other important policy documents went into effect in the Damen Shipyards Group in 2022: the Modern Slavery Statement, the Human Rights Policy and the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Policy.

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First full-electric tug

Damen says it takes a proactive approach to monitoring the latest developments in international sustainability frameworks, including the recently adopted EU Directive on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSRD). Damen recognises the importance of transparency and accountability. To meet these requirements, the shipbuilder has worked with other Dutch partners in the maritime industry to share experiences and understand the standard.

One of the most eye-catching tangible results was the delivery to the Port of Auckland in New Zealand of the world’s first full-electric harbour tug, the Sparky. This RSD-E Tug 2513 was immediately voted “Tug of the Year” at the International Tug & Salvage Awards 2022, and it also appeared on TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions List.

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Damen: ‘We are working actively on sustainability across the full spectrum of our product range, for example through R&D projects in the field of methanol as a fuel, battery capacity and alternative energy storage systems on board. The order for two vessels of the new generation of “service operation vessels” developed by Damen – that also have hydrogen power systems – certainly deserve a mention here.’


Other developments worth noting include the increase in the male-female ratio for all managers to 20-80 (overall: 13-87) and the reduction of emissions from travel movements by comparison with pre-corona levels by focussing on video calls, and on remote guarantee and maintenance work using technological applications such as smart glasses.

Finally, in 2022, Damen launched a process to assess its 2000 key suppliers in terms of their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) performance. Last year, that process covered 332 suppliers. The assessments are expected to be completed this year.

The 2022 Corporate Social Responsibility report and more information about Damen’s sustainability activities can be found on the Damen website.

Picture: The new generation of service operation vessels developed by Damen.