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Cyprus 4.0: A global and local CRS programme

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Doros Aresti is Communications and Sustainability Officer at DP World Limassol.

As part of the commercialisation of the Limassol port in 2016, DP World was awarded with a 25-year concession agreement to operate the Multipurpose Terminal. DP World Limassol was one of the three private companies which were awarded concession agreements by the Cypriot government.

“DP World Limassol manages the multipurpose terminal operations of Limassol port, which includes general cargo, the import and export of cars via RO-RO vessels, cruise vessels, and anything related to energy, oil and gas projects, thereby supporting the energy programmes of Cyprus and neighbouring countries. At the same time, P&O Maritime Cyprus (a wholly owned subsidiary of DP World Limited) has also been awarded a 15-year concession to exclusively provide a full range of port marine services, including tugs and pilotage”, Aresti explains.

“DP World’s most recent global strategy was developed in 2019, based on feedback from internal and external stakeholders and is comprised of two parts. The first, ‘Our World’, focuses on the efforts of DP World to operate as a responsible organisation across seven priority areas: safety, wellbeing, security, ethics, people development, community engagement and climate change. The second part, ‘Our Future’, focuses on the company’s legacy and specifically three areas where we can make a positive difference for future generations: education, women’s empowerment, and oceans”, he adds.

“Our new strategy, launched in 2020, constitutes a 10-year roadmap for 2020-2030 and is aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It sets out a clear agenda to deliver against these goals with a view to achieve a better, more sustainable future for all. This strategy and policies are cascaded down from the Group’s Headquarters to an interconnected global network of 148 business units in 60 countries across six continents. The company’s “global plan, local action” approach empowers business units to customize and deliver a targeted strategy that considers local needs. DP World Limassol’s initiatives are closely aligned with DP World’s global sustainability strategy and the 2021 sustainability targets.”

“Globally”, Aresti points out, “DP World is committed to being a good corporate citizen, by working in a sustainable, respectful, and responsible way. This is essential to building a strong business for its people, the environment, customers, and the communities in which it operates. Specifically, at DP World Limassol, our long-term goal is to render the terminal more productive and sustainable. This will translate into better prospects for the long-term future of the port, while the local economy and business community will benefit from job creation, as well as better infrastructure and services.”

Aresti also notes that on a global level, DP World was rated by Sustainalytics as having a Negligible’ Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risk with a score of 9.3 as of September 2020. “We are ranked 1st in the ‘Marine Ports’ sub-industry group and 6th in the ‘Transportation Infrastructure’ industry group”, he mentions. The ESG Risk Ratings measure a company’s exposure to industry-specific material ESG risks and how well a company is managing those risks.

DP World Limassol’s priority in Cyprus is to make a positive contribution to the local economy and people and sees itself very much as part of the community in Limassol and in Cyprus.

“We have maintained a good reputation, and we are perceived as a company that is here to support Cyprus and its economy. Most of our workforce is hired in Cyprus. We are here to add value, while we aim to help the country achieve its sustainability targets by investing in the port’s equipment, digitization and automation. Such investments boost the port’s efficiency and resilience, and therefore help reduce its environmental footprint”, Aresti points out.

The Group’s community engagement strategy focuses on Education, Health, Oceans, Wildlife Protection and Emergency Relief. Gender equality is also fully integrated within these focus areas.

“DP World Limassol invests time and resources in boosting community engagement. We try to forge partnerships with local organizations in education, women’s empowerment, environment and social causes. As it comes to education, for example, DP World Limassol has since 2017 organised multiple presentations and onsite visits for students, with a view to raise awareness about the importance of shipping and present DP World’s state-of-the-art port operations.

DP World Limassol also works with several Cypriot organisations towards supporting society. Indicatively we maintain strong ties with various local women’s empowerment organisations. Overall, there is a lack of women in shipping, and as such we try to demonstrate why women should not be left out. At the moment, a significant number of women are working at our port, while we aim to increase this number in the coming years. In addition, we try to encourage our female staff to participate in global mentorship programmes, as soon as they join the organisation.”

“Blood donations, among others, are also part of DP World Limassol’s yearly programme. In fact, over the years, we organised a number of blood drives to boost the supplies of local hospitals. Furthermore, in cooperation with Cat PAWS, a local NGO, we offered shelter, food and medical attention to the rising population of cats roaming the area of the Limassol port, implementing at the same time, a catch-and-release neutering programme.

“As regards the environment, DP World Limassol works with a number of local environmental NGOs. We regularly take part in local beach clean-ups and ocean environmental protection campaigns among others. It’s worth noting that we also achieved the relevant ISO 14001 standard, which sets out the requirements for an environmental management system.”

“Moreover, as part of DP World Sustainability strategy, we aim to have a lasting, positive impact on the port’s infrastructure, in order to make it as efficient and safe as possible”, Aresti adds. DP World Limassol, over the years since taking over the operation of the Limassol Port in January 2017 has, among other things:

  1. Made important strides towards the modernization of the terminal, by investing in a range of equipment that aims to enhance efficiency and productivity. We updated our fleet with new forklifts, Empty Container Handler, Telescopic Crane and so on.
  2. Launched, amid the pandemic, new digital payments solutions, allowing for convenient and secure digital transactions for all customers and partners.
  3. Implemented, the new ZODIAC cloud-based Terminal Operating System (TOS), as part of our efforts to optimise the Limassol port’s operations. ZODIAC TOS offers an integrated platform, providing all supply chain users with real-time information on vessel, yard, gate and other cargo movements.

At DP World Limassol, we are always on the lookout for further partnerships and investments in order to contribute to the development of the local community and help the country reach its sustainability targets.

How does Aresti feel that companies in Cyprus overall engage with ESG?

“As a general comment, there is great potential for ESG initiatives in Cyprus, as the country looks for ways to implement the European Union’s targets on climate action. As such, companies of a global calibre like DP World Limassol, will take on a crucial role in this effort. The private sector needs to reach a consensus and establish bold synergies on this matter, in order to drive ESG agendas.

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