How we make an impact

With more than 100,000 customers and operations in 100 countries, DNV is involved in an array of industries. Our customers are either affected by or pushing the boundaries of digital transformation and the energy transition, and our role is to support them every step of the way as a trusted voice to tackle global transformations.

We assure and advise customers on technology that can help advance safety and sustainable performance. This includes assurance services related to renewable energy, sustainable supply chains, decarbonization, energy efficiency, new fuel technologies and ship design, ESG reporting and green financing. 

Guided by research
To remain relevant in today’s fast-changing world, and to enable our customers and their stakeholders to confidently manage technological and regulatory complexity, we invest 5% of our annual revenue in research and development. Our research feeds into how we develop our products and services and how we help customers seize opportunities and tackle the risks arising from global transformations. 

Our research spans a wide range of areas including digital assurance, maritime, energy, ocean space, healthcare and sustainable food systems and supply chains. (See the Research and innovation section).

A strategic approach to sustainability

Our strategy to 2025 outlines DNV’s core focus areas to deliver our purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment, and our vision to be a trusted voice to tackle global transformations. Fundamental to the strategy are DNV’s growth ambitions, including our focus on customers, sustainability and our people.

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Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Dubbed the ‘Decade of Action’ by the UN, the 2020’s is the decade in which humanity will succeed or fail to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). DNV contributes to the SDGs through our business activities and our strategy defines four priority Goals where DNV can contribute the most and have the largest impact: 

  • SDG 3: Good health and well-being 
  • SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy 
  • SDG 13: Climate action 
  • SDG 14: Life below water 

DNV provides a wide range of business solutions that support these goals. These includes maritime solutions and clean shipping, renewable energy, safe and sustainable industrial operations and infrastructure, climate change mitigation and adaptation, technology innovations, healthcare and hospital safety and efficiency. The Sustainable innovation examples from across DNV business areas showcase some of the ways we work with customers to enhance sustainability and support the SDGs. 

We are in the process of reviewing and classifying our products in line with the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities and to showcase how they support the SDGs. By doing so, we will be able to measure and demonstrate more clearly the impact of our work towards the SDGs and sustainable outcomes.

Material topics

Our material topics are those that matter most to our business and stakeholders, especially our employees and customers. To increase understanding of our material topics and update our last assessment from 2018, we conducted desktop research and a series of online surveys in 2021. 

We researched peer and comparable companies to update and refine our material topics. Following this, we conducted stakeholder surveys in early 2022. We now have a better understanding of what matters most to our stakeholders. 

Our stakeholders include our customers, employees and our owner, Stiftelsen Det Norske Veritas. Other stakeholders that are important to us are our suppliers, research institutions, industry associations, government bodies, civil society organizations, and the media. 

The online survey consisted of 16 questions and was sent to internal and external stakeholders. We received almost 3,500 responses, giving a robust evidence base to assess the relative importance of our identified material topics and providing a clear view of stakeholders’ priorities. Internal stakeholders included employees across all grade groups, business areas and geographies within DNV. 

The external survey approached a wide range of stakeholders, and responses received mainly consisted of customers (73%) with additional input from NGOs, suppliers, regulators, media, and others (27%). 

Overall, the responses provided by internal and external stakeholders on the relative importance of the topics were well aligned, although there were some subtle differences in priority. Climate change and talent attraction, retention and development were identified as most important from the list of 13 topics, while diversity and inclusion, and local and global community engagement, were considered relatively less important. 

External stakeholders consistently highlighted the importance of sustainable innovations and thought leadership, especially when asked about the areas where they felt DNV could support them. Material topics on tackling climate change, enabling clients’ sustainability impact, and customer satisfaction were also areas where respondents felt DNV could have the greatest impact. 

For internal respondents, talent attraction, retention and development, climate change, customer satisfaction, and employee safety and resilience were considered important. 

The materiality matrix above shows the results of the topics that were prioritized by internal and external stakeholders.

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Responsibility for DNV’s sustainability performance lies with DNV’s Group CEO and our Executive Committee. Our Board of Directors has formal oversight of DNV performance, and this is executed by the Board’s Audit Committee. Our Corporate Governance report describes our governance processes in more detail. 

DNV’s corporate sustainability initiatives that relate to our impact on the environment and climate are managed by the Group Sustainability Development and Climate team, supported by DNV’s Health, Safety Environment network and our business areas. Other material topics are managed by our Group People and Global Shared Services functions and our Ethics and compliance organization.


DNV’s definition of sustainability is broad and we report on performance relating to all our material topics in this annual report. The reporting covers how we support our customers through the products and services we provide, employee safety and resilience, employees’ opportunities for career development, as well as how we protect the environment. 

A significant part of our environmental reporting focuses on DNV’s climate impact. We also report on our high standards of business ethics and compliance, which apply just as much to our business partners’ operations as our own. 

Our reporting is in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards, core option. Our GRI index can be found at the back of this report. Our auditor, KPMG, has conducted limited assurance of our sustainability report and underlying data. Their feedback and feedback from other sources, such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, are actively used to improve our reporting. 

The sustainability information in this report covers the calendar year 2021.


As the challenges facing today’s societies are very much global in nature, the solutions provided must also be global in perspective; combining knowledge, ideas and effort across sectors, disciplines and borders. 

As a knowledge-based organization, DNV constantly seeks to learn by working closely with our peers and partners, to be challenged and inspired by them, and to also challenge and inspire them in return. 

We are a signatory to the UN Global Compact and are committed to embedding its ten principles on human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption into our business. Our annual report acts as our Communication on Progress, outlining our progress against the ten principles and the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2021, we joined the UN Global Compact’s Climate Ambition Accelerator. 

We partner with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD). DNV has been an active member of the council since 1999 and our CEO is a member of the Executive Council. We are part of two working groups that are working towards WBCSD’s Vision 2050 agenda; these relate to ‘Energy Transformation’ and ‘Circular Economy’. 

We have committed to the Science-Based Targets initiative and are working to validate our climate change goals. (See the Environment and climate section for more details). 

We also have a longstanding partnership with the Norwegian Red Cross. See case study in the Sustainable innovations section for more details. We are members and active contributors to industry associations that are relevant to us such as International Association of Classification Societies (IACS).

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How we make an impact