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Carbon offsetting - sea

DFDS Carbon Reduction Programmes

Carbon offsetting

Offsetting vs. Insetting - Understanding the difference

Decarbonising is not just a checkbox here at DFDS, it is our guiding principle, and we embrace the mission of reducing our carbon footprint and lower emission travel for a brighter future.

Our Offset and Inset programmes are two distinct but equally important ways in which you can be part of our decarbonisation journey.


  • Offset programmes allow you to compensate for the carbon emissions generated during your journey
  • You can choose to purchase carbon offset credits, which support external projects such as tree planting, renewable energy initiatives, or other verified carbon reduction efforts
  • Offset credits contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions globally and align with our mission to combat climate change on a broader scale


  • Insetting is a DFDS initiative where you contribute directly to funding our internal carbon reduction projects
  • By purchasing Insetting credits, you support projects implemented within our operations that aim to lower emissions and make your journey more environmentally friendly
  • Insetting credits fund projects that use increased use of Low Emission Fuel
  • Through this initiative, you can either choose to offset your emissions completely or contribute towards future investment (route dependant)
  • Insetting is provided to customers, minus their ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme) contribution. ETS is not a direct carbon reduction initiative, but insetting is. If a customer chooses to reduce their carbon via insetting, then ETS is no longer relevant and is therefore removed from the overall price when calculating voluntary contributions. This does not apply to external offset projects.
Carbon offsetting - sea

What is the Key Difference?

Offsetting is focused on supporting external, verified projects that reduce carbon emissions on a global scale. Insetting, on the other hand, contributes directly to a CO2 reduction in our transport network.

Whether you want to make a global impact through offset programmes or contribute a little closer to home, DFDS offers you the opportunity to play a significant role in our journey towards a net-zero future.

The cost of a tonne CO2 for reducing the emissions on a DFDS vessel, is currently dependent on our ability to source and use biofuels, which are limited and expensive. The cost of offsetting the same CO2 emissions by supporting projects to plant trees, as supplied by www.carbonfootprint.com are significantly cheaper.

Ship at sea

What Insetting Projects Would I be Contributing Towards? 

With a target of becoming net zero by 2050, DFDS is consistently developing initiatives that drive forward meaningful change.

Our main source of reducing emissions is via the increased use of biofuel. Your contribution supports our efforts to transition to lower and zero-emission marine fuels. These fuels produce fewer emissions compared to traditional options, helping us reduce our carbon footprint. 

For more information on our climate plan, see here.

Carbon offsetting - forests

Global Offsetting Projects

Through our long-standing partnership with Carbon Footprint, DFDS offers diverse offsetting initiatives that make a real impact. By investing in projects throughout the Amazon rainforest, we support sustainable livelihoods and economic development while preserving the ecosystem. Additionally, our afforestation efforts in the UK and Kenya maximize carbon recapture, create local habitats, increase biodiversity, and offset CO2 emissions. This is a customer offering, not linked to DFDS’s emissions.

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Our Offsetting Projects

We only work with high standard offsetting projects; therefore, all our schemes meet the Verified Carbon Standard. In addition, to ensure trustworthiness our supplier is QAS Approved. For more information about these energy and consultancy services, visit the websites below.

Carbon offsetting - forest

Calculating your carbon impact

To provide you with an accurate assessment of your carbon emissions, we analyse the total emissions from each of our vessels. This data serves as the foundation for calculating the carbon impact of both our freight and passenger traffic.

The Process:

  • Emissions Analysis: We meticulously gather fuel consumption data and produce emissions data from all our vessels, considering a range of factors such as fuel consumption, distance travelled, and energy efficiency.
  • Carbon Impact Assessment: Using the emissions data, we calculate the carbon impact of each journey, whether it is freight or passenger traffic.

Your Carbon Reduction Options

Armed with this knowledge, we offer you a choice. You can opt to reduce your carbon emissions for a specific journey by investing in accredited and externally audited internal carbon reduction projects. These projects are designed to directly reduce the emissions generated during your travel.

Why Choose DFDS?

By travelling with DFDS, you are choosing to make a difference. Our commitment to decarbonisation empowers you to be part of our mission to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to a net zero future.  Join us on our journey.

Vote European Awards 2024

Championing the Seas!  

We're elated to announce that DFDS has been named the World's Leading Ferry Operator 2023 at the prestigious World Travel Awards – our 13th consecutive win!

This accolade cements our commitment to providing unparalleled experiences for our passengers and reflects the hard work of our exceptional team members who are dedicated to ensuring each voyage is as exceptional as the next.

We are also proud to announce that we have been nominated as Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator 2024 and we’d love your support once again.