DNV’s history is rooted in the maritime sector, starting in 1864. Since then, DNV has added new dimensions to its business: Energy, Internationalisation, Certification and lately Sustainability.

1864 - Maritime1864
DNV was established by Norwegian insurance companies as a national alternative to foreign classification societies.

Agents, and later permanent surveyors, appointed in a number of countries to serve Norwegian vessels abroad.

Steamships were introduced in the 1870’s, and most of the sailing ships had been phased out by the 1920’s.

Samuel Plimsoll started the process leading to the compulsory load lines on every British ship, put into force in 1891.

First phase of growth, both in shipping in general and in the DNV Classed fleet.

Norway had the third largest fleet in the world, measured in registered tonnage.

First DNV surveyor to operate in China.

Close to 100% of the DNV Classed ships were for Scandinavian shipowners.

Business activity development history1907
DNV loosened its ties to the insurance clubs and became a regular certification and classification society.

The Norwegian parliament voted on regulations for compulsory Norwegian load lines.

Following the Titanic disaster, safety at sea became the subject of increasing public concern, and grew from simply safeguarding the ship to safeguarding passengers.

The first International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) was adopted in response to the sinking of the Titanic.

From 1920 to 1940 diesel engines were introduced as propulsion on new ships. DNV was quick to adopt this new technology and ‘engineering surveyors’ were recruited.

During the Second World War, DNV was divided in two; one half in Newcastle, UK, and one half remained in the occupied Norway. This led to a close cooperation with Lloyd’s.

After the war, this cooperation culminated in a proposal by Lloyd’s to buy DNV, and thereafter to a liberalisation process in DNV and the work aimed at developing new class rules. The cooperation between Lloyd’s and DNV was subsequently terminated in 1952.

1947 - 200 employees1948
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) was created.

Georg F. Vedeler was appointed managing director of DNV. He introduced a scientific approach to ship construction. His vision was to build safer ships in a more profitable way.

As the first classification society to do so, DNV published new rules, based on an analytical and theoretical scientific approach.

DNV took a significant and pioneering step by establishing a dedicated research department.

1957 - 400 employees1964
DNV was finally united in one headquarters. The DNV fleet was almost 20 million gross tonnes (GT), twice as much as in 1960.

The golden age for both shipping and DNV. The internationalisation and expansion of the Society took off.

Foundation of the International Association of Class Societies (IACS).

1970 - Energy1970
DNV entered the oil business, in both the offshore installations and cargo sectors, including pipelines and vessels. This developed into a new important market.

The Berge Istra and Berge Vanga accidents occured.

DNV became an independent foundation.

The Alexander Kielland platform disaster in the North Sea. Regulations were subsequently improved.

1972 - 1000 employees1980 - Internationalisation

DNV Petroleum Services was established adding marine fuel management to DNV’s expertise.

The ISO standards were introduced worldwide by the ISO organisation, and DNV quickly grew its management system certification activities based on these standards. This became an independent business area in DNV in 1995.

1990 - Certification1992
DNV replaced Det Norske Veritas as the global brand name and a new logo was introduced.

Managing Risk was introduced as DNV’s corporate promise, reflecting DNV’s core competence of identifying, assessing and managing risk.

International owners represent 70% of the DNV fleet.

DNV-classed vessels pass 5,000.

2004 - Sustainability2004
DNV became the first company to be accredited by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to validate climate change mitigation projects under the CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) scheme.

Risk Based Certification introduced, representing a revitalisation of management system certification.

DNV-classed vessels pass the 100 million gross tonnes mark.

2004 - 5800 employees2005
DNV acquired Cortest Columbus Technologies (CCT) – specialising in corrosion control, pipeline and plant integrity analyses and material evaluation for the pipeline industry.

DNV IT Global Services was created to focus on addressing IT risks.

DNV acquires Global Energy Concepts, a US based wind power consulting firm with 95 employees.

DNV approved to accredit hospitals in the US.

DNV opens a Sustainability Centre in Beijing.

2010 - 8500 employees2010
DNV opens Clean Technology Centre in Singapore.

DNV acquires Behnke, Erdman and Whitaker Engineering (BEW) to strengthen its position within solar, wind, power transmission and grid integration.

The Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico.

DNV acquires 74.3% of the shares in KEMA, creating a world-leading consulting and certification company within the cleaner energy, sustainability, power generation, transmission and distribution sectors.

DNV Group is established with three separate operating companies: DNV Maritime and Oil & Gas, DNV Business Assurance and DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability.