GreenPort Congress 2018: High Ambition Meets Business Realities

22 Oct 2018

A global view point for discussions on the future.

Discussion was lively on the second day of GreenPort Congress in Valencia, as port representatives discussed incentive schemes, supply chain ethics and greening bids.

Environmental charging schemes and incentives sparked debate after Christine Rigby, Environmental Specialist – Air Emissions, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, detailed how her organisation was working with an advisory group, consisting of the ports of Gothenburg, Long Beach, Los Angeles and Vancouver, as well as the China Waterborne Transport Research Institute, the Natural Resources Defence Council of Hong Kong, Transport Canada and the US Environment Protection Agency, to view incentives as part of a global infrastructure. “There is a growing number of priorities and a growing disconnect for ports,” she said. “The cost benefits of incentives are not clear to everyone and information is stored in a different format at every site. We will be more effective through working together.” Antonis Michail, Project Coordinator, World Ports Sustainability Programme, International Association of Ports & Harbours (IAPH), followed with an introduction on The Environmental Ship Index (ESI). “ESI is a very important project for us,” he added. “It is a priority of ports worldwide, linked to the licence of ports to operate and to grow.”

A panel on responsible supply chains discussed the place of partnerships and other initiatives. Linda van Waveren, CSR Programme Manager, Port of Amsterdam, said enforcement and supervision of commodity flows by local governments were flawed, adding “We believe the Port of Amsterdam has a responsibility to make these flows more sustainable because we are indirectly linked in the supply chain.” The port is engaged in a cooperative programme with Dutch seaports.

Heidi Neilson, Head of Environment, Port of Oslo, made the case for proactive policies. “Not all countries will reach the climate target of reducing emissions by 40-50% by 2030. Rich ports can make the change; we have to reduce by more than 50%.” She said Oslo’s action plan to become the world’s first zero-emission port would see electric buses in port by 2020 and all RoPax ferries would be zero-emission by 2025.

Green technological R&D was in focus in the final session of Congress. Alex Mateo, Business Development – Europe, Envirosuite, which provides instant air quality data for ports and terminals, commented, “Using a cloud-based platform for real-time environmental impact monitoring, we can quickly identify a problem or investigate what has happened in the past.” Impact forecasting is also possible.

Eduardo Prat, vice-president at Kalmar, said eco-efficient technology at container terminals is leading the way in providing automated solutions. Kalmar has created a cloud where customers provide fleet data, allowing Kalmar to manage the flow of cargo and equipment in terminals. He concluded that “By 2021, all vehicles we supply to customers will be electric,”.

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