Port climate initiatives take centre stage

18 Oct 2018

Ports encouraged to join co-operative initiatives.

Climate initiatives including the World Ports Climate Action Program and the World Ports Sustainability Programme took centre stage at the first day of the GreenPort Congress being held in Valencia.

Representatives of two new port cooperation climate initiatives followed and discussed their programmes in a session moderated by Rachael White, CEO Secretariat, The International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA). Victor Schoenmakers, Director of Corporate Strategy, Port of Rotterdam, introduced the World Ports Climate Action Program, which was launched in September 2018 and is a cooperative venture between the ports of Hamburg, Barcelona, Antwerp, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Vancouver and Rotterdam. “I think it is very important to have frontrunners that take the lead, along with a backup system of other ports, to make very visible that it is a serious business.” Describing the programme as “a coalition of the willing”, Schoenmakers invited ports worldwide to join.

Antonis Michail, Project Coordinator, World Ports Sustainability Programme, International Association of Ports & Harbours (IAPH) spoke about the World Ports Sustainability Programme, which IAPH launched earlier this year. “We have a big and ambitious agenda,” he said. “WPSP is an umbrella initiative for the international port sector that embeds and brings together all the most important international port-related organisations. We want to highlight the good work ports do on sustainability when working collectively.”

Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General, ESPO, presented the organisation’s Environmental Report for European Ports 2018. Nineteen member - states participated in the report, which incorporates data from 90 ports. Ryckbost said Valencia’s performance showed that “cargo growth and sustainability can perfectly go together.” Adding, "In 2013, half of ports had a certified environmental management scheme; we now see seven out of ten ports have one.”

Chris Wooldridge, Honorary Research Fellow, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, moderated a session that heard from experts in measuring environmental impacts and asked delegates to supply data on their own activities, commenting, “Environmental management isn’t a comfortable thing; it’s a tremendous challenge,”

For further information on the conference visit: greenport.com/congress