International ports’ efforts to be sustainable
Ports all over the world, individually and collectively, take a serious, aggressive and more progressive stance to ensure their readiness for a sustainable future. Countries adopt their respective port development roadmaps to help charter their course toward achieving goals and objectives in a more sustainable manner.
Most of their efforts are focused on forward looking initiatives that involve modernization through adoption of technological advancement and digitalization, increased asset utilization and capitalization, increased awareness on environmental safety and preservation, and transition to green energy.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Achieving long-term global development is anchored in the principle of sustainable development. This concept is the path that the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under the banner title, “Transforming Our World” is determined to take. It is focused on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and 169 targets integrated in three pillars: economic development, social development and environmental protection.
World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP)
On March 22, 2018, the World Ports Sustainability Program was launched in Antwerp. The program was initiated in 2017 by the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH). UN SDG is at the core of WPSP and is aimed to highlight global ports’ leadership in significantly contributing to the attainment of these goals.
WPSP works along five themes: 1) resilient infrastructure, 2) climate and energy, 3) community outreach and port-city dialogue, 4) safety and security, and 5) governance and ethics. Notably, it wants to empower workers, authorities and other port personalities to participate and actively engage, along with private and government institutions and civil societies, in forging sustainable programs and cooperation that will add value to communities and regions where these ports operate.
During the launch of the WPSP, IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim commended WPSP efforts. In response, IAPH Managing Director for Policy and Strategy and concurrent WPSP Coordinator Patrick Verhoeven expressed the need to direct WPSP course with concrete priorities in the near future and in ensuring that port people worldwide will take part in the achievement of the program’s objectives.
Docks of the future
More than systems and policies, port development strategies must be anchored on sustainability. This is the direction that the European Commission (EC) pursues. Also aligned with the UN SDG, efforts of EC funded Docks the Future (DTF) project are focused on future ports’ sustainability that consider not only the economic but also social and environmental aspects.
With 1.2 million Euro investments, DTF works to define the concept of Europe’s future sustainable ports and expects to achieve its objective through a five-step sustainable plan that include smart port operations, preservation of the environment, development in the workplace and people’s well-being, planning for a bright future, and integration of port communities.
The Port of Amsterdam rolled out its own efforts on transformation, leading to a sustainable future. Several projects worth around 10 million euros were unveiled by the port authority in 2017 and include the following:
Setting up an LNG bunkering facility which is expected to start operating within the first two quarters of 2019
Still under its energy transition initiatives, discounts are offered to environment-friendly ships under its Clean Shipping Vision 2030 which aimed to reduce shipping emissions by providing support to the shipping sector
In addition to emission reduction, innovative projects like conversion into fuel for ships of recyclable plastic is underway. The Amsterdam port authority will tap the technology developed by Integrated Green Energy Solutions (IGES), formerly Bin2Barrel.
Likewise, it partnered with Nouryon and Tata Steel for a study on the feasibility of green hydrogen to reach its climate targets. A maximum 350,000 tons annual CO2 savings is expected to be obtained from the project.
In an interview, Port of Amsterdam Project Manager Joost Zuidema also talked of efforts on the use of aquatic and aerial drones in monitoring and other relevant functions within and around the area. Likewise, he mentioned the port authority’s big plans on digitalization, using data and big data for formulating informed decisions with regard to port operations and related issues.
Philippine Ports Authority’s Green Port Project
In the local scene, PPA strives at making small steps towards its big goal of being at par with other maritime stakeholders worldwide. Initially, it promotes the use of renewable energy in all ports nationwide under its jurisdiction in an attempt to reduce carbon footprint in Philippine ports.
PPA established a 25-Year Port Development Roadmap during a stakeholders’ summit in April 2017, which was supposed to be submitted for approval by the President by year-end. The roadmap is part of PPA’s commitment to the Ambisyon Natin 2040 launched by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and adopted by the present administration.
One of the banner programs under the roadmap is the “Green Port” project, which is geared toward the use of sustainable energy in all aspects of PPA operations to the extent possible.
PPA Assistant General Manager for Operations Hector Miole explained that in light of the commitment of the Authority’s counterparts in the shipping sector to the reduction of carbon emissions to a certain percentage within the next ten years, it is but apt that the same efforts be done in Philippine ports. He expressed that the project’s long-term effect on the environmental conservation and financial aspect far outweigh the initial outlays made by the Authority.
For a start, all existing incandescent and fluorescent lamps and bulbs in PPA’s Corporate Office Building were replaced with LED lights. An inventory of all streetlights from the North Harbor and access roads going to its VTMS control tower, PPA’s offices at the South, and the South Harbor Expanded Port Zone has also been conducted.
In addition, the Authority is working on a Memorandum of Agreement with the Philippine National Oil Company-Renewable Corporation for the efficient implementation of its project.
The Permanent International Association of Navigational Congresses [of which PPA is a member] and the Japan Overseas Port Cooperation Association recommend that it adopt disaster-resilient ports, consider climate change, and transform them into environment-friendly ports through the use of sustainable energy sources.
The PPA roadmap, in addition to the ‘Greening project’, includes long term-infrastructure development, cruise ship plans, industrial ports and zoning management, supply chain development, and interconnectivity.
Source: Manila Times