The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has announced that its World Ports Climate Initiative (WPCI) will be broadened from climate action alone to include a wider range of sustainability challenges. The new IAPH initiative, rebranded as the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP), will be officially launched at a conference in Antwerp next March.
IAPH said that the new program would address the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) covering biosphere, society and economy.
“By incorporating 'Smart Port' concept and 'Digitalisation,' the WPSP is expected to assist ports in increasing the efficiency and sustainability of their day-to-day port operations," IAPH President Santiago Milà said. Milà asserted that the main role of ports is to add value to the economy by building efficient logistics chains. These chains should then contribute to "three pillars" of growth, Milà says – social, environmental and economic development.
“A lot of attention has – rightly – been paid to the environmental pillar, but true sustainability is about integration with the economic and societal dimensions. Historically, IAPH, at the forefront of developments for ports, took on a pioneering role in establishing in 2008 the World Port Climate Initiative (WPCI), which it is now extending into a World Port Sustainability Programme," he said, speaking at an IAPH conference in Ningbo earlier this month.
Under its former Climate Initiative, IAPH created guidelines on “Carbon Footprinting for Ports” and an Environmental Ship Index (ESI), a tool to help ports to identify and reward ships with low emissions. The ESI now has 5,500 registered vessels, up by roughly 900 from last October, along with 50 participating incentive providers.