European Ports Set Environmental Priorities
The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) has released its annual Environmental Report for 2019 indicating that air quality continues to be the top environmental priority of member ports.
The report includes over 60 environmental performance benchmarks including figures on green services to shipping (shore-side electricity, LNG and environmentally differentiated port dues) as well as the top 10 environmental priorities of the European ports.
Air quality was followed by energy consumption as priority number two as it is seen as a key determinant of public “acceptance” of port activity in the years to come.
Climate change, included in the Top 10 of the environmental priorities for the first time two years ago, is the third priority. Almost eight out of 10 European ports take climate change into consideration when they develop new infrastructure projects. 62 percent of ports strengthen the climate resilience of existing infrastructure and 47 percent have already dealt with operational challenges due to climate change.
The relationship with the local community is in position five this year. Transparency is a high priority with 87 percent of the ports communicating their environmental policy to the stakeholders and 82 percent of them making it publicly available on their website.
More than half of the ports are offering shoreside electricity for ships at berth, 48 percent are providing high voltage electricity for seagoing vessels. One third have made LNG bunkering available, LNG being mainly provided by trucks (90 percent) and by barges (20 percent). 56 percent provide environmentally differentiated fees for ships that go beyond regulatory standards, with air emissions, waste and climate change being the main targets of these discounts.
In addition, 71 percent of the ports are certified with an environmental standard (ISO, EMAS, EcoPorts’ PERS), an increase of 17 percent since 2013. Most recently, Port of Barcelona (Spain), Port of Vigo (Spain) and Port of Baku (Azerbaijan) attained the EcoPorts' PERS standard. Compliance with the EcoPorts’ PERS standard is independently assessed by Lloyd’s Register and the certificate has a validity of two years. EcoPorts’ PERS is revised after the two-year period to make sure that the port continues to meet the requirements.
The report is available here.