Vessel's Environmental Impact in Port Measured by New Index

New index introduced to measure a ship's environmental impact in port
Port of Bergen - courtesy of Bergen Haven

Published Jun 29, 2020 3:53 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Environmental Port Index (EPI) is a newly launched company designed to measure a vessel’s level of pollution when in port creating incentives to reduce a ship’s environmental impact. 

Developed in a collaboration between the Port of Bergen, DNV GL, and 10 other Norwegian ports, the aim is to empower ship owners and port operators to increase their operational efficiency while reducing their impact on the environment.

Currently, 111 cruise ships owned by 18 different ship owners have registered their technical configurations in the EPI database. The registration is done free of charge and in consultation with an engineer. Then each vessel provides information on its visit when leaving port. 

The port receives data on CO2, NOx and SO2 emissions, use of onshore power supply, use of waste gas treatment systems, and consumption of fuel, and this data is used to calculate an EPI score. The score indicates a ship’s operational efficiency and impact on the environment during the port stay. 

According to the company, the score both provides an easy to understand report as well as rewards and incentives for shipping companies to reduce their emissions. Ports can use the score to adjust dues and fees based on the ship’s environmental impact.

“EPI has proven to be a high-quality, useful tool to reduce emissions to air from vessels in port, and the work we have done has attracted considerable interest both nationally and internationally,” says Johnny Breivik, Managing Director for Port of Bergen. “We thus feel that the time has come for EPI to be launched in the international market.”

Development of the EPI began in 2017 and included a year-long pilot involving both cruise lines and ports. In 2019, three Norwegian cruise ports, Bergen, Trondheim, and Stavanger, introduced the system recording a total of 545 port stays via the EPI Portal. It is now installed at 16 ports in Norway and available to ports worldwide.

In the future, EPI plans to expand to cover more vessel types as well as more environmental aspects such as waste, discharges to sea, and noise.