Offshore Industry News

Greenport Congress Coming to America in 2018

The Port of Baltimore, Maryland has been recognized for its environmental efforts for several years and recently named a green supply chain partner by Inbound Logistics magazine for its environmental efforts and especially with regards to the Ports Dray truck replacement program.

The recognition came as the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration’s (MDOT MPA) Environmental Management System was recently recertified under the International Organisation for Standardization’s new Environmental management standard.

Gov. Larry Hogan reported that, “The Port of Baltimore continues to break records while striving to reach the highest environmental standards. The Port has successfully balanced moving our state’s economy forward while protecting our natural resources and improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay.”

To underline this progress, the first International North American GreenPort Congress will be held in Baltimore on 16-18 May 2017. The Congress brings together port professionals and stakeholders from around the world to discuss and raise awareness of the environmental initiates and developments.

For details on GreenPort Congress Baltimore, click here.

Delegates at GreenPort Congress 2017 Aim for Sustainability Targets

At this year’s GreenPort Congress, Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition and former Prime Minister of The Netherlands, introduced the concept of innovation to address global sustainability issues.

“The traditional way of working sometimes prevents us from making positive changes and seeking innovation,” he said. “But if we don’t share knowledge and work together we run the risk of failing.”

The 12th GreenPort Congress was held in October 2017 in Amsterdam, hosted by the Port of Amsterdam. The main themes of the Congress, those of balancing the environmental challenge with economic demands and the importance of stakeholder relations, were examined in a wide range of presentations covering policy, technical and operational considerations.

Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, secretary general FEPORT (The Federation of European Port Operators and Private Terminals) said that the fourth industrial revolution is well on its way including major changes such as digitalization, remote management and high technology - all of which can be utilized to harness better sustainability.

Adding “Innovation isn’t something we should fear but embrace, the first movers will prosper in the new economy,” echoed Conor Feighan from FEPORT.

The real game changer in driving sustainability will be collaboration and knowledge sharing across the industry, especially when it comes to urban and port planning. Malte Siegert, head of environmental policy at NABU said “But to do this we need to solve the lack of coherence and the poor knowledge exchange between interest groups.”

The NGO’s relationship with the Port of Hamburg could be looked at as an example for others. It’s strong collaboration between all interest groups has led to the port’s new clean air action plan. The Port of Dover in the UK is applying the same principle to traffic management. Vicki Jago, head of safety and environment at the port, said that if it didn’t collaborate with a number of parties, the result would be a queue of traffic from Dover to Antwerp, some 170 miles away. The port tackles the issue in a number of ways including using a traffic modelling tool called Blip Track. The tool shares data with a number of stakeholders including the Highways Agency to predict and manage queuing, resulting in queue reduction of 50%.

Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) were also a key topic, focusing on the UN SDGs and their relevance to the port industry. Claire Bryant from Future Proof Solutions said that SDGs should be used as a tool to provide data, benchmarking and reporting frameworks to improve sustainability. In one discussion, delegates were encouraged to talk to each other and come up with the challenges and opportunities that can affect sustainability reporting. Challenges noted by delegates included finances, a reactive attitude and a lack of clear leadership. In addition, delegates were then encouraged to think outside the box and come up with opportunities to improve sustainability reporting. They concluded that these challenges could largely be tackled by sharing information, sector collaboration and innovation.

The conference ended with a port tour of the Port of Amsterdam where delegates were able to take a look at the new sea lock in Ijmuiden, Amsterdam. For more information, click here.

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