Unified environmental voice needed
Ports are moving in the right direction to decrease emissions but there is a lack of global research on how ports are handling impact management, an environmental specialist has stressed.
Speaking exclusively to Port Strategy at TOC Europe, Satu Kaivonen from Konecranes said that while ports are addressing emissions, waste treatment handling and efficiency, there isn’t any fact-based information and in Europe regulations and environmental permit criteria vary from country to country.
Speaking about regulations, she said: “It does vary a lot and of course that impacts the costs and that might again impact the competitiveness, but because we really need to fight climate change together as an industry that’s why we really need to do this.”
Ports can help form a collective front in tackling environmental issues by joining the voluntary World Ports Sustainability Programme (WPSP) launched in March, emphasised Ms Kaivonen.
“There’s a lot of sustainable development goals that we’re trying to achieve. Ports can openly and publicly state they commit to this and then share information and practises as well as how they are doing with decreasing emissions.”
April’s International Maritime Organization greenhouse gas agreement is also an “opportunity” for ports, said Ms Kaivonen. Ports can offer offshore renewable energy, improve the logistics chain — aided by digitalisation, refine waste treatments and invest in equipment that is energy efficient or even zero carbon, she explained.
Automation developments will help ports become more environmentally friendly, while engaging with the whole supply chain is also important, she added.
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