Respect for the environment pays off. We now look after our environment to allow us, as well as future generations, to be able to enjoy it, and this effort to “be green” is being recognised by the port authorities in terms of maritime transport.
This is the case of Rotterdam Port (the Netherlands), where vessels that use cleaner energy (such as LNG) or operating procedures that reduce emissions of CO2, SO2 or NOX into the environment avail of reduced port taxes. In fact, savings of close to 3 million euros were made in 2016.
This is based on the Environmental Ship Index (ESI), an index that evaluates the amount of pollutants emitted by a boat into the environment (nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide). This initiative has been developed by the World Ports Climate Initiative (WPCI), involving the commitment of ports to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases at the same time as continuing to develop their role as economic and transport centres. In this sense, ESI, a voluntary organisation, is an instrument that measures its environmental performance and that drives them towards achieving their sustainability goals.
An index (ranging from 0, for compliance with the environmental regulation, up to 100 for zero emissions) allowing ships that arrive in Rotterdam to avail of financial savings. Furthermore, boats with an ESI index of 31 points or more can avail of a reduction of 10% in taxes.
And what’s more, vessels with a load capacity of 20,000 tonnes or more with a Green Award Foundation certificate avail of a 6% discount.
We continue our focus on Europe to talk about Bilbao Port, which is preparing to receive autonomous boats, which can accelerate the reduction of polluting emissions into the environment, known as decarbonisation, among their many benefits.
In fact, its leaders are working on a port equipment project based on infrastructure and infostructure and management, to be the first port in Biscay where these types of vessels can dock.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the efforts to care for the environment are also being recognied. These involve the Ports of Halifax and Quebec, both located in Canada, which have obtained a level 5 from the Green Marine programme (the highest level) in each of their categories: greenhouse gases, spill prevention, impact on the community and environmental leadership.
Green Marine is a programme involving voluntary environmental certification for the North American maritime industry, the aim of which is the reduction of the carbon footprint.
These initiatives all aim to promote sustainable development with economic development, due to how green is not at odds with the economy, far from it in fact.
We at Prosertek are working along these same lines, designing and developing port equipment to do our bit for the reduction of emissions from ships, in order to have cleaner and greener ports and seas that are more environmentally friendly.