European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO)’s survey on EU ports’ environmental management indicators finds positive responses to the majority of the performance parameters.
he data was obtained from the responses of 90 European ports, representing 20 countries in the EcoPorts Network. According to ESPO, most of the surveyed ports (93%) have an inventory of relevant environmental legislation. Furthermore, three indicators show the same performance and are adopted by 92% of the surveyed ports:
- existence of an Environmental Policy
- compilation of an inventory of Significant Environmental Aspects (SEA)
- application of an environmental monitoring program.
The results also indicate that the highest increase (+7%) compared with the previous ESPO Environmental Report 2022 refers to the question “Does the Environmental Policy refers to international and/or national port environmental policy guidelines?”.
The report emphasises the strengths we can build upon and the issues we must address in the years to come. Our mission continues to ensure that the EcoPorts Network equips ports with the indispensable tools needed to participate in Europe’s decarbonisation journey and to foster a greener future from the bottom up
… said Anaëlle Boudry, EcoPorts Coordinator
Moreover, when analysing the trends over the last ten years, the indicator on documenting environmental responsibilities of key personnel has experienced the strongest increase (+18%), followed by the existence of a certified Environmental Management System (+15%).
Regarding the sector’s Top 10 priorities, the results for 2023 show minimal changes. The first five priorities remain steadfast, maintaining their positions from the previous year, in descending order Climate change, Air quality, Energy efficiency, Noise and Water quality.
However, there have been variations in the order of the subsequent four priorities: Ship waste, Relationship with local community, Port development (land related) and Garbage/ Port waste.
Finally, there has been a noteworthy shift in the final priority, as Dredging operations have been replaced by water related Port development which enters the Top 10 for the first time since 2009.
As regards monitoring, 92% of surveyed ports have implemented an environmental monitoring program, the three most monitored indicators being water quality (82%), port waste (81%), and energy efficiency (76%).
As regards climate change indicators, it is worth noting that, although less than half of the ports (47%) experienced climate-related operational challenges, a significant percentage (76%) incorporates considerations related to climate change adaptation when planning and implementing new infrastructure projects.
In terms of the provision of green services to shipping, 57% of surveyed ports are offering onshore power supply (OPS) at one or more berths, 49% of them with high voltage. In addition, a significant 52% of surveyed ports are planning to step up their efforts in offering OPS in the next two years.
A lower percentage of ports offer LNG bunkering (42%), although an additional 21% are planning to develop LNG bunkering facilities during the next two years. Finally, another significant result indicates that 63% of ports provide differentiated dues for ships that go beyond regulatory standards.
Out of the ports that offer differentiated dues, the main qualifying criterion includes i) vessels ensuring waste management/segregation (57%) and ii) vessels ensuring air emissions reduction (55%). An additional 38% of ports are planning to introduce environmentally differentiated port dues during the next two years.
The environmental report allows us to monitor important environmental indicators, which will prove very useful in overseeing the implementation of important ‘Fit for 55’ initiatives like AFIR. It also helps in gaining knowledge on issues such as climate resilience, a topic that is high on the Commission’s agenda.
… commented Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO Secretary General.