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Winning projects of the IAPH World Ports Sustainability Awards are announced

IAPH 2020 World Ports Conference 5 min read

Winners announced in seven categories which lead the way in this year’s initiatives to support the IAPH World Ports Sustainability Program:


MPA Singapore – Digital Port Ecosystem


Port of Kaohsiung – Master Plan 2017-2021


Port of Rotterdam – Zero Emission Services


Hamburg Port Authority – homePORT


Port of Açu – Protecting Sea Turtles


Port of Açu – Together in the fight against Covid-19


DP World – Global Education Programme

IAPH is delighted to announce the winners of this year’s IAPH World Ports Sustainability Awards during a gala presentation today to delegates online during the IAPH 2021 World Ports Conference.

IAPH Managing Director Patrick Verhoeven commented :

“This year, 64 projects were submitted by 37 IAPH member ports from 21 countries, the highest ever number submissions since the Awards began. The quality of these submissions was also extremely high, leaving our international expert jury with a great deal of work to go over all the projects in detail and score on the parameters. We are also extremely satisfied with the response from the online voting public, who numbered 10.545 in total and whose 30% of the the total points awarded did count when it came to calculating the winners.”

Winner : MPA Singapore – Digital Port Ecosystem

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has recognized early on that digitalization is a key driving force that will help transform the industry and secure Singapore’s position as a leading international maritime center. The jury was impressed with their initiatives to enhance operational efficiency, safety and sustainability through digitalisation and data sharing which go beyond their own operations. The jury found this undertaking “impressive” as it “merges streams for a combined impact.”

Winner : Port of Kaohsiung – Master Plan 2017-2021

Since heavy industry and urban development increase conflicts between the port and city, the vision of the comprehensive Master Plan for Future Development and Construction 2017–21 is to install resilient infrastructure and implement environmentally friendly technologies on one hand, and increase the community outreach and port-city dialogue on the other — something that the jury declared a “great strategy of foresight.”

Winner: Port of Rotterdam – Zero Emission Services

Zero Emission Services (ZES) has introduced a new energy system for making inland shipping more sustainable. The 2050 ambition of ZES is to power 400 electric inland waterway barges with 650 ZES interchangeable battery containers , on 40 routes via an open-access network of 20 docking stations, thereby reducing emissions in the sector by 400–480tons of carbon dioxide and about 2.8 tons of nitrogen per year. Additionally, ships sailing with ZES produce no particulate matter or noise. ZES was founded by ING Bank, energy and technical service provider ENGIE, maritime technology company Wärtsilä, and the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

Winner : Hamburg Port Authority – homePORT

In order to face its environmental and competitive challenges and to promote product innovation, the Hamburg Port Authority is creating free space in the city to encourage transformative co-design with participation of citizens, ambitious port actors, science, and startups. homePORT will provide for test areas and a maker space, for innovators to try out hardware-heavy product ideas and to serve as a maritime real laboratory for the overarching Hamburg community in the heart of the port. The jury especially sees the potential regulatory testing aspect of this “fantastic project” as an advantage.

Winner : Port of Açu – Protecting Sea Turtles

Located in southeast Brazil, the Port of Açu is situated in a priority turtle nesting area and is hence committed to the protection of these species, working to ensure a safe and sustainable port environment. Since 2008, it coordinates the Sea Turtle Conservation Program, which aims to protect, monitor, and research sea turtles that use the region for feeding and nesting. By 2021, the program reached the important milestone of 1 million sea turtle hatchlings released to the sea. During this period, over 65 releasing and educational activities reached more than 7,500 people as part of local community engagement. The jury was impressed by the presentation of this “wonderful project.”

Winner : Port of Açu – Together in the fight against Covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to the world and to the port and maritime industry. Aware of its role in the local community, the Port of Açu set up a crisis management team to direct actions to raise awareness and fight COVID-19 and to maintain the safety and continuity of its operations. Different fronts of action were set up to ensure proper allocation of efforts and results: support to vulnerable population, social engagement, support to healthcare and essential service workers, investments in technology and testing, employee safety, and operational continuity.

Winner : DP World – Global Education Programme

DP World has produced a stimulating Global Education Programme for its own employees to deliver in schools. The initiative boosts the confidence and aspirations of students, while building employees’ skills and enhancing job satisfaction and commitment to the business. The program, dubbed “impressive” by the jury, has so far involved 28,182 students and 786 teachers in participating schools, with 865 volunteering employees from DP World business units from 28 different countries.

IAPH Technical Director Antonis Michail concluded: “Our sincere thanks go to the winners, the runners-up and all the ports and voters who participated in this year's edition of the IAPH World Ports Sustainability Awards competition. Our work does not end here. We intend to promote each and every one of these projects which apply the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the hope that many other ports integrate some of these as part of their overall business.”

News story contact :

Victor Shieh, IAPH Communications Director : victor.shieh@iaphworldports.org

About IAPH

Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) is a non-profit-making global alliance of 170 ports and 140 port-related organisations covering 90 countries. Its member ports handle more than 60 percent of global maritime trade and around 80 percent of world container traffic. IAPH has consultative NGO status with several United Nations agencies, including the IMO. Through its knowledge base and access to regulatory bodies, IAPH aims to facilitate energy transition, accelerate digitalization and assist in improving overall resilience of its member ports in a constantly changing world. In 2018, IAPH established the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP). Guided by the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, it aims to unite sustainability efforts of ports worldwide by sharing best practices through its project portfolio and collaborative partnerships.