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IAPH World Port Sustainability winners announced at IAPH 2019 Guangzhou World Ports Conference

News about WPSP 7 min read

IAPH Awards announced in six categories, with one tied award in the Governance and Ethics category.

Guangzhou, May 9th 2018

At the main gala dinner of the IAPH Guangzhou 2019 World Ports Conference this evening, winners were announced of the first ever IAPH World Ports Sustainability Awards. This follows over sixty entries from ports around the world that were whittled down to three finalists for each category by a jury panel comprising of senior figures from the industry including the World Maritime University, UNCTAD and the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. Their scores were then supplemented by a public vote that went out online in April which contributed towards the final outcome.

IAPH Managing Director Patrick Verhoeven commented: "Since the World Ports Sustainability Program was launched in March last year, we wanted to recognise the effort of the ports involved in creating best practices. They form the basis of our next step to translate those best practices into concrete guidance, for the benefit of ports and the communities they serve."

Category : Resilient Infrastructure

Winner : ABU DHABI PORTS- MAMAR Single Window System to the World

Digitisation is giving the impulse towards more resilient infrastructure in ports. Just-in-time vessel arrival and departure planning, time at berth, port capacity, loading & discharge productivity and hinterland mobility and connectivity will all lead to lower emissions and greater efficiency. A key to this development is the wider adoption of Single Window Systems which link key maritime players together in and around a port.

These systems smoothen the handling of both cargo and passengers by efficiently connecting up stakeholders such as authorities, operators, customs, ships and port agents, forwarders and shippers.

ABU DHABI PORTS' MAMAR system does just that. It currently connects 5 ports and 54 private jetties with many of the world's best known liner shipping companies and covers 100+ services from shore to hinterland. It is also integrated with 3 single windows and 11 ports in China, Belgium and Spain.

Category : Climate and Energy

There are many interesting examples of energy transition that were submitted by IAPH member ports, many of which are striving towards CO2-neutrality in the long term to help achieving global climate goals. Ports are more frequently using renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and tidal power. They are also setting up possibilities for low/zero carbon fuels and electrification.


There are also a growing number of initiatives in the field of the ‘circular economy’, whereby port authorities work together with their industrial clusters to generate their own energy and give new economic purpose to waste products. One highly innovative example can be found with the construction of a plant in the Port of Amsterdam which transforms plastic to diesel, with the aim of processing 35,000 tons of plastic into 30 million litres of fuel annually. This would result in a reduction of approximately 57,270 tons of CO2 emissions, as the fuel produced emits 80% less CO2 compared to regular diesel.

Category : Community outreach (port development)

Constructive dialogue with local communities and other stakeholders is a vital success ingredient in bringing ports closer to their communities, whether they are urban, local or rural. Several case studies in port cities around the world have demonstrated that such dialogue, combined with appropriate investments in infrastructure can make a genuinely positive impact, whether they are destined for public use or for regeneration of natural habitats.

Winner : PORT OF BUSAN - Reinventing unused port space project

The Port of Busan in South Korea embarked on an ambitious 15-year renovation project of unused waterfront space, which was citizen-led by an advisory committee using the website valueforbusan.com to brainstorm ways of best using the space for the community. It has resulted in the creation of a 7,400 square meter swimming pool complex, a 8,900 square meter campsite and a free outdoor foot spa which provides low price access and free events to low-income families and has generated local employment for youth and older community members.

Category : Community outreach (addressing externalities)

Port community actors can develop synergies to solve collective issues in and outside the port area, such as resolving hinterland bottlenecks and improving integration of the port in the city itself. Ports can also act upon dealing with communal environmental and conservation issues, such as reducing emissions or improving mobility.

Winner : CIVITAS PORTIS, coordinated by the City of ANTWERP with the participation of Port of Antwerp together the Port cities of ABERDEEN, ANTWERP, CONSTANTA, KLAIPEDA and TRIESTE with follower Port city of NINGBO.

Civitas Portis is testing innovative and sustainable urban mobility solutions in several European port cities and one follower port city in China. These cities work together on innovative and sustainable solutions to improve access to their cities and ports. The participating cities serve as living labs and implement integrated mobility measures, such as introducing low–emission waterborne passenger services, building safe bike lane networks and migrating public transport services from carbon fuels to electric power.

Category : Governance and Ethics

Principles of good corporate governance are increasingly being introduced at various port authorities. IAPH intends to take a leading role as to how ports integrate the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals into their business principles. A recent UNCTAD-hosted workshop of IAPH member ports in Geneva has already paved the way forward to create a roadmap for this integration. The ultimate aim is to provide guidance through appropriate tools and methodologies and to boost the integration of SDGs in port governance and strategies.

IAPH Managing Director Dr. Patrick Verhoeven commented :"The projects from the Ports of Kenya and Vancouver ended ex-aequo, so with this dead-heat we have decided to offer the award to both ports. Congratulations to them both."

Joint winner : Kenya Ports Authority – Tunahusika Corporate Social Investment program

In Africa, the Kenya Ports Authority has allocated a percentage of its bottom line to its Tunashusika Corporate Social Investment Program. This Program aims at funding and supporting school infrastructure in the many surrounding costal communities where its present and future employees come from. The fund also works with local counties in the construction of healthcare facilities and hosting onsite medical camps.

Joint winner : Port of Vancouver – Sustainability Governance

A fine example of integrated governance can be found at the Port of Vancouver. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority engaged with stakeholders over a two-year period to identify the long-term future vision of the port. It is now actively integrating sustainability throughout the port's business and processes with strong supporting measurement tools to ensure ambitions to meet the vision are met. These are apparent not only in the governance structure set up but also the comprehensive annual sustainability reports. Practical monitoring tools available to the public have also been set up online such as the port dashboard covering all aspects of the supply chain and live monitoring of the environment in and around the port.

Category : Safety and Security

Regulatory laws, standards and industry procedures exist to ensure the safety and security of ship and cargo operations within ports. However, the environment in which enforcement of these applicable laws and regulations are applied have completely changed. The threat of global terrorism, cyber security breaches, piracy, illegal smuggling of humans and illicit materials have required ports to rethink their HSSEQ strategies.

Ports are addressing these challenges with an ever-increased focus on implementing various ISO and other standards related to health and safety, using technology to innovate in controls and inspections as well as monitoring activities in and around ports.

Winner : Port of Antwerp PIN Project

As a fine example of community response to security threats, the Port of Antwerp‘s Port Information Network (PIN) Project has brought companies located and working within the port area of 130 km² together to jointly report on any suspicious activities. To make it more practicable, the system works with geographical clusters, with companies sharing and receiving selected messages in real time about events in their immediate vicinity.

The next step

IAPH's World Ports Sustainability Program's Technical Director Dr. Antonis Michail commented : "We were really impressed by the response of the World's port community to our initiative. Guided by the 17 UN SDGs, the Program wants to enhance and coordinate future sustainability efforts of ports worldwide and foster international cooperation with partners in the supply chain. We are heading on the right track."

For more information:

Victor Shieh : Communications Partner, World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP)

Email : victor.shieh@sustainableworldports.org

Tel : + 32 473 980 855

About IAPH (iaphworldports.org)

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. 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, encouraging international cooperation between all partners involved in the maritime supply chain. WPSP (sustainableworldports.org) covers five main areas of collaboration: energy transition, resilient infrastructure, safety and security, community outreach and governance.

Click here to submit your port's project to the IAPH World Ports Sustainability Program

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