The World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC) published in 2014 its report “Sustainable Ports – A Guide for Port Authorities”. Ports are central points or hubs in the transport network. Their industrial and business areas add value to the transported goods. Increasingly, they are also centres of energy production (and consumption) and ports of departure for the offshore industry. The report focuses on the sustainable development and green growth of ports and the related logistic chain and added value activities.

The PIANC report supplies tools and guidance that show how proactive environmental measures and strategies can contribute to obtaining consent for future operations and developments, how opportunities can be created through own initiatives and how green growth can be realized. Respectively, the report advocates the shift of thinking towards a proactive “ports and nature/ environment” approach, starting from a long-term vision perspective.

Key elements in the introduced “green port” concept are:

  • Long-term vision which strives towards an acceptable footprint on environment and nature
  • Transparent stakeholder participation and stakeholder approved strategies to operate and grow
  • Shift from sustainability as a legal obligation to sustainability as an economic driver (economic development and sustainable development as complementary factors)
  • Active sharing of knowledge with other ports and stakeholders
  • Continuous striving towards innovation in process and technology

The key issues addressed are:

  • Environmental quality (soil, water, air and noise)
  • Habitat and integrity of ecosystems
  • Energy efficiency and energy transition (from fossil towards clean fossil towards renewables)
  • Materials and waste management
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Stakeholder participation and corporate social responsibility
  • Co-operation with private sector, public authorities, NGOs, academic world and other ports