Port of Vancouver – International Collaboration on Vessel Emissions Reduction

Port of Vancouver is one of many ports around the globe that offers vessels financial incentives for going beyond environmental requirements. Likewise, it is one of many ports that offers environmental infrastructure such as shore power. Incentives may be offered on any of a number of options, with increasing reliance on scores in third party rating systems such as the Environmental Ship Index. Ports however, operate in relative isolation with respect to their incentives and infrastructure, which makes it challenging for customers to maximize uptake of these important opportunities to reduce environmental and other impacts as well as costs. Likewise, there are many inefficiencies for ports in implementing incentive programs due to steps being repeated at multiple ports, throughout the year.

Vessel incentive programs and environmental infrastructure are a true case of “the value of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts”. By working together, these opportunities can effect greater change than by continuing to work in relative isolation. Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) is leading an international collaboration on vessel emissions reduction through vessel incentive programs and environmental infrastructure. The goals of this collaboration are to 1) maximize the number of calls by cleaner, more sustainable vessels calling participating ports; 2) to increase the prevalence of these vessels in the global fleet; and 3) improve the experience of users operating in a system of incentives and environmental infrastructure.

Possible mechanisms identified to attain these goals include the following web-based tools:

  • Marketing and communications platform
  • Route planner
  • Incentive application portal
  • Central data management system

Key considerations for this initiative include:

  • Inclusive
  • Value-added
  • Scalable
  • Cumulative
  • Meaningful
  • Efficient
  • Effective
  • Accessible
  • Reputation
  • Competition
  • Data confidentiality

Stakeholders, in an advisory and/or user group capacity include:

  • Ports
  • Shipping lines
  • Shippers
  • Third party rating providers e.g. Environmental Ship Index
  • Maritime data providers
  • Ship classification societies
  • Vessel designers and manufacturers
  • Industry associations
  • Governments
  • NGOs
  • Vessel designers and manufacturers
  • Academics

Relevant UN SDGs

Decent work and economic growth
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Sustainable cities and communities
Climate action
Partnerships for the goals


Christine Rigby

Environmental Specialist-Air Emissions