Seaports Magazine - Fall 2013 - (Page 28)

»FEATURE ENVIRONMENTAL CERTIFICATIONS OFFER TANGIBLE BENEFITS Three certifications – ISO 14001, EcoPorts and Green Marine – help provide a framework to build a port’s environmental efforts and standards by which to measure ongoing improvements By Lori Musser C omplying with environmental regulations has long provided the primary impetus for advancements at ports. That is rapidly changing. Today, more and more ports have the right resources in place to maintain compliance with myriad regulations and, seeing the benefits, have gone on to develop well-rounded, strategic and sustainable environmental management systems. Instead of being spurred by spills, environmental progress is being propelled by the availability of new technologies and solutions, competitor’s advancements, shipper and consumer demand, and prudent general management. Once a port has rallied resources and developed an environmental management system (EMS), is the next step to certify success? Or, should ports work with a certification agency from the get-go to perfect their EMS? Do the costs associated with certification outweigh the benefits? Available Environmental Certifications There are numerous agencies that register a port’s environmental acumen. Three that may interest AAPA member ports are ISO 14001, the U.S.-Canada program Green Marine and Europe’s wide-reaching EcoPort initiative. All of the programs aim to help ports become “greener.” Each is voluntary, but once committed, a port will have ongoing resource obligations. At the outset of the certification process, the costs are 28 AAPA SEAPORTS MAGAZINE likely to be difficult to assess; there are fees for initial applications, audits and recertifications, and there will also be costs associated with improving the port’s management processes. ISO 14001 The International Organization for Standardization, with a worldwide membership of national standards institutes, issues standards on items and services “required by the market.” It has promulgated the ISO 14001, an environmental management standard by which a port’s environmental efficacy can be measured and developed. It isn’t port-specific. The standard helps organizations better manage the impact of their activities on the environment and demonstrate sound environmental management. It specifies EMS requirements, but allows a port to develop and implement its own policies and objectives. ISO 14001 does not state specific environmental performance criteria. Heather Wood, vice president of government affairs at the Virginia Port Authority (VPA), said, after working through AAPA’s EMS assistance project to set up an EMS, the port refined each element, from prevention to compliance to continual improvement, until it was eventually ready for an ISO-certified audit. Wood said, “Going through the certification process brought structure and framework to the port’s environmental program. The process changed the culture of our operating company. If you ask our people how their jobs impact the environment, they know. They can tell you why it’s important to shut off a straddle carrier or a yard tractor that springs a leak.” EcoPort A second internationally recognized standard, the European Union’s EcoManagement and Audit Scheme, is a similar management tool for evaluating, reporting and improving environmental performance. EcoPort status is awarded by Europe’s ECO Sustainable Logistics Chain (ECOSLC) Foundation, following a successful application, self-diagnosis and review. Lloyd’s Register then certifies results. With a premise of “ports helping ports,” information is shared to help level the playing field for port environmental management. It promotes continuous improvement of performance through self regulation. EcoPort’s self-diagnosis method is a concise checklist that helps identify environmental risk and establish priorities for action and compliance. It can be used to compare performance against sector and international standards. It addresses environmental policy, personnel, training, communication, operations management, emergency planning, monitoring, auditing and review. The responses of port managers are entered into a database, contributing to the construction of the benchmark of performance, and eliciting confidential feedback and advice. There are provisions for consistent periodic progress reviews. On completion of the checklist a port joins the EcoPort network and obtains access to other services including the Port Environmental Review System – an

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Fall 2013

AAPA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
LNG Poised for Dramatic Growth
Harnessing Wind Power
XXII Latin American Ports Congress Welcomes the World
Energy Policies Taking Hold
Environmental Certifications Offer Tangible Benefits
A Good Neighbor
AAPA to Honor 26 Ports for Communications at 102nd Convention
New Rules for Marine Engines Reduce Port Emissions
Marine-Based Renewable Energy Creating Opportunities on a Global Scale
Curb Energy Costs to Boost Profits, Maintain Competitiveness
Considerations When Evaluating Alternative Power Sources from an Air Perspective
Halifax to Implement Shore Power for 2014 Cruise Season
Aruba Creates Port-Funded Mangrove Reforestation Project
Arica: Meeting the Challenges Presented by Innovation and the Environment
FPL to Build Next Generation Energy Center at Port Everglades
Index of Advertisers

Seaports Magazine - Fall 2013