Port of Newcastle has become the first port in Australia or New Zealand to commit to meeting global environmental and sustainability standards as set by the International EcoPorts network.
The port was granted membership of the network this month, after it completed assessments to benchmark its environmental and sustainability practices against 120 major ports across Europe, Asia, North America and South America.
Developed in 1997, EcoPorts is the only environmental management standard specific to the global port sector.
Port of Newcastle environmental adviser Jackie Spiteri said the organisation had chosen to be a pioneer in the region as part of its commitment to continuous improvement as a resilient and sustainable port.
“Port of Newcastle is pleased to be part of a global network of ports operating within an established environmental and sustainability framework that understands and actively addresses the complex aspects of port operations,” Ms Spiteri said.
“We not only commit to meeting EcoPort’s world’s-best practice standards, but will work with other ports across the region to champion the environmental and sustainability benefits available for the maritime industry.”
It comes as Port of Newcastle confirmed its intention to further expand automation and electrification in an effort to improve efficiency, reduce emissions and minimise its environmental impact.
The port’s $33 million Newcastle Bulk Terminal upgrade – which features a new ship unloader with state-of-the-art crane and conveyor infrastructure – is one example of how the organisation is committed to the latest in safety and environmental compliance.
The port is also continuing to reduce fuel, power and water consumption across its operations. Ultra-low sulphur content diesel is now used for all marine operations.
ECO Sustainable Logistics Chain Foundation chairman Herman Journée said EcoPorts was “developed by ports for ports”.
“EcoPorts PERS Certified ports combine improvement of the environmental impact of their operations and risk prevention with business improvement and improved contacts with authorities,” Mr Journée said.
“The EcoPorts Network shares good practice experience in daily policy and operations and stimulates sustainability of the port sector.”
Dr Christopher Wooldridge – EcoPorts science coordinator and senior trainer – said: “The proactive approach being taken by Port of Newcastle to the key issues of environment and sustainability identifies the port as an exemplar of good practice”.