Barcelona Container Port Photo: Davies / CC-BY-SA

The Port of Barcelona is a participating incentive provider in the World Ports Climate Initiative's Environmental Ship Index.

Mitigation and moving towards low carbon waterborne transport infrastructure

All sectors must play their part in climate change mitigation. The waterborne transport infrastructure sector is no exception.

Port and waterway infrastructure and operations typically account for only a very small proportion of the total greenhouse gas emissions associated with the shipment of a particular consignment. The most significant proportion by far is associated with the sea voyage, and a varying amount with connecting transport.

It is nonetheless important that the owners, operators and users of waterborne transport infrastructure take steps to minimise the emissions associated with their activities if they are to contribute to the ‘less-than-2-degrees’ pathway.

The associations represented on the the Navigating a Changing Climate Partnership recognise the importance – and the urgency – of implementing effective mitigation measures and of moving towards low carbon infrastructure.

Coalition members further acknowledge the need for innovation alongside conventional emissions-reduction measures: for example initiatives aimed at improving integration to increase energy efficiency or at creating carbon sinks in coastal areas by Working with Nature.

As with other sectors, such innovation has the potential to bring associated social, employment and economic opportunities.

Tuesday, 22 February 2022 12:53

IAPH Environmental Ship Index to include new module of ships at berth

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IAPH is pleased to announce that the process to build a new module for the IAPH Environmental Ship Index (ESI) has commenced. The new module will focus on the environmental performance of ships at berth for each port call. An online kick-off meeting by the project team was held yesterday, Monday 21 February.

The module will initially focus on cruise shipping and will be funded by contributions from major cruise ports and IAPH. It will develop in two phases, starting with the reporting model, followed by the development of an at-berth performance- and emissions indicator. A core working group of ports, representatives from the cruise industry and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), and the website building company Nalta, has been established to accompany the development phases.

The project is led by the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Amsterdam, being supported by IAPH and Green Award Foundation, which manages the ESI operation, and Starcrest. The aim is to have the at berth module in full operation by the beginning of 2023.

IAPH Managing Director Patrick Verhoeven commented:

“The ESI At-Berth module will bring ESI to the next level by also assessing and rewarding actual performance related to each port call. This will feed port emission inventories and will trigger further emissions reduction through the voluntary application of incentives by the ESI ports. Starting with cruise vessels as a pilot for a two-year period, the at-berth module is then expected to expand to other types of traffic subject to positive evaluation.”

The ESI was established in 2011 and it identifies seagoing ships that perform better than required by the current emission standards of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) related to air emissions. With 6,908 vessels registered, ESI is an automated, maintainable environmental performance system for ships which potentially results in lower port dues or fees for vessels calling at ports registered as an ESI-incentive provider.

ESI-air scores vessels on their NOx and SOx performance, rewarding reporting and improvements over time of energy efficiency. Vessels are also rewarded for being equipped with onshore power supply.

On a separate module, ESI-noise also scores reduced noise of vessels, directly and proportionally and calculates a fixed bonus for a noise reduction measurement report.

The scores for the ships enrolled in the IAPH Environmental Ship Index (ESI) for the quarter starting 1 January 2022 have been recently released. Compared to the previous quarter, the number of ships with a score of 20 or more in the database increased from 4,684 to 4,731 and the number of incentive providers led mainly by ports around the world rose from 60 to 61.

For further information on the development of the at-berth module , please contact:

Teresa Pisano, Marine Environmental Supervisor in the Environmental Management Division at IAPH member the Port of Los Angeles

Henri van der Weide, Policy Advisor of the Port of Amsterdam

Contact for the release: Victor Shieh, IAPH Communications Director

Email : 

Tel : +32 473 980 855

About IAPH

Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has developed into a global alliance of 161 port authorities, including many of the world’s largest port operators as well as 126 port-related businesses. Comprised of 87 different nationalities across the world’s continents, member ports handle approximately one third of the world’s sea-borne trade and well over 60% of the world container traffic. With its NGO consultative status recognized by the IMO, ECOSOC, ILO, UNCTAD, UNEP, and WCO, IAPH leads global port industry initiatives on decarbonization and energy transition, risk and resilience management, and accelerating digitalization in the maritime transport chain. Its World Ports Sustainability Program has grown into the reference database of best practices of ports applying the UN Sustainable Development Goals and integrating them into their businesses.

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