Taking Steps Toward a Sustainable Footprint

Sustainability is the way of the future, but it is also a reality of the now. From fuel options to water standards to air quality, ports and their tenants and partners are making big strides on figuring out the best ways to achieve a more sustainable footprint.

*By Candace Gibson*

Here’s an unlikely scenario: Your port has ample budget to implement important sustainability measures. Your tenants, community and other stakeholders understand the need to green up port business, and they’re all willing to sacrifice their needs for the greater good. What’s more, you just learned of new technologies that will help your port accomplish its goals within the next two quarters.

Of course, this isn’t reality. Making strides toward sustainable port operations takes a lot of money, collaboration and time.

There’s good news, though. Ports, tenants and their partners agree that cleaning up the business is a marathon, not a sprint. No one passes the finish line in 500 meters; it takes a thorough assessment of operations to identify a port’s biggest environmental offenses. Then, it takes strategic planning to develop short- and long-term goals to operate more sustainably. A port must make difficult decisions about allocating resources toward these goals, and must communicate its successes to stakeholders when it reaches a benchmark.

All of this in addition to normal operations? Well, yes. But you don’t have to innovate in a vacuum. Insights from industry experts at Dewberry, Green Marine, HUG Engineering and Moffat & Nichol reveal there are practical ways to start working toward a sustainable future today, no running shoes required.

Immediate Actions

HUG Engineering’s Dana Brewster, regional sales manager-marine; Joel Martin, vice president of sales America; and Nicole Wagner, marketing coordinator, speak to the power of the relationship between a port and an emission reduction company. A port can submit a comprehensive list of its diesel-powered equipment and learn what pieces can be retrofitted with emission-reduction devices and at what cost. They explained that the evaluation process is free in most cases and that a port can take its necessary time to find budget or pursue grant funding to assist with the cost of retrofit conversions.

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