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More industry collaboration needed in ports' carbon mitigation

Aurecon helps Jurong Port mitigate its carbon footprint.

Image courtesy of Jurong Port

1 November 2017 - Climate change will disproportionately affect ports and port-based economies. This has led operators and governments to seek ways of reducing the environmental impact of their shipping and port activities. 

In 2017, global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon was commissioned by Jurong Port to review its carbon footprint and investigate opportunities to further reduce emissions.

Headquartered in Singapore, Jurong Port is a leading international multipurpose port operator handling general, bulk and container cargo. Servicing more than 13 000 vessels each year, it was important for the port to know how the evolution of its operations was affecting the environment and what can be done to mitigate it.

In May 2017, Aurecon delivered its Carbon Footprint Study and Aurecon’s project leader, Ameet Ankaikar, Sustainability Leader in Singapore, noted that the Jurong Port report is a valuable addition to the discussion on sustainability measures in port operations. 

“The biggest benefit from the carbon footprint assessment is the future-driven sustainability solutions it recommends. Not only did we provide an overview of the sources of emissions, we also worked with the port to identify potential abatement measures; the degree of their impact; the ease of implementation and monitoring; and their corresponding financial implications,” says Ankaikar. “In fact, the methodology can serve as a roadmap for other port operators to make their facilities more sustainable and carbon-friendly.”

Sustainable supply chains

Ankaikar went on to point out the Study showed that both port owners and users have to collaborate to reduce the carbon footprint generated by their operations. 

“As nodal points of logistics supply chains, the sustainability performance of these chains has a significant impact on the carbon footprint of ports. Today, 92% can be attributed directly to the 57% increase in ship traffic calling at the port between 2010 and 2016. Hence, to make a significant reduction in the port’s carbon footprint, all stakeholders have a part to play,” he added.

Ports-versus-ports benchmarking

The Study also compared the port’s carbon footprint with other ports around the world on a normalised, like-for-like basis. This benchmarking showed that Jurong Port’s carbon emissions are comparable to the Port of Long Beach, based on tonnes of throughput and resulting carbon emissions (second biggest port in the United States after the Port of Los Angeles). The Study, however, found that further conclusions could not be made without sufficient information on the operational boundaries, types of value-added services, and types of cargo handled at the various ports.

“With greater transparency and co-operation, there exists an opportunity for ports around the world for transparency about their carbon emission calculation methodology so as to spur innovation in abatement measures. Though the institutional context is different for each port, there are a number of universal measures that will allow a useful comparison of sustainable performance. Carbon mitigation is not a competition but a collaboration for a better and more sustainable future for our planet,” Ankaikar concluded.

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