ABU DHABI, the United Arab Emirates — During the World Ports and Trade Summit in Abu Dhabi the Port of Antwerp received an award for the second year running, winning the Environmental World Ports Award. In 2012 its CEO Eddy Bruyninckx won the WPTS Award. Antwerp beat Rotterdam, Los Angeles, Sydney and Gothenburg respectively.
Last week operators, officials and industry leaders gathered in Abu Dhabi to honour the achievements of the world’s top performing ports in the areas of Efficiency, Innovation, Environment and Safety and Security at the annual World Ports & Trade Summit Awards. The event was attended by more than 300 industry professionals and members of the IAPH (International Association of Ports & Harbours).
Shortlisted nominees for the Environmental award included Sydney Ports, Port of Gothenburg, Port of Rotterdam and Port of Los Angeles, but it was the Port of Antwerp that claimed the sought-after accolade. The port was also shortlisted for the Port Safety & Security Award.
The Environmental Award recognises a port company or authority that has made a notable contribution to the environment. Ways of achieving this include an exceptional commitment to enhancing the environmental aspect of the port and surrounding areas, the incorporation of environmental policies, a significant technical contribution to improving/maintaining the environment and an investment in new technology or environmentally sympathetic operating systems. Such a contribution can be made either by a specific activity or over a period of time.
“It is a great honour for the port of Antwerp to receive an award for the second year running, taking home the WPTS Environmental Award. We consider this as recognition for the efforts that companies and public partners have made in the field of environment and sustainability”, says Eddy Bruyninckx, CEO of the Antwerp Port Authority.
A list of all the efforts for the further improvement of the living environment in and around the port was published in February 2012 in the form of the Port of Antwerp’s sustainability report: a global first. The port of Antwerp wishes to position itself as the leader in terms of sustainability in the Hamburg – Le Havre range.
The Port Authority and private enterprises also go to great lengths to improve the quality of water, air and soil. The port rewards clean vessels, waste flows are controlled as much as possible and companies work hard to further reduce the emission of toxic substances. The fact that these efforts have borne fruit is obvious from the fact that the emission of toxic substances per tonne of production has dropped by no less than forty percent these last ten years. Companies are also more focused on generating green energy and use combined heat and power generation.
An important aspect of sustainable business is the protection of the very valuable natural environment in and around the Scheldt estuary. Hundreds of hectares in the port area have been designated as greenbelt areas to give the often unique port-related flora and fauna the necessary space and rest. The Port Authority has worked closely with Natuurpunt since 2001. Relatively small interventions can often make a huge difference, such as nesting stones for sand martins or spawning sites.
HE Christiaan Tanghe, Ambassador of Belgium to the UAE (middle) receives the Award on behalf of the Port of Antwerp.