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Insights on the environmental management system of the European port sector

Puig, Martí, Azarkamand, Sahar, Wooldridge, Chris, Selén, Valter and Darbra, R.M. 2022. Insights on the environmental management system of the European port sector. Science of the Total Environment 806 (2) , 150550. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150550

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This research focusses on assessing the environmental performance of European Ports based on a wide representation of EcoPorts members. The data is extracted from the Self-Diagnosis Method (SDM), a concise checklist against which port managers can self-assess the environmental management of their port in relation to the performance of the EcoPorts membership. A total number of 97 ports from 18 different European Maritime States contributed to this evaluation. They have answered questions related to the main components of internationally recognized Environmental Management System (EMS) standards. Similar periodic assessments have been carried out since 2013, allowing for the identification of benchmark performance. The geographical representation and characteristics of the participating ports are given along with the perceived ranking of priority environmental issues based on regular reviews. Air quality has been the top environmental priority for many years, followed by climate change, which has risen rapidly to the second position. Most of the ports have an environmental policy in place (96%) and a compilation of an inventory of significant environmental aspects (92%). Transparency is also very important to ports, with 91% of ports communicating their environmental policy to stakeholders, and 86% of ports making it publicly available on their website. Around 80% of ports have set up an environmental monitoring program, with port waste being the most monitored issue. With regard to services to shipping, more than half of the responding ports are offering on shore power supply (OPS), and one third of them have made LNG bunkering available. In parallel, an increasing number of ports compared with previous exercises (57%) provide differentiated dues for ships that go beyond regulatory standards, with air emissions, waste and climate change being the main target of these discounts. In general, trends over the years have shown a clear improvement of the environmental port performance.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0048-9697
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 March 2022
Date of Acceptance: 20 September 2021
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2022 13:30

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