Green Transformation of ports to achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions

Abstract : Ports form a vital link in the global maritime supply chain, and adherence to the UN sustainable goals in each port development and operation is all-important. Improving the sustainability performance of port infrastructure requires identifying all relevant aspects of sustainability, defining suitable performance measures, applying tools for quantification, and proposing intervention measures if needed. We present a framework for assessing and managing the sustainability performance of port infrastructure incorporating these elements. We apply the framework to quay walls in the Port of Rotterdam (PoR); however, the information to assess only four out of fourteen sustainability themes was available. This fact underlines the need for sustainability monitoring and reporting. We also present a case study of a quay wall in PoR. Based on the vision of PoR and literature, the sustainability theme ‘air pollutants’ was given priority, the selected performance measure being the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Dubocalc was chosen as a quantification tool and estimated a total emission of 1.9 kt of CO2eq for a 100-m length of quay wall over a 100-year lifecycle. The measures proposed to achieve climate neutrality in 2050 include using renewable energy for the Impressed Current Cathodic Protection and the temporary drainage systems, electrified transport and machinery, hydrogen as dredging fuel, and steel with hydrogen as a reduction-agent in the future. These could result in a total GHG reduction of 86% by the year 2050.
 ? While many ports choose not to act beyond complying with existing environmental regulations in their city, region or country, in many cases they have exercised their potential for addressing both social and environmental externalities. ? In addition to governments and regulatory bodies, national, regional and international port organisations exist that are working towards more sustainable activities. ? There is a lack of evidence in the available literature regarding these technologies due to the limited number of available studies; the existing ones prove the great potential for energy savings and GHG emissions diminishing.
 ? More and more, project stakeholders, and civil society in general, are demanding and expecting sustainability to be integrated into infrastructure projects, which inevitably result in adverse environmental and social impacts. ? There will be a shift from reporting impact to reporting and managing performance. ? It will help monitor the impact of the applied intervention measures and oversee if the targets will be achieved.
 • The proposed technologies and techniques have many positive side-effects for the ports, such as less traffic congestion and waiting times, that contribute to the ultimate goal of diminishing their environmental footprint. • This study also identifies green policies for policymakers, proposes an indicative step-by-step priority plan for port decision-makers. • There is no research uptake and utilization of the proposed measures and techniques; the ports need to pass from the inception to the implementation stage.
 ? The multi-perspective character of sustainability, the variety of goals and stakeholders involved, the lack of appropriate performance indicators and suitable measurement tools present a challenge for integrating sustainability performance into business. ? However, the current global trends in sustainability performance indicate that sustainable practices will form a part of an organisation’s core strategy. ? The strategic objective is to evaluate and improve the sustainability performance of the infrastructure assets.

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