The first Sustainability Congress was held on Tuesday 10 October with the launch of the fourth Sustainability Report which fully incorporates the 17 Sustainability Development Goals of the United Nations.
On this occasion the port community also presented its revamped website www.sustainableportofantwerp.com with case studies and the latest information on the sustainable transition currently being implemented by companies in the port. And to cap it all Antwerp Port Authority, the logistics service providers and transport operators in the port jointly signed the Operation Clean Sweep© charter.
Antwerp leads the way as a sustainable polymer hub, and now with the Zero Pellet Loss programme it aims to reduce micropellet pollution to nil.
Antwerp is the first port in Europe to introduce “Zero Pellet Loss”
Antwerp is the main hub in Europe for production, handling and distribution of polymers, mostly in the form of tiny pellets. It has now been made a top priority for the entire port community to prevent loss or spillage of these plastic granules, and in particular to prevent them getting into the water and causing pollution.
To this end Antwerp Port Authority, the logistics service providers and the transport operators have all signed the Operation Clean Sweep© charter aimed at reducing pollution from micropellets to an absolute minimum. This is an excellent example of the successful transition being made by the port in its efforts to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the categories Planet and Partnership. Antwerp is the first port to sign the Operation Clean Sweep© charter, an international initiative of Plastics Europe.
One practical move in this programme is the Zero Pellet Loss project, which is being supported by Antwerp Port Authority, essencia (federation of the chemical and life science industries), Voka (Chamber of Commerce) and Plastics Europe. Weekly monitoring will be carried out, clean-up actions organised and an incident manager appointed in order to reduce the loss of pellets to an absolute minimum.
In addition the industry will make efforts to achieve more sustainable production and handling of polymers. For this purpose a platform has been set up in which the participants will work out best practices in order to work more sustainably. The members of this platform are all participants in the Zero Pellet Loss project.
Sustainability Report 2017 outlines the sustainable transition
Not coincidentally, the port community held its Sustainability Congress just a few hours after the signature of the Operation Clean Sweep charter. The participants were given practical information on how to implement a sustainable transition within their own company in the fields of People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership (the “5 Ps” that serve as the basis for the Sustainability Report). Also at this congress the fourth Sustainability Report was presented, based on entirely on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
New website with up-to-date information
To go with the fourth Sustainability Report the partners have launched a new website www.duurzamehavenvanantwerpen.be where all the latest information can be found concerning the various sustainability initiatives by companies in the port. There is also a brief video featuring the highlights from the Sustainability Report.
Corporate social responsibility
At this congress the members of the port community presented the shared social objective which they are supporting financially: FARO360. This is a project for converting containers into “micro-factories” to recycle plastic in developing countries and so to prevent the spread of microplastics and consequent pollution. No “goody bags” were distributed at the congress: instead, the money saved is being donated to a good cause.
Antwerp hosts World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP)
As international recognition for the many sustainability efforts by the Antwerp port community, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has decided to organise the launch of its World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP) in Antwerp. This two-day international conference will be held on 22 and 23 March 2018. More information on the event will be made available in the near future.
Entries invited for Sustainability Award 2018
To further encourage companies to engage with the sustainability transition, an invitation was extended at this conference to enter for the Port of Antwerp Sustainability Award for the best sustainability project by a company in the port of Antwerp.