Development of Tools for the Identification and Implementation of Environmental Aspects and Indicators in Ports
Nominated for The Neil Mansfield Award
Marti Puig, Universitat Politecnica De Catalunya, Rosa Mari Darbra, Universitat Politecnica De Catalunya, Chris Wooldridge, Cardiff University
A methodology has been developed to identify and assess environmental aspects and to identify and implement environmental indicators in ports. It is a practical and time-saving tool for port managers to develop their task in a more sustainable way.
It is broadly known that efficient ports are crucial for the economic development of their surrounding area. However, the loading and unloading of goods in the ports, the related ship traffic, and the hinterland distribution can cause a number of negative environmental impacts.
Environmental aspects and indicators are considered as two crucial elements in the environmental management. Although the Environmental Management System (EMS) standards, such as ISO 14001 or EMAS, recognise that the identification of environmental aspects and the use of indicators are essential processes, they do not specify any methodology to undertake these tasks. In addition, the research has demonstrated that although there is a high percentage of European ports that have already identified their significant aspects and performance indicators, most of these ports do not use any standardized method. This suggests that some of the procedures used by ports may not necessarily be science-based, systematic in approach or appropriate for the purpose of implementing effective environmental management.
For these reasons, it was detected that a new methodology able to identify ports’ aspects and their most adequate indicators was needed. The developed methodology is called EPORTS.CAT and it comprises two main tools: a Tool for the identification and assessment of Environmental Aspects in Ports (TEAP) and a Tool for the identification and implementation of Environmental Indicators in Ports (TEIP). The first aims at the identification of the major environmental aspects that may be generated in a port and the assessment of their significance (TEAP); and the second at the identification of performance indicators that are related with the aspects and the provision of guidelines for their implementation (TEIP).
This method has been developed after analysing the strengths, weaknesses and challenges of the existing techniques, the recommendations from the EMS standards and the advice of specialists. This is a computer and science-based tool (www.eports.cat) that provides a quick calculation and outputs, and it is designed to be as user-friendly as possible in order to facilitate its completion by the user (i.e. port environmental manager). This new methodology is applicable to all types of ports no matter the size, geographical location or its commercial profile; it provides targeted and specific results for each one. EPORTS.CAT is a practical and time-saving tool for port managers to easily determine significant aspects and indicators in their port areas.
Association for European Transport