Fourth “GO GREEN” environmental initiative engages 7,500 port industry employees

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For the fourth year in a row, a collaboration of the world’s leading container port operators DP World, Hutchison Ports, PSA International, Port of Rotterdam Authority, and Shanghai International Port Group, has completed a week-long global “Go Green” initiative across their international port and facility networks, yielding positive results in terms of environmental education and conservation. Under the theme of “Climate Change”, 7,500employees of the five port operating groups volunteered time to CO2-mitigation, climate change resilience and staff education activities. Also included were coastal and wildlife preservation activities and a host of employee environmental education events.

Across its portfolio of 78 terminals in 40 countries, global trade enabler DP World encouraged its employees and local communities to become “Climate Mates”. During the month-long campaign in September, each of DP World’s business units chosea range of activities, including the increased use of recycled paper, switching to paperless billing and transactions, planting trees and using glass instead of plastic bottles to reduce their negative impact on deforestation and carbon emissions.

Other activities also included reusing waste materials from the port, food waste composting, cleaning terminal and surrounding areas, energy saving drives, volunteering at local wildlife parks and supporting environmental education in local communities. Almost 3,000 employees committed 4,500 hours to environmental activities, collecting some 10,000 kilograms of waste, and planting over 4,000 trees.

Focusing on progress through joint action, Hutchison Ports concentrated its efforts on locations where employees could take action in coordination with teams from other Go Green member port groups. Over 500 Hutchison Ports employees engaged in an agenda of green races, climate-change resilience-building exercises and mass tree plantings – from mangroves to fruit trees. Efforts were made to choose activities that would benefit more than one environmental cause.

For instance, Hutchison Ports’ Shanghai Mingdong Container Terminal partnered with Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) in linking green race participation to a donation to the Shanghai operations of Roots & Shoots, a conservation charity founded by Dr. Jane Goodall. A total of 500 trees will be planted in West China’s Ningxia region in the name of the Shanghai terminals to both fight desertification and remove CO2 from the air.

Working with Hutchison Ports in Shanghai, SIPG coordinated a line-up of events under the campaign name of “Green Port, Beautiful Shanghai”. The purpose was to raise employee and community awareness of environmental stewardship and to motivate employees to take part in habitat protection. Apart from the green race in support of Roots & Shoots, SIPG organized a green port project demonstration, granted a port ecosystem knowledge award, and undertook spill prevention drills and port basin clean-ups.

These exercises are all in line with goals set during SIPG’s three-year environmental plans – to build a “resource-saving, environmentally friendly” port by 2020.

In Rotterdam, the Port of Rotterdam Authority organised an activity involving the city’s major container terminal operators and the bureau Stadsnatuur Rotterdam, an organization that collects information on flora and fauna in the Rotterdam area and provides conservation advice. Participants planted 750 sea buckthorn bushes on nearby sand dunes. The idea was to build coastal and port resilience by working with nature instead of against it. The shrubs will also help protect biodiversity by keeping people out of an adjacent bird sanctuary.

Under the banner of “Go Green”, 3,950 people at PSA ports around the world engaged in a diverse range of activities aimed at raising awareness of environmental concerns and taking action to conserve, recycle and reduce. Activities included the rehabilitation of mangrove swamp ecosystems through replanting, a roving environmental exhibition housed within a container, the clean-up of coastlines and public areas, in addition to recycling projects at ports and offices around the world. In total, 967 seedlings were planted, and 15.2 tonnes of used items and 12 tonnes of trash were collected for recycling.

DP World Group Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said: “This environmental initiative shows how industry partnerships can create more impact. As global economies develop it is extremely important that we use natural resources wisely and we work hard to leave a legacy wherever we operate. It is essential that future leaders develop the awareness to protect our environment. These Go Green activities, coupled with our Global Education and Solar Power Programmes, are important milestones in our efforts to bring positive and long-term change.”

Hutchison Ports Group Managing Director Eric Ip said:”Go Green is a remarkable initiative that shows the good that companies and their employees can accomplish when they act together to address environmental challenges. Every year, I am encouraged by the energy and enthusiasm of participants, whether in planting trees, protecting coastlines, or educating their colleagues about the significance of both group and individual action.”

Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO Allard Castelein said:”Go Green helps to create a resilient and live able port environment and it supports the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s economic objectives. We create economic and social value and want to realise sustainable growth, so we play a strong role in keeping the port and the surrounding area safe, healthy and attractive. We aim to combat climate change and also to ensure that the port area contributes to prosperity and employment in the Netherlands.”

PSA International Group CEOTan Chong Meng said:”Through PSA’s global Go Green efforts, we hope to sow the seeds for environmental conservation which is a vital part of how we contribute back to the communities in which we operate. Beyond just a one-time effort, we continually encourage our staff to reduce wastage, conserve energy, recycle and reuse, so as to operate sustainably across all our terminals. By consciously engaging on this green agenda alongside our Go Green partners, we believe that we can collectively make a meaningful difference to our communities and habitats.”

Shanghai International Port Chairman Chen Xuyuan said: “The Go Green activities provide great examples of communication and experience sharing between port operators and their employees. We are pleased to call attention to the importance of environmental protection, notably in terms of emissions reduction and energy saving. Through green port development, SIPG demonstrates its credentials as a world-class port operator and harbour logistics supplier, a key component of Shanghai’s green transportation system development, and strong contributing factor to Shanghai’s role as an international shipping centre.”

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