Ports Australia has joined the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP) in an effort to enhance and coordinate the future sustainability of the country’s ports.

The WPSP is an initiative by the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH). Guided by the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the program aims to enhance and coordinate future sustainability efforts of ports worldwide and foster international cooperation with partners in the supply chain.

Ports Australia represents some 80 Australian ports, which includes all of the country’s metro ports. It also has six marine authority members, including several state-level departments for transport and infrastructure.

Ports Australia’s Chief Executive, Mike Gallacher, said, “Ports Australia is delighted to join a group of organisations that are working together to enhance and coordinate future sustainability efforts of communities worldwide that incorporate ports.

“Australian Ports operate in a diverse range on environments and communities and each one is faced with its own unique challenges. There has been a deep-rooted understanding and respect in Australia for our unique environments and the communities that rely on our ports.

“This has driven port operators to constantly explore innovative ways of running their terminals. From solar power, to marine rehabilitation, eliminating toxic fire-fighting foam and building a resilient and diverse workforce, Australian ports have much to be proud of and we want to share our experiences with the wider global port community.”

Since its inauguration earlier in 2018, the IAPH’s World Ports Sustainability Program is now ready to focus on key areas of collaboration whilst growing it’s international membership.

IAPH’s Managing Director, Patrick Verhoeven, said, “The addition of Ports Australia is major step forward for us. Quite a number of their members have already embarked on initiatives that enhance resilient infrastructure, improve energy usage, and focus on challenges directly related to climate change, safety and security, governance and community outreach.

“Ports Australia have worked hard to facilitate and share some of these nationally with their members and have now committed to take that further with the WPSP. IAPH members of the program and its founding partners will now actively encourage Australian ports to get involved in global projects that have been initiated such as the Environmental Shipping Index, where Australia is already represented by NSW Ports.”

With the agreement signed, both signatories are expected to commence work in the near future in the fields of governance, the optimisation of vessel calls, environmental landside management and LNG bunkering.

“Our Ports are actively seeking better ways to operate and we are looking forward to engaging with the WPSP to learn and share our knowledge and experience with the world,” Mr Gallacher said.

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