Seven Hunter institutions, including the Port of Newcastle (PON), have banded together to advocate and drive the local adoption of the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The group members – PON, City of Newcastle, Compass Housing Services, Hunter Water, Kumalie, Port Waratah Coal Services and University of Newcastle – have committed to raising awareness and actively implementing the SDGs in the region.
Port of Newcastle’s Environment, Planning and Sustainability Manager, Jackie Spiteri, said the move was part of efforts to become a more sustainable and responsible organisation.
“The UN’s 17 SDGs form the blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for all by addressing the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice,” Ms Spiteri said.
“We have joined other leading Hunter institutions to create a shared vision in this area, build our region’s capability and look at what that looks like in practice, including how that affects the supply chain, procurement and strategic direction of each party.”
PON recently released its 2019 Sustainability Report, which measures the organisation’s progress in achieving its sustainability commitments and its contribution towards the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the Hunter and regional New South Wales.
PON is also moving to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2021, and is continuing to transition all its vehicles to electric by 2023.
Ms Spiteri said a STEM scholarship program for Aboriginal students, currently being developed through a partnership with University of Newcastle, and programs to promote the empowerment of women in maritime, were just part of the Port’s broader commitment to sustainable and responsible operations.
“Minimising our environmental footprint, diversifying trade and creating a more resilient economy requires a determined, long-term effort, with cooperation between the Port and its stakeholders,” Ms Spiteri said.
“While we look at what the Port could be in the decades ahead, it is clear there are things we can do today to make the way we operate the port more sustainable and responsible.”