In its recently released 2020 Sustainability Report, Port of Melbourne (PoM) outlined it’s  approach to sustainability and how it handles more than one-third of Australia’s container trade, contributing around $7.5 billion in trade each year.

The report, which outlined how PoM has managed its material environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities amid a challenging operating year, also found that it contributed about $6 billion to the Victorian economy.

Other key findings include:

  • Each vessel visiting the port brings with it an average $1.85 million in state economic benefits
  • The port facilitated 3,008 ship arrivals and 2.9 million twenty-foot-equivalent container units (TEUs)
  • PoM struck four new community partnership agreements and provided important financial support to community groups
  • 148 schools took part in PoM’s Port Education Program, with a further 100 port education visits
  • PoM’s headquarters at 839 Collins Street Docklands received a six-star Star Green Star Design & As Built certified rating
  • PoM employed 119 people during the 12 months, 34 per cent of whom committed 266 volunteer hours

PoM was also recognised as a Top 10 Best Employer in Australia and New Zealand by Kincentric. 

Port of Melbourne CEO, Brendan Bourke, said the 2020 bushfire disaster and COVID-19 health crisis reinforced the importance of the port’s operations.

“Such a testing time brings into focus the critical role the port plays in Australia’s supply chain and national economy,” Mr Bourke said.

“The port operates 24/7 to ensure vital goods and services are delivered into communities, stimulating vital social and economic investment and activity. 

“We take seriously our essential role and service in supporting lives and livelihoods, especially through an uncertain period.

“We see our commitment to sustainability as a key enabler for the achievement of our mission, which is to work with customers and the community to deliver innovative and sustainable port solutions. 

“Operating responsibly is a principle embedded in our people’s approach to their work and the values they bring to life every day.” 

Port of Melbourne’s approach to sustainability is guided by the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). 

As the landlord of a key infrastructure asset and major contributor to the national economy, PoM has adopted the SDGs as an overarching framework to be followed and applied to its business planning and operations to support sustainability objectives.

Mr Bourke emphasised the importance of stakeholder engagement as the organisation sought to continuously improve its sustainability performance.

“Our approach to sustainability is the outcome of valued discussions with our stakeholders – business, government and community – as, together, we seek to better understand strategic and operational objectives, many of which are shared,” Mr Bourke said.

“We will continue to work with our stakeholders to grow trade and create an enduring city port which, in-turn, will drive the economy and enrich people’s lives.”

Port of Melbourne is looking to increase its commitment to sustainable operations, with a dedicated Sustainability Program to be finalised in the coming months.

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