Port of Hamilton: Sustainability in the spotlight
Stewardship of the land and water around Hamilton’s port lands is fundamental to the Port of Hamilton’s strategy and operations. This year, HPA will begin the process of outlining a robust Sustainability program, that will track and report publicly on financial, social and environmental metrics. This program will build on a range of environmental initiatives that are already delivering important positive results:
HPA is a founding member of the Green Marine environmental program, which has been instrumental in helping the Port make positive gains in areas like greenhouse gas emissions, spills prevention and community impacts. Recently, HPA has been working closely with Green Marine program staff to leverage the program to provide even greater value for Port tenants who participate. “Green Marine is a particularly effective tool for us because it accomplishes objectives that are very important to our community of stakeholders: it is based on the principle of doing better than simple regulatory compliance; it provides clear and measurable metrics to demonstrate progress; and it offers a transparent and audited way to report on our results,” says Marilyn Baxter, HPA’s Environment, Health and Safety Manager.
The Randle Reef sediment remediation project is one of the most ambitious and important environmental remediation projects in Hamilton’s history. HPA is one of seven partners involved in implementing the $140 million project, which began construction in 2015. In containing and capping an area of historical contamination, the project will contribute to the delisting of Hamilton Harbour as one of the Great Lakes’ remaining contamination hotspots.
HPA works closely with community agencies to make a positive contribution throughout the port neighbourhood. As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility efforts, the Port has allocated $92,000 to the development of public gardens and greenhouses, including a leading donation of $60,000 to the Royal Botanical Gardens’ redevelopment of its world-famous Rock Garden. HPA also supports the beautification of local parkettes, and helped fund the establishment of a new Learning Greenhouse at the North Hamilton Community Health Centre, where local youth and seniors can grow healthy local food and participate in educational programs. This year, HPA will establish its first pollinator garden, as a pilot project to inform further landscaping efforts around the Port.
Bike Friendly Business
As a supporter of efficient transportation, HPA was an early supporter of Hamilton’s SoBi bike share program, providing storage space for bicycles and equipment. HPA also hosts a SoBi bike share station, provides SoBi passes to employees, and on-site bike parking at its office. In 2015, HPA was named a bike friendly business by the Share the Road coalition.
One of the most popular initiatives HPA undertakes in partnership with tenants is its annual neighbourhood cleanup. This spring, 81 volunteers from 16 port companies participated, collecting 138 bags of garbage and recycling.
Energy Efficiency as a Competitive Advantage
One of the ways HPA is integrating sustainability into its day-to-day operations is by approaching energy efficiency as a competitive advantage it can offer Port tenants. An ongoing partnership with Hamilton Community Energy (HCE) is one example of this. HPA is working with HCE to implement a cogeneration facility at the Port’s Pier 10, which will offer competitive energy costs and a reduced environmental footprint to tenants in the area. HPA is also continuing to optimize its facilities through energy conservation, having implemented 58 energy-saving projects to-date, saving enough hydro each year to power 178 homes.
Clean Air Initiatives
Air Quality is an important aspect of HPA’s environmental efforts, and one that is particularly important to neighbouring residents. “We’re starting by improving the quality of information, through a new air quality monitoring pilot project, in partnership with the Hamilton Air Monitoring Network,” notes Marilyn Baxter. The results of this monitoring will help the Port determine which mitigation measures may be necessary in future. HPA is already working closely with tenants to ensure best practices within their operations, led by the proactive work of the grain sector tenants at the Port. HPA is also making continuous improvements in the area of truck-related dust, paving and sweeping, and designing staging areas and off-road routings to reduce dust track-out.