While the Port is already one of the top performers in the area of sustainable operations and responsible growth, the Prince Rupert Port Authority has set a goal to reduce the carbon intensity of the gateway by a further 30% by the year 2030, and a longer-term goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. For the organization, this starts with smart gateway planning.
With support from Transport Canada’s Transportation Asset Risk Assessment (TARA) initiative, the Port Authority was the first port to develop a detailed digital model to forecast climate change scenarios and undertake a detailed audit of their risks to trade infrastructure and operations. The Port of Prince Rupert recently made headlines for this pioneering use of the Seaport Simulator to model the potential impacts of climate change on its current and future operations in Forbes magazine, underpinning the relationship between sustainability and solid corporate decision-making to improve resiliency and safeguard infrastructure planning and investment.
Further examples of sustainable gateway planning and development include the Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor that is nearing completion – it will reduce container truck greenhouse gas intensity by approximately 60% from the current trucking route – and Fairview Terminal’s new investments in shore power for container vessels at berth that are forecast to result in a reduction of 75% of emissions from that source.
Incentivizing Shippers to Help Shape Industry Practices
The Prince Rupert Port Authority offers financial incentives to ship owners who use technology to reduce their vessels’ emissions and underwater noise. Introduced in 2013, the Green Wave program, as it’s dubbed, offers discounted harbour dues to commercial vessels that implement emission reduction measures or other environmental practices. Through Green Wave, the Port of Prince Rupert is providing even greater opportunities for shipping companies to reap the benefits of their environmental performance. The program includes a variety of qualification standards for arriving commercial vessels consistent across the global shipping industry, allowing the Port Authority to help accelerate a worldwide movement toward greater efficiency and sustainability.
Green Wave incorporates a number of mechanisms for incentives, which include the Environmental Ship Index, Green Marine, RightShip, the Clean Cargo Working Group, the Green Award, the Clean Shipping Index, and the Energy Efficiency Design Index, as well as multiple underwater noise notations and reduction technologies. Using a three-tier criteria system, vessels are scored for their level of achievement in one of the recognized environmental programs or for technological advancement, and awarded a discount on their harbour dues paid to the Port of Prince Rupert.
Last year, there were 204 vessel calls, made up of 138 unique vessels, that met the strict criteria to qualify for the Green Wave program, including 14 calls that qualified for the top tier and earned the greatest savings.
The Port of Prince Rupert is committed to mitigating environmental impacts of its operations and development projects effectively. One of the mechanisms for inclusion in the incentive program is RightShip’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) Rating. The method, developed by the world’s leader in maritime environmental assessment, rates vessels on their relative efficiency. In 2020, 19 percent of vessels that called on the Port of Prince Rupert qualified for Green Wave through the RightShip GHG Rating criteria. As a result, approximately 4,285 tonnes of GHG emissions were avoided, which is equivalent to removing 909 passenger vehicles from the road for a year.
Recognizing environmental stewardship and reducing the impacts of a growing port are key to the Port of Prince Rupert’s future sustainability. By offering these financial incentives, the Port directly encourages vessel owners to further embrace safer environmental practices and promote efficiency and sustainability around the world.