Hamilton Port Authority released its first ever Sustainability Report this year, as part of a new strategic direction.
“We believe that we operate with a social license that requires us to consider many perspectives,” explained Larissa Fenn, HPA’s Director of Public Affairs. “We began this journey by listening first: connecting with our stakeholders in a variety of ways, and understanding what is important to them. Once we had that knowledge, a comprehensive sustainability program was an obvious way to tie it all together.”
The inaugural report reflects a commitment to increased transparency, and is intended to help the port find ways to improve. It is also an opportunity to showcase the positive actions HPA has taken to build an economically vibrant, socially connected and environmentally responsible Port of Hamilton.
Social & Community Sustainability
HPA participated in a wide variety of community events and festivals, and hosted public tours and open houses with a view to building awareness and pride in Hamilton as a port city. One of the year’s highlights was the Rendez-vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, which HPA co-sponsored with the City of Hamilton.
The port took steps to improve the port-city interface, through public art partnerships and new landscaping initiatives.
The port built on a commitment to transparency with new opportunities for residents to view the harbour and learn about the activities of a working port.
HPA continued its long-standing commitment to charitable investing, with more than $222,000 in cash and in-kind support for local non-profit organizations in 2017.
HPA was especially proud this year to partner with Mohawk College on new initiatives to help bridge the skills gap by supporting innovative education and job training programs.
HPA is a founding member of the Green Marine program, and uses the program’s rigorous framework to help ensure the port is meeting or exceeding environmental standards.
In 2017, HPA undertook several initiatives to enhance the biodiversity, air and water quality at the port, while reducing waste and energy consumption.
Exciting progress has been made to restore the shoreline at Sherman Inlet, an important historical feature of Hamilton Harbour’s original shoreline.
HPA was proud to plant its first pollinator garden in 2017, helping to showcase how the port lands can contribute to a pollinator corridor along Hamilton’s bayfront.
Port staff were enthusiastic participants in a number of environmental partnerships in 2017, including the annual Team Up to Clean Up.
Financial & Economic Sustainability
The 2017 Sustainability Report showcases the importance of a financially self-sustainable and profitable port, allowing for reinvestment into new infrastructure. In 2017 alone, more than $11.4 million was invested by HPA in new infrastructure and ongoing maintenance, to ensure port users are well-served by Ontario’s largest and busiest port.
The report highlights the impact the Port of Hamilton has on the local and regional economy, employing more than 2,100 people on port property, and contributing more than $6 million in local taxes.
More than $300 million in investment has been attracted to the Port of Hamilton in recent years, with major new terminal projects as highlights, including the port’s third grain export terminal, constructed by G3 Canada Ltd., and Parrish & Heimbecker’s new flour mill.
As an organization, HPA sees this way forward as critical to business success. “In our goal to contribute to economic prosperity through trade, a sustainable approach will help ensure positive outcomes, for port users and customers, community members, employees and the environment,” said HPA President & CEO Ian Hamilton. “It is not just a matter of principle; it is imperative to our success.”