The 12th GreenPort Congress was held in October 2017 in Amsterdam, hosted by the Port of Amsterdam. The main themes of the Congress, those of balancing the environmental challenge with economic demands and the importance of stakeholder relations, were examined in a wide range of presentations covering policy, technical and operational considerations. The conference provided decision makers from the port community - port authorities, terminal operators, shipping lines, logistics operators - with a meeting place to both learn about and discuss the latest in sustainable development and environmental practice to enable them to effectively implement the changes needed to reduce their carbon footprint and to be more sensitive to environmental considerations.

Priority topics for the port sector, namely air quality, energy consumption, Carbon Footprint, noise, local community relations, garbage, ship’s waste and port development were recurrent issues for discussion as through key-note speeches, presentations and Workshop-exchanges delegates examined options and strategies for action.

A particular strength of this year’s Congress was the wide range perspectives taken into account as the interactive programme keenly encouraged exchange of views and opinions between, and amongst, presenters and delegates. The economic imperative of the global market, the strategies for the port sector itself, and the often-unique circumstances of the individual Port Authority were juxtaposed in the overall debate on the complex that is the real world of port operations. The significance of port-city relations and those with the shipping industry were repeated topics, and the debate about the extent to which the ports could, or even should, influence so-called Green Shipping continued as a high priority and controversial issue.

The GreenPort Congress demonstrated many examples of good practice currently being applied by the port sector as it works to achieve continuing improvement of environmental management through voluntary, self-regulation based on the premises of compliance, cost and risk reduction, environmental protection and sustainable development.