UN SDGs to be adopted by ports

Smart Cruise Conference WPSP technical director Antonis Michail talked about the work carried out so far by the WPSP at the Smart Cruise Conference on Port Developments in the Baltic Sea Region. Credit: WPSP
Industry Database

The World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP) has launched a plan to integrate UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the business strategies and governance of port authorities to help align them with global sustainability standards.

On 19-20 March, a WPSP-IAPH expert workshop in Geneva will seek to define potential port authority actions per UN Sustainable Development Goal, measurement performance indicators as well as guiding tools and methodologies for use in practice. The ultimate goal will be to integrate the SDGs in a relevant, measurable and manageable way.

Speaking about the WPSP, IAPH managing director Patrick Verhoeven, said: "As we reach the first anniversary since the Program began, we have now achieved critical mass with the 60+ clearly defined projects that have joined the WPSP to formulate industry-standard practices in terms of ports integrating UN SDGs into their business strategies and governance.”

Identifying indicators

Organised in partnership with the Trade and Logistics Branch of UNCTAD, the Antwerp Management School and the University of Antwerp, the workshop will see representatives from UN Global Compact, Mediterranean Shipping Company and BNP Paribas Fortis bank work with delegates from IAPH's port members worldwide to define which of the 17 UN Sustainable Development goals to apply to the five WPSP themes and identify indicators to measure the sustainability performance of port authorities in these areas.

Reviewing work carried out so far, WPSP technical director Antonis Michail stated the WPSP has “observed that each UN SDG will be prioritised by each port differently in line with the environmental, social and economic realities. In Europe we see air quality, energy consumption and noise being identified as the three top environmental priorities as defined by members of the European Sea Ports Organisation and these issues are closely related to given SDGs.

“In other parts of the world, our Pacific Island and Indian Ocean Island members are prioritising the impact of climate change. In Latin America and South East Asia we see a lot of work by ports who are engaged with their local communities on societal considerations."


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