The Port of London is set to become the first UK port to recognise ship owners committed to progressively improving their environmental performance, as part of a wider approach to reduce the port’s environmental impact.
The Port of London Authority (PLA) is set to introduce a discount on port charges for vessels with lower emissions that meet an Environmental Shipping Index (ESI) score of 30, or above. The ESI, developed by the World Ports Climate Initiative (WPCI), ranks ships’ environmental performance based on factors including emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide, and carbon dioxide. It gives a ready reckoner rating for ships that perform better in reducing emissions than the current International Maritime Organisation emission standards.
Christopher Rodrigues, PLA chairman said: “Shipping is the most environmentally friendly method of moving large volumes of goods and materials. Nevertheless, more can be done to make shipping even cleaner. As ships represent a substantial capital investment, we want to encourage faster adoption of new green technologies by giving an added incentive to adopt cleaner technologies.
“As Custodians of the tidal Thames, introducing this discount is one of the first things we are doing to recognise the uptake of new and green technologies. Our overall goal, set through the Thames Vision project, is to reduce the port’s environmental impact and this initiative is the start of that journey.”
Developed over the last 18 months, the Thames Vision sets out a plan for the river’s development over the next 20 years. It identifies potential for increased river use, alongside progressively improved environmental and habitat conditions.
Fer van de Laar, WPCI director said: “The ESI provides a measure of the environmental performance of ocean going vessels. We are excited to see the Port of London utilising the ESI for one of its intended purposes, by encouraging shipping lines to improve environmental performance and to reduce the port’s environmental impact.”
David Balston, UK Chamber of Shipping director of policy said: “The shipping industry is committed to leading the way on improvements in environmental performance and as such we wholeheartedly welcome the Port of London Authority’s approach to rewarding those investing to increase their fleet efficiency and lower their emissions impact.”
The Port of London is the country’s second biggest port, with 70 terminals, handling supplies of life’s essential: food, drinks, consumer goods, fuels, grain, cars, steel, building materials and more. More than 10,000 large commercial ships call on the Thames every year, carrying in excess of 45 million tonnes of cargo destined for consumers and manufacturers in the south-east and across the UK.