News from the BPA

Ports Launch Industry Collaboration on Emissions

  • Maturity Assessment to Enable Ports to Anonymously Benchmark Efforts Against Industry Peers.
  • New tool developed by industry launched at BPA annual lunch, attended by Maritime Minister, Shadow Maritime Minister, and the Director-General of the CBI.

The British Ports Association (BPA) has announced the launch of a new maturity assessment tool at its annual lunch and AGM in London. The new tool will enable ports to anonymously measure their decarbonisation plans against industry peers. It has been developed over 18 months by BPA’s Sustainability Advisor, Rhona Macdonald, with support from the UK Major Ports Group and a cross-industry steering group. It is open to all ports and terminals.

This robust self-assessment tool is designed to support ports on their journey to net zero by mapping and scoring progress across numerous indicators and parameters. It is agnostic regarding the size and type of port operation, focusing instead on the maturity of actions taken across eight categories:

  • Emissions Mapping
  • Engagement
  • Emissions Targets
  • Transition
  • Improvement
  • Reporting
  • Management
  • Achievements

In responding to these indicators, participating ports can measure their progress in each category and benchmark themselves against their peers in the form of an industry average. All information will however remain private and no public comparison will be made between ports, thus all data collected will remain strictly anonymous. The tool is designed to be useful for ports and not overly burdensome, whilst at the same time ensuring that it is credible and robust. The tool is also designed to complement other existing schemes, such as Ecoports. To ensure this we have been looking at other standards, accreditation bodies and organisations to help build this tool. For the sector the submissions will allow us to map our strengths and weakness, target areas where support is needed and help the sharing of best practices.

All information collected through the tool will remain strictly private and anonymous, ensuring no public comparison between ports.

For the first time, UK ports will have a credible way to measure their efforts against industry colleagues. UK ports have ambitious plans for net zero, and many are well on their way to meeting their targets. This tool will support that journey by setting out a clear roadmap and allowing colleagues to measure their progress accurately and anonymously.

I am grateful to the individuals who supported the development of this tool, providing valuable feedback and guidance.

Rhona Macdonald, Sustainability Adviser at the British Ports Association, and the developer of the tool

I’m proud to be part of a sector that is successful and ambitious for the future. Where ports invest in our infrastructure and our people, we need government to deliver outside the port gate. The BPA has for many years been beating the drum for more investment in road and rail connections and better long-term planning in the delivery of that supporting infrastructure.

In recent years we are increasingly also talking about digital and energy infrastructure too. Most of the people in this room recognise how important it is that ports have the energy they need, at the time they need it, to achieve our own industry’s targets for decarbonisation.

My own port has plans to be carbon net-neutral by 2030 and many of you here have similar plans for your businesses. We can’t do it alone and we need the supporting infrastructure in place at a cost that is not prohibitive.

As an industry we are working to deliver the information government and energy networks need to help deliver on that and we welcome the constructive nature of the discussions between BPA and government.

We have also been working hard on practical tools to help ports on their journey to net zero. I’m delighted that we are today launching a new tool to help ports better understand their progress on decarbonisation, anonymously, against their peers.

This new net zero maturity assessment will allow ports to assess their efforts across eight key areas, from mapping and targets to management and engagement. In doing so ports will be able to see, privately, areas where they might want to focus on more as well as areas they are exceeding their peers. It’s not about counting emissions or spending but measuring where in your journey you are and so will be useful to all members regardless of size of type of operation.

Mike Sellers, Chair of British Ports Association and Director of Portsmouth International Port, quote from his address to the BPA Annual Lunch.

The development of this tool is important to support ports on their decarbonisation journeys.

Each port will have a unique route to decarbonising their operations, but the steps involved in developing the strategy and embedding sustainability can be very similar. This tool will help all ports track their progress and maturity in this regard.’

Geraint Evans, Chief Executive at the UK Major Ports Group

This week the BPA welcomed 500 guests from across the maritime industry, including keynote speakers Maritime Minister Lord Davies, who welcomed the launch of this tool. Shadow Minister Mike Kane MP and Director-General of the CBI, Rain Newton-Smith, also attended and spoke to guests about the importance of the industry.

Shadow Minister for Aviation and Maritime, Mike Kane MP, also spoke to guests about the importance of the sector to the Party’s proposed programme for government and about specific policies such as the national wealth fund.