Archive for the ‘sustainability’ Tag

Belgium: Port of Antwerp Presents First Sustainability Report   Leave a comment

The first Sustainability Report for the port of Antwerp has now appeared. For a whole year, various workgroups laboured at the production of this report that demonstrates how the various companies within the port are able to reconcile “people, planet and profit” with their day-to-day activities.

The initiative-takers behind the report are Antwerp Port Authority and the Left Bank Development Corporation in the public sector, and Alfaport Antwerp representing the private sector.

Sustainability leader

The port of Antwerp aims to position itself as the sustainability leader in the Hamburg – Le Havre range. While in the 20th century the emphasis of port policy was firmly on economic development, in the 21st century greater importance will be placed on social concerns that impact the port’s activities. For example, environmental management will be given a more prominent role, and stakeholder management will be further developed. Finally, significant efforts will be devoted to making hinterland transport more time-efficient as well as reducing its environmental footprint. In this respect the port of Antwerp has a decisive advantage thanks to its geographical location deep inland, as this reduces transport costs while limiting the environmental effects of transport.

The nine stages of the report

The Sustainability Report follows the route that goods take in reaching their destinations all over the world via the port of Antwerp:

1. The port of Antwerp as gateway to Europe. Antwerp is not only a multi-capable port, it is also a secure port, where moreover vessels can hand over their waste for safe disposal free of charge (for barges) or at a modest fee (for seagoing ships). The arrangements for disposal of ship’s waste in Antwerp serve as an example of “best practice” for other European ports.

2. Engine of the economy and employment. The port of Antwerp provides work directly or indirectly for some 145,000 people, or 7% of the working population of Flanders. It employs more men than women.

3. A port that invests. The port of Antwerp invests not only in infrastructure and superstructure in order to maintain its leading European position, it also invests in sustainable energy, R&D and people. The number of hours devoted to training rose until 2008 both in absolute and in relative terms (number of hours per employee). This investment in people is sorely needed, as no fewer than 4,000 vacancies will have to be filled by 2013.

4. A productive, healthy port. Labour productivity (added value per employee) in the port of Antwerp is about 50% higher than in the rest of the Belgian economy, and the difference is actually increasing.

5. A port that reconciles economy and ecology. The area devoted to port activities expanded by around 1,000 hectares to 6,416 hectares between 2002 and 2010, equivalent to some 10,000 football fields. Up to 5% of the actual port area or around 600 hectares will be set aside and managed as habitat for plant and animal species that are typical of ports and harbours. Investment will also be made in core areas of nature conservation around the port area.

6. A port for industry and logistics. The industrial and other activities within the port consume energy and water, and produce emissions. Energy consumption rose by 16% during the period 2000-2008, with the biggest consumers being the chemical and refining industries. This increase is partly the result of higher production (up 7%). About 95% of the water consumption is cooling water that is pumped from the docks and the river Scheldt and ultimately returned to them; only minimal use is made of rainwater. Valuable groundwater is seldom used in production processes.

7. A port in harmony with nature and the environment. The port of Antwerp is a “hot spot” for emissions of particulates and nitrogen oxide. To counter this an action plan for particulates and NO2 was introduced in 2008 for the port and the surrounding municipalities, with eight concrete initiatives. This has resulted in a clear and systematic improvement in the values measured. Indeed, no excess PM10 concentrations were observed within the port in 2010.

8. From port to hinterland. The modal split within the port of Antwerp is developing slowly but surely away from road transport, in favour of other, more environment-friendly modes. Road transport now accounts for less than 50% of all freight movements except for containers. And even in the latter case, about one third of all containers now travel by barge. Large quantities of liquid products are transported via the European pipeline hub and the network of pipelines within the port. In fact, 88% of liquid goods moved around by industry within the port go by pipeline.

9. Building up relations with local inhabitants and young people. The I-bus service has been introduced to encourage sustainable transport between home and work. It is now used by 2,900 employees. There is also a shuttle bus that carries some 140 permanent and temporary employees to and from work every day. Sponsorship projects such as the King Baudouin Foundation and the New Belgica also form part of this policy.

Total plan

The Sustainability Report forms part of the “Total Plan for a More Competitive Port” that was launched in 2010 in response to the global financial crisis. To implement the Total Plan it was decided to draw up a joint vision for sustainability, as all the parties involved are keenly aware that sustainability can become the new competitive advantage of the port. Competitive advantage is no longer limited to the economic sphere; increasingly it is being sought in a wider social and indeed international context. This conviction formed the basis for the port’s first Sustainability Report. A key characteristic of sustainability is that it is an ongoing process, one that is never completed. Of course it is essential to define the initial situation and to measure the progress of situations, figures and indicators. This is where the value of the report lies, as it provides a framework, presents the measurements and demonstrates the results.

via Dredging Today – Belgium: Port of Antwerp Presents First Sustainability Report.

Posted February 5, 2012 by arnoneumann in Ports, Sustainability

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Scientists urge countries to adopt ‘climate-smart’ agriculture   Leave a comment

study published last August by the UN Environment Programme found that current agricultural trends are destroying the world’s natural resources, particularly its water supplies.  Reversing this trend would require integrated land-use planning that coordinates decision-making for farming, biodiversity, water management and air pollution, according to the study.

Another report from the UN – its latest World Economic and Social Survey, found that to stop deteriorating land conditions and depleting natural resources, the world would have to move away from large-scale, intensive agricultural systems as they exist today. Instead, smaller scale farms in developing countries should be improved and expanded using ‘green’ technology that minimised the use of water, energy and chemicals, noted the report.

 

Scientists urge countries to adopt ‘climate-smart’ agriculture | Eco-Business.com.

Governments fall behind on sustainability agenda ahead of Rio+20 | Guardian Sustainable Business | guardian.co.uk   Leave a comment

 

 

“Government leaders have fallen well behind leaders of NGOs, corporations and multilateral organisations in advancing the sustainability agenda ahead of the Rio+20 Summit, according to GlobeScan and SustainAbility’s recent survey of experts in the field.

GlobeScan and SustainAbility surveyed more than 500 sustainability experts from across 60+ countries on the sustainability performance of key actors that will be instrumental in the Rio+20 summit.

With experts giving high marks to NGO leaders on advancing the sustainability agenda, middling ratings to corporate leaders and leaders of multilateral organisations and poor grades to nationally elected governmental leaders, the expert perspectives mirror global public opinion polling on trust. According to GlobeScan’s research, people across the world have the most trust in NGOs and the least in government. Business enjoys low but improving trust among the general public.

Together these findings suggest an important undercurrent in the lead up to Rio+20. Governments remain the principal actors at the summit, but both stakeholders and the general public are increasingly critical of their performance. While ensuring a strong role in Rio de Janeiro for a range of stakeholders including civil society, business and UN agencies will be important, the results of the survey suggest there needs to be special emphasis placed on the role of NGOs.

Given the high levels of social capital of NGOs, one of the most effective ways to increase the legitimacy of the proceedings would be to elevate their roles and responsibilities in the Rio+20 conference. It would also provide some badly needed cover to national governments and could very well unlock unexpected progress in the negotiations.”

via Governments fall behind on sustainability agenda ahead of Rio+20 | Guardian Sustainable Business | guardian.co.uk.

Posted October 8, 2011 by arnoneumann in Sustainability

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Linking Environmental and Financial Impacts for Sustainability Management | Caelus Green Room   1 comment

Environmental Finance

Better reporting by companies will help avert systemic risks such as climate change and the banking crisis, according to Mervyn King.

The annual financial statement as we have known it is no longer fit for purpose,” the former South African Supreme Court judge told Environmental Finance, at the launch of a discussion paper on Integrated Reporting – a global initiative to improve corporate reporting.

 

The Integrated Reporting initiative will ask companies to reveal “more comprehensive and meaningful information” about themselves. In particular, it aims to demonstrate how a company’s financial performance is achieved in the social, environmental and economic context within which it operates.

Transparency about the impact of a company’s operations will not only help investors make better judgments, but help businesses perform better, King said.

via Linking Environmental and Financial Impacts for Sustainability Management | Caelus Green Room.

Posted September 18, 2011 by arnoneumann in Corporate, Governance, Sustainability

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Firms tackle demand for clear and concise green reporting – 12 Sep 2011 – News from BusinessGreen   Leave a comment

 

 

“The range of issues – economic, environmental and social – which determine an organisations success has never been broader or more pressing,” he said. “It is for this reason that we need an approach to reporting that is fit-for-purpose in the 21st century. The world has changed – reporting must too.”

via Firms tackle demand for clear and concise green reporting – 12 Sep 2011 – News from BusinessGreen.

“It could be argued that companies providing more information about their environmental impact, such as carbon and water footprints, is making corporate reports too long and cluttered.

Businesses trying to tackle this problem have now put together a framework to enable them to provide investors and stakeholders with pithy but comprehensive corporate reports.

The International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC) will publish the new framework today, and it will be road tested from next month. An accompanying discussion paper will show how to encourage more firms to adopt integrated reporting.

The IIRC, which consists of representatives from the corporate, investor, accounting, securities, regulatory and standards-setting industries, will also consult with businesses on the proposed framework over the next few months.

IIRC chairman Sir Michael Peat, who is also principal private secretary to Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, explained that the new framework is designed to adapt reporting to the changing needs of investors in the 21st century. “

Print A Forest   Leave a comment

“Print a Forest is a free computer application. Our mission is to give everyone an option to have the personal documents they print, plant an entire forest. Every hundred pages you print with Print a Forest plants a tree. If you must print, why not print a forest? With your participation, the paper you print will plant 75 trees for every 1 tree harvested. Download our application and with ease the paper you print transforms into a forest grown by the plantabillion.org campaign. ”

 

via Print A Forest.

Posted August 12, 2011 by arnoneumann in Environment, Sustainability

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Planet Under Pressure Conference   Leave a comment

Building on a comprehensive update of knowledge of the Earth system and the pressure it is under, the Planet Under Pressure conference will present and debate new insights into potential opportunities and constraints for innovative development pathways based on novel partnerships.”

 

“The 2012 international Planet Under Pressure conference will provide a comprehensive update of the pressure planet Earth is now under. The conference will discuss solutions at all scales to move societies on to a sustainable pathway. It will provide scientific leadership towards the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio+20.”

via Homepage ::: Planet Under Pressure.

Posted August 11, 2011 by arnoneumann in Conference, Environment

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