Port of Amsterdam draws up ambitious environmental plan for 2008-2012 (NL)

The Port of Amsterdam has developed an ambitious environmental policy plan for the period between 2008 and 2012. The plan – whose English title is "Sustainability: Boldness, Action and Resolve" – fits in well with the city-wide environmental policy plan adopted by the City of Amsterdam and entitled "To the Top in a Sustainable Way." The new plan from the port authority has also fleshed out part of the Sustainability theme found in the Port Vision 2008-2020 plan. The port's new plan translates its objectives into concrete measures. The plan has received clear support from all parties involved.

The Port of Amsterdam aspires to rank among the most sustainable ports in Europe. Innovative techniques and technology will be used to reduce noise and dust nuisance, as well as to produce sustainable energy.

The City Executive and those city councilors sitting on the relevant committee have strongly endorsed the port authority's environmental policy plan. The plan is therefore expected to receive the green light from the City Council. In developing the plan, the Port of Amsterdam has extensively consulted all stakeholders, including environmental groups, industry organizations, city departments, city-district governments, regional players and central government. Much of their response has found its way into the plan.

The consultation process has also involved the other seaports in the Netherlands. All Dutch seaports have agreed to adopt a uniform policy for maritime shipping and barging, with a particular focus on, among others, cleaner maritime shipping and barging. The ports will not compete on environmental policy, but share knowledge.

The port authority will make optimum use of its physical and environmental space and make a proportionate contribution to the City of Amsterdam's objective of reducing carbon dioxide by 40% in 2025 in comparison to 1990.

The number of shore-power outlets for river barges and river-cruise vessels will be increased. In addition, the port authority will examine whether it is feasible to provide shore-based electricity to sea ships, too.

The Port of Amsterdam will actively advocate more stringent (inter) national rules and regulations for cleaner air. Effective 2025, river barges failing to meet the CCR-2 air-quality standard will be barred from using the port.

The Port of Amsterdam will concentrate on growing sectors of the economy and goods flows that are currently making little use of hinterland transport by river barge or rail. For all hinterland transport from and to Amsterdam, the aim is to reduce the contribution made by road transport (from 53% to 45% by 2020) and to strengthen the roles played by river barging (to 49%) and rail transport (to 6%).

In cooperation will all relevant parties, the port authority will draw up a specific plan for the Westpoort site, with the aim of making more efficient use of the location (better spatial planning) and also enhancing the safety/security surrounding hazardous materials (improved risk management). On top of this, the Port of Amsterdam will professionalize its berthing policy for sea ships and barges carrying hazardous materials, with more staff being deployed for enforcing rules and regulations.

The Port of Amsterdam is keen to take the lead in operating sustainably. As part of effort, the port authority aims to become a carbon-neutral organization by 2015. As a first step, we will make very careful use of natural resources (physical space, energy and raw materials).

Source: Port of Amsterdam

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