From carbon-neutral ports management company to carbon-neutral port

Climate change and its consequences are one of the greatest challenges of this day and age. Because we are located so close to the North Sea, we are directly confronted with the impact of climate change. It is accordingly essential for us to take appropriate steps to mitigate the effects. The aim of the greenports strategy is to operate the infrastructure of Bremen’s ports with zero impact on climate over the long term and thus help achieve the national climate protection targets as defined by the German government or stated in the Paris Agreement (COP 21).

In 2008, Bremen’s Senator for Economic Affairs, Labour and Ports signed the World Ports Climate Declaration in Rotterdam on behalf of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. In 2009, Bremen’s port management company bremenports rolled out its greenports sustainability strategy, in which climate protection also plays a central role.

bremenports has set the goal of becoming a carbon-neutral port until 2024 and is pursuing that objective with the support of Bremen’s Senator for Economic Affairs, Labour and Ports.

Steps to a decarbonized harbour infrastructure

Operational targets for increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions are based on a detailed analysis of our energy consumers. The resulting plan of action is revised and developed at annual intervals. It contains specifications for the sectors of project planning, construction and contract award as well as procurement, which are supplemented by additional policies and specific targets.

In comparison to our GHG emissions of more than 7000 t CO2e in 2011 we emitted only 2065 t CO2e in 2016, due to our different initiatives, but mainly to the consequent purchase of renewable electricity. This correlates with a relative reduction of 70% since then and demonstrates that the port is well on the way to its goal of a decarbonized harbour infrastructure.

 

To offset the unavoidable carbon emissions we purchased climate certificates equivalent for 2013, 2014 and 2015 in the local moorland project run by BUND environmental organisation. As there are unfortunately no new sites available for the moorland project, in 2016 we purchased emission certificates from atmosfair: certificates for 221 tons of carbon dioxide were purchased for bremenports GmbH, corresponding to the residual emissions by the company. For the first time, we also purchased certificates for 135 tons of CO2 to offset the emissions of the car fleet owned by the Special Asset Ports. However, we are also looking out for new regional climate protection projects for the coming years.