NSW Ports has announced it will apply an environmental incentive to vessel-related charges at Port Botany and Port Kembla.
The initiative – the first of its kind in Australia – aims to reward higher standards of environmental performance in the two ports.
NSW Ports plans to develop the details of the program in consultation with relevant shipping lines and aims to have it up and running by 1 January 2019.
NSW Ports CEO Marika Calfas said the incentive was intended to reward companies that use vessels with better air emissions performance.
“We are passionate about environmental issues and wanted to take a lead in Australia to help encourage change through an incentive to encourage shipping lines to improve their emissions,” she said.
“The environmental incentive will be applied to vessels that perform better in reducing their emissions than the levels required by current emission standards of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).”
Ms Calfas noted the incentive was aligned with Australia’s commitment towards international climate change initiatives.
The Australian Logistics Council applauded NSW Ports’ announcement that it would implement the incentive.
ALC managing director Michael Kilgariff said it was a clear sign that the freight logistics industry is committed to achieving better environmental outcomes and is prepared to lead the way without the need to impose additional regulation.
“Port Botany and Port Kembla are two of the most significant trading ports in the nation, and this initiative by NSW Ports shows leadership by recognising that the industry must do all it can to promote environmentally responsible outcomes in a manner that will still allow Australia to meet its growing freight task,” he said.
“Today’s announcement sends a very clear signal to the community that this industry is prepared to step up of its own volition and work to reduce the environmental impact of its core activities.”
The new program would apply to vessels registered with the Environmental Ship Index (ESI).
The ESI is a scoring system that evaluates the amount of nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide emitted by a ship, and includes a reporting scheme on the greenhouse gas emissions of the ship.
Only ships that perform over and above current IMO legislation on emissions standards are included in the ESI.