Rotterdam: Ultimately Pieter Struijs hopes his foundation will not need to exist. Struijs is the chairman of the Green Award Foundation, a 20-year-old organisation, that champions more environmentally friendly shipping.
The Green Award Foundation is a neutral, independent foundation, established 1994 on the initiative of the Rotterdam Municipal Port Management and the Dutch Ministry of Transport. Since 1 January 2000 Green Award has been completely independent.
Green Award certifies ships that are extra clean and extra safe. Ships with a Green Award certificate reap various financial and non-financial benefits.
By rewarding high safety and environmental standards in shipping, Green Award makes above standard ship operation economically more attractive.
Certification consists of an office audit and an audit of each individual ship applying for certification. Amongst many others, the assessment focuses on crew, operational, environmental and managerial elements.
At ports in Belgium, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Oman, New Zealand, Portugal South Africa and most recently Japan, the Green Award vessels receive a considerable reduction on port dues.
Several incentive providers, government institutions as well as private companies, grant savings to a vessel with a Green Award certificate, which subject to annual verification, is valid for three years.
Last week the port city of Kitakyushu became the first East Asian port to join the Green Award scheme. A discount of 10% is now offered to all Green Award certified LNG carriers calling at the port. Other ship types are expected to receive similar discounts in the future.
Struijs says the foundation is in touch with a number of other ports in Asia, a region where greener ports are very much on the agenda.
Struijs says ports the world over should be signing up to attract cleaner and safer ships.
“The Green Award scheme is considered as one of tools in the port’s toolbox to gain results from their action plans on the path towards becoming a green sustainable port,” Struijs says.
“In my dream,” Struijs reveals, “every single responsible port should participate in the program. My vision is big and extreme. The end goal is to make programs such as Green Award redundant so we can all work in a responsible manner to create a sustainable future simply from our own wills.” [10/11/14]