Canada Port Authorities are innovative stewards of the environment

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Canada Port Authorities are innovative stewards of the environment

Canada Port Authorities are firmly committed to sustainability. All CPAs are Green Marine certified and continuously improve their environmental performance in key areas such as GHG emissions reduction, waste management and mitigating community and environmental impacts.

of Canada Port Authorities are members of Green Marine


Taking Responsibility

Canada Port Authorities embrace their responsibilities as environmental stewards.  They adhere to, and often exceed, all legal and regulatory requirements. They monitor and continually adjust their green strategies using Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and sustainable development practices.

All 17 CPAs are participants of Green Marine, a voluntary environmental certification program for the North American marine industry.  To be certified, CPAs complete an annual self-evaluation and have their results verified by an accredited third party. During the self-evaluation, port authorities benchmark their performance on eight indicators:

  1. Community impacts;
  2. Dry bulk handling and storage;
  3. Environmental leadership;
  4. Greenhouse gases and air pollutants;
  5. Spill prevention;
  6. Aquatic invasive species;
  7. Underwater noise; and
  8. Waste management.

Going beyond their own direct responsibilities, some CPAs have implemented programs to promote the use of green ships, offering incentives to commercial vessels that implement emission-reduction measures or other environmentally friendly practices.


Protecting the Environment

All Canada Port Authorities have comprehensive strategies in place to clean and protect the water, air and land around them.

The Marine Wildlife Environment

Canada Port Authorities are aware of the inherent value and preciousness of the waters and marine environments in which the shipping sector operates. Maintaining good water quality is one of the ways ports contribute to improved ecosystem health.

Shipping routes are carefully monitored to assess the impacts of underwater noise and commercial vessel activity on marine mammals in order to develop and implement appropriate measures, especially for species-at-risk.

Port authorities also work to protect wildlife habitat by planning and implementing mitigation measures to minimize the impact of their operations. Over the years, several CPAs have installed nesting boxes to ensure bird breeding sites are protected. Others have worked to define natural habitats as designated wildlife areas and marine habitat restoration projects have become the norm.

In the Air and on Land

CPAs also work to improve air quality by reducing contaminants and cutting particulate matter volumes.

On land, CPAs work to reverse soil contamination.  In concert with stakeholders, their actions include vegetation remedial programs and tree planting.

Ports also work to mitigate noise pollution, monitoring and curbing excessive noise from their ship- and cargo-handling operations.

To ensure these actions are meaningful, ports promote a culture of continuous improvement and energy conservation, collaborating with all levels of government and industry stakeholders to monitor performance and report on progress.


Marine shipping is the lowest GHG-emitting mode of transportation per tonne kilometre


Conserving Energy and Resources

Many CPAs are actively engaged in energy and resource conservation projects.

All CPAs have instituted detailed programs – and in some cases, incentives – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Each port has developed a strategy aligned with the needs of its own operations, tenants  and local community.  Here are a few examples:

  • Ports are replacing vehicles with electric or hybrid machines, for both themselves and their tenants.
  • Other CPAs offer training to their tenants to reduce their greenhouse gas emission.
  • One port is cutting container truck emissions using a special Truck Licencing System and other automated tools to reduce idle times and ensure that vehicles have proper emission controls.
  • Another port has cruise ships and other vessels plug into shore power, allowing them to shut down their engines when docked, helping reduce noise, vibration and GHG emissions.

These actions, among others, solidify the marine shipping industry’s status as the lowest emitting mode of transportation per tonne kilometre.

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