Port Authorities Launch Strategy to Integrate SDGs

4 February 2019: The World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP) has launched a plan to integrate the SDGs into the business strategies and governance of port authorities, to help align them with global sustainability standards.

The WPSP was established by the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) in 2017.On 19-20 March 2019, the IAPH, in cooperation with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Antwerp Management School and the University of Antwerp, will hold an interactive workshop in Geneva, Switzerland, to define potential port authority actions for each SDG, measurement performance indicators, and guiding tools and methodologies for use in practice. Participants will determine which of the SDGs to apply to the five WPSP themes and identify indicators to measure the sustainability performance of port authorities in these areas. The WPSP’s themes are: climate and energy; community outreach and port city dialogue; resilient infrastructure; governance and ethics; and safety and security. The ultimate objective is to integrate the SDGs in a relevant, measurable and manageable way.

Antonis Michail, WPSP, underscored the priority being placed on integrating the SDGs in port governance. Speaking during the Smart Cruise Port Developments Conference in Baltic Sea Region, he noted that each port will prioritize each SDG differently based on environmental, social and economic realities. In Europe, for example, Michail said that air quality, energy consumption and noise are the top environmental priorities defined by members of the European Sea Ports Organisation. He noted that the Pacific Island and Indian Ocean Island countries are prioritizing the impacts of climate change, while ports in Latin America and Southeast Asia are engaged with local communities on societal considerations.

The WPSP, guided by SDGs, aims to enhance and coordinate future sustainability efforts of ports and foster international cooperation with partners in the supply chain. Over 60 projects have joined the WPSP to formulate industry-standard practices related to SDG integration.The Program builds on the World Ports Climate Initiative that IAPH began 2008, and extends it to other areas of sustainable development.