Thursday, January 3, 2019

South American Container Port Wins Plaudits for Environmental Rating  

Carbon Neutral Status Award Claimed as First on the Continent

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Shipping News Feature ECUADOR – After announcing recently that access to the port is to undergo a major dredging programme to allow container ships and bulk carriers with drafts up to 12.5 metres to utilise the facilities, Contecon Guayaquil SA (CGSA), the Ecuadorian subsidiary of ICTSI, the Philippine port operator, says its facility has become the first port in South America to obtain a carbon-neutral certification.

The Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment and the environmental ratings agency, Sambito SA have recognised the environmental credentials of the facility with the award of official certification marking CGSA’s compliance to ISO 14064-1 standards. This confirms that the company’s policies are directed towards greater sustainability initiatives, as well as the incorporation of technologies that reduce the operation’s impact on Ecuador’s largest maritime gateway.

While a lot of work is required to offset the Port of Guayaquil’s energy demands from its day-to-day operations, CGSA, says that as part of its continuing compliance, it has set-up a team to verify and create mechanisms to lower the port’s industrial emissions. CGSA has also sponsored the preservation of 14,600 hectares of natural areas in Ecuador, 10,000 hectares of mangrove forests and 4,600 hectares of native forests, as part of its mitigating efforts to reduce carbon emissions from port equipment and to help in the conservation of the country’s large tracts of intact natural forests.

As ICTSI’s largest concession in Latin America, CGSA has repeatedly been recognised for its environmental efforts. In 2010, the port received an Honourable Mention in Guayaquil’s Eco-efficiency awards. In 2015, the national government, through its Ministry of Environment, also awarded CGSA the Ecuadorian Environmental Certification for being an ‘eco-efficient’ company. Anders Kjeldsen, ICTSI Senior Vice President and Regional Head of the Americas, commented:

“Beyond port efficiency, the ICTSI Group has been making substantial investments to ensure an environmental-friendly supply chain, with the long-term vision of being able to secure appropriate certifications for all ports, regardless of location, project age, or stage of development. CGSA’s recent achievement underscores the Group’s proactive efforts towards minimising the impact of port operations towards hinterland communities.”

Across all its global operations, ICTSI says it is continuing its enhancement of energy monitoring systems, expanding the use of next generation energy-efficient cargo handling equipment and vehicle fleets, and developing productivity measures that ensures port efficiency as its move towards optimizing energy-efficient operations. José Antonio Contreras, CGSA CEO received CGSA’s ISO 14064-1 compliance plaque from Gustavo Manrique, President of Sambito, and Evelyn Montalván, Guayas Provincial Director of the Ministry of the Environment, saying:

“This carbon neutral certification awarded to Contecon Guayaquil is a testament of our firm and unbreakable commitment to preserve the environment in our own way. This certification highlights, above all, a conviction and responsibility to guarantee eco-friendly and sustainable operations with less contaminating to the environment. This is our contribution for a better world.”

Photo: (LtoR) Gustavo Manrique and Evelyn Montalván hand over the plaque of recognition to José Antonio Contreras.

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