Green Port Initiative



Policy areas

Organisation name Autoridad Portuaria de Málaga

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Contact person: Pilar Fernández-Fígares, Malagaport Manager

The European Union, with the Green Deal, adopted clear commitments regarding the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In this context, ports play an important role as they are an essential component within merchant shipping and passenger global flows. Being aware of this, the Port Authority of Málaga launched the Green Port Initiative, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and fight against climate change and global warming. The project aimed to achieve significant improvements: lower the use of fossil fuels to have better air quality towards the port environment, energy efficiency and use of renewable energy: using sustainable energy sources generated on-site, and tree barriers to be placed in transition areas between the port and the city. This commitment is framed within the SDGs and, in particular, the Sustainable Transport Strategy in Ports.

The Port Authority implemented this initiative as an answer to the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It faced this responsibility by means of innovative concepts such as low-emission energy supply and production, sustainable alternatives of on-shore supply systems or sustainable logistics and port operations among others, to provide an answer for the necessary improvements.
The project is therefore characterised by an innovative environment. It implies:

  • the application of advanced and innovative technologies that are ready for commercial deployment;
  • the digitisation of the port operations in different areas, for example the use of applications of algorithms towards the energy transition;
  • lowering emissions by the integration of renewable energies.

The main challenge that the Port Authority of Málaga has to face is that its programmes and activities are intended to be a permanent development, which brings growth to the city and its environment. However, this is only possible in a sustainable way, generating benefits to the port community, the society and the environment. Therefore, the Port Authority focuses its management approach on sustainability objectives such as:

  • the integration of the port with the city of Málaga, bringing the port closer to the citizens and providing additional value to tourism and culture;
  • monitoring the different harbour traffic to offer a clean port to its users;
  • the prevention of environmental pollution within the port to protect the environment that surrounds it – the Port wants to contribute to reducing CO2 emissions through the implementation of significant improvements, becoming the lighthouse of renewable energy.

This Green Port Initiative has potential value to be transferred to other ports not just at European level, as it is based on the necessity of an urgent and radical change of mentality towards pollution within ports. The guidelines and the actions could be different, but the main objectives are the same: to take care of the environment and to implement a zero pollution policy according to the commitments that the European Union has adopted regarding reduction of emissions, specifically in the framework of climate and energy plan for 2030 and its relationship with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The Port Authority and the entire port community participate in daily actions which guide this community towards the improvement of the environmental quality of the port and its relationship with the city.

At the local level, the Authority is working with the City Council in different projects, providing the city with an atmosphere that is more sustainable, cleaner and more citizen-friendly. Furthermore, the Málaga Port Authority is also working with the private sector on a series of projects in the framework of different European Programmes such as Horizon Europe, Innovation Fund, Green Deal and Ports 4.0.

The Green Port Initiative was presented using a webinar about green ports in the EU Green Week. This webinar focused on the development of green ports as examples of sustainable ports, which are facing environmental challenges based on the use of renewable energy.

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