The Port of Huelva in Spain has renewed its certification under EcoPorts’ environmental management standard (PERS).
PERS certification, which Huelva first received in 2016, requires qualifying ports to meet a range of criteria relating to communication, transparency and environmental standards. PERS criteria are based primarily on policy recommendations laid out by the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO).
Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General of ESPO, said: “Relationship with the local community has been a great priority for European port authorities, being continuously on the Top-10 of the environmental priorities since 2009. Further enhancing and communicating their environmental policies and engaging citizens has been a driving force for ports and PERS contributes significantly to that end. I would like to congratulate the Port of Huelva for renewing its PERS certification. For a port, it is getting more and more important to be transparent about its environmental performance towards the local community. It gives citizens a chance to better know their port and possibly be proud of it.”
Under the requirements for PERS certification, ports must:
- Enhance communication between ports and local communities;
- Promote transparency by releasing their environmental reports to the public;
- Consistently and effectively monitor environmental challenges to the running of the port; and
- Work towards implementing environmental management policies.
EcoPorts Coordinator Sotiris Raptis said: “The number of ports that have got the environmental standard is going up with 34 out of the 114 EcoPorts members already PERS certified. EcoPorts enables its members to further improve their environmental performance and to deal with challenges such as climate change, air quality and noise. In parallel, data submitted to EcoPorts enables ESPO to come up with an annual Environmental Report and port sector’s environmental benchmarks. This information is made publicly available, allowing local communities, policy makers, research and civil society to check the annual progress of the sector.”