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World Ports Sustainability Program
by International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) (Non-governmental organization (NGO))
In 2008 the World Port Climate Initiative (WPCI) was launched by IAPH under the Port Environment Committee and 55 ports signed a declaration to undertake action against climate change. As a start a comprehensive guidance Tool for Carbon Foot Printing was published. The Environmental Shipping Index was created to promote clean ships and information websites addressing the global implementation of LNG as ships fuel and Onshore Power Supply were born.

By 2018, ten years after the birth of WPCI, the global agenda will have changed a lot. The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Goals was signed by all countries in September 2015 and several months later an important agreement was reached again by all member states at the COP21 meeting in Paris addressing Climate change. Clear objectives have been worked out for both issues which require concrete actions of all private and public actors on both local as well as global scale.

Ports are the nodal points in the global supply chain and play a crucial role in working to improve the sustainable performance of the supply chain on a local as well as on the global scale. The work performed by the IAPH-PIANC working groups on Sustainable Ports and Sustainability Reporting for Ports emphasizes that corporate social responsibility forms an essential basis for the license to operate.

As a testimony to the leading role that ports play regarding the international targets set by the 2030 Agenda and the Paris agreement, the Port Environment Committee over the last couple of years has considered to broaden the scope of the WPCI and to include overall sustainable development and to redefine the objectives originally set regarding climate change.

The Port Environment Committee has decided to create the World Port Sustainability Program (WPSP) as a follow up of the World Port Climate Initiative. WPSP will be set up to fulfil multiple roles which include the creation of knowledge centres for consultation by all involved in supply chain operations.
WPSP will also be the think tank where innovative ideas and philosophies on sustainable ports including economic factors influencing sustainability, are translated into practical ways and methods of port design, management, operations, etc.
Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Other (please specify): the think tank where innovative ideas and philosophies on sustainable ports including economic factors influencing sustainability, are translated into practical ways and methods of port design, management, operations, etc
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Data access and sharing
  • Other (please specify): creation of knowledge centres
July 2018
Knowledge centers for consultation of best sustainable practices/initiatives in supply chain operations
March 2018
Launch event of the World Ports Sustainability Program
October 2017
Staff / Technical expertise
Outcomes of the IAPH-PIANC working groups WG 150 Sustainable Ports and WG 174 Sustainability reporting for Ports
Basic information
Time-frame: 2018 March - 2030 December
International Organisation of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) - NGO The World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC) - NGO The Worldwide Network of Port Cities (AIVP) - NGO European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) - NGO American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) - NGO
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Eric de Deckere, Dr.Ir., eric.dedeckere@portofantwerp.com, +32 496 860422
Port of Antwerp, Zaha Hadidplein 1, 2030 Antwerp, Belgium
Other SDGs
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