June 7, 2020
The EPI – Environmental Reporting for Cruise Ships in Port
The Environmental Port Index has arrived! Driven by the need for deeper insights concerning the environmental impact of cruise ships, we set out to establish a sophisticated, yet easy to use reporting tool.
Following over 3 years of collaboration between DNV GL, Port of Bergen and ten other port partners, the EPI has been launched to provide cruise ships and ports around the world with insightful standardised environmental reporting after each stay at quay.
Why the EPI? And why now?
From cargo to cruise, the primary focus for port operators has always been to offer the best possible services to all the users of their facilities. Environmental impact has not always been a key area for delivering value for port customers. However, today more than ever, a port’s license to operate depends on the ability to find effective sustainable solutions that help reduce the impact on both the local and global environment.
A basic challenge in achieving this has been the lack of knowledge, and key questions raised in recent times have included:
- How much do ships contribute to local pollution at ports?
- Is this contribution significant when compared with other sources?
- How can ports collaborate with ship owners to adapt port facilities?
- How can the port incentivise green operation of the ships?
- Are policies being introduced fair and well founded?
- Is media coverage and public opinion justified?
- Are green business opportunities being missed?
The EPI sets out to answer these questions and more, in order to help ship owners and port operators set a course for a most prosperous future for our shared industry and planet.
How does EPI Benefit Ports?
The EPI enables ports to collect environmental accounting reports from visiting ships. The data is made available in an online portal showing details per ship as well as aggregated environmental data for all ship calls. These insights empower port operators to identify areas for improvement and to work with local authorities and ship owners to find more efficient and sustainable solutions.
As well as aggregated environmental data for the whole port, a key statistic is the EPI score provided for each individual ship’s port call – reflecting their efforts to act sustainably while at quay. Having a clear EPI scoring system makes it easy for ports to introduce potential incentive systems; rewarding ship owners who take steps not to pollute the port’s local water and air, as well as by increasing port fees or issuing penalties for persistent polluters.
For more opportunities offered by the EPI, take a look at our EPI benefits for Ports.
How does EPI Benefit Ship Owners?
Ship owners receive insightful but straightforward reports for each of their ships, following each port stay. These reports include key indicators of a ship’s environmental impact. By tracking data such as emission and fuel consumption, ship owners can identify where efficiencies could be improved. This not only allows for greater sustainability but has the potential to deliver significant operational cost savings, as well as access to any fee incentives that might be offered by ports for greener stays at quay.
More detail on how EPI reporting can create opportunities for better business can be found in our EPI benefits for Ship Owners.
The Future of EPI
The starting point for the EPI has been cruise ship reporting, but a systematic approach is being considered for expanding the service to cargo, ro-ro, tankers and other vessels. And while EPI reports currently focus on air emissions and energy consumption, other crucial areas such as effluents, waste, and noise pollution are set to be phased in over time.
Foremost, our aim is to provide the EPI’s straightforward, standardised reporting to as many ships, at as many ports as possible. Together we can deliver the greatest possible benefit to our industry and environment, locally and around the world – and we welcome any port operators to contact us to find out more about being a part of this and the opportunities available.
Developing the EPI – A Timeline
- Port of Bergen approaches DNV GL for advice on how to document ship emissions at quay and calculate performance in comparison to legal requirements.
- Through a ‘Joint Industry Project’ including a partnership with 10 other cruise ports, the Environmental Port Index concept was born.
- The first functional prototype is created
- Testing is carried out by MSC with guidance gathered from ship owner feedback
- Version 1 of the reporting tool is complete.
- EPI is implemented at 4 ports; Trondheim, Stavanger, Bergen, Oslo
- 567 calls made by 111 cruise ships, belonging to 18 ship owners
- Strong positive feedback received from ship owners
- EPI Ltd is officially formed, with ports as the shareholders
- Port of Bergen given the role of Secretariat
- 16 ports ready for the season with EPI in place
- Additional ports to be added
- Extended methodology for broader reporting areas
- Open up to several types of vessel in addition to cruise ships
You can learn more about how the EPI works and all the benefits it can bring to your operation throughout the EPI website. If you have any specific enquiries our friendly team are here to help, so please just get in touch.