SOHAR launches Environmental Management Programme
SOHAR Port and Freezone has launched its first Environmental Management Programmes in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs.
The five-day programme will see ten MECA employees collaborate with the logistical hub’s Environmental Unit this month in a bid to strengthen ties with the government authority and share knowledge and experiences that will be vital in ensuring Oman’s and SOHAR’s economic growth are aligned with the highest international environmental standards.
Oman has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world at 0.17% and the sultanate wants to maintain this low rate despite expected strong growth.
Executive commercial manager Edwin Lammers said: “Growing within the carrying capacity of the local environment is a fundamental part of our business model and we take the potential impact of increased productivity on carbon emissions and climate change very seriously.
"In 2013, for example, we became the first port in the Middle East to introduce a reward scheme for ships that qualify under the Environmental Ship Index’s clean ship system.
“Worldwide there are around 1,700 ships with a valid ESI score and our scheme means clean vessels calling at the Port are able to claim a rebate on their duties based on their Environmental Ship Index score.
"We were also the first in the Middle East and one of an elite group of 30 ports and harbours worldwide to have entered the Green Award Scheme, which encourages ships and ship-owners to embrace environmentally-friendly operations. Over 200 ships – mainly dry bulk and 20,000 DWT ships – are Green Award certified.”
In addition to bringing SOHAR’s Environment Unit and government representatives together, the initiative sought to identify ways to engage customers and investors seeking to use SOHAR as a gateway to booming Gulf economies.
With the port and freezone bracing for further growth, the arrival of new investment and infrastructure, mean instilling environmental principles across the supply chain are of equal importance.
“Global supply chains are coming under intense scrutiny throughout the world, and as we continue to grow over the coming years, there is no doubt that we will have to work together to maintain traceability within the growing number of countries, industries, and the customers that we interact with,” commented Lammers.
“Our credentials speak for themselves; together with investments totalling$15 billion, over a decade of double-digit growth, and exceptional customer service, our environmental record was one of the main reasons we were awarded the title of 2013 Port Authority by Seatrade ME.
"We are also fortunate to be able to draw on expertise at Port of Rotterdam, one of the most environmentally-friendly ports in the world.”