Following several years’ sustained expansion in its membership, the Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA) recently established two working groups to coordinate the Association’s safety and environmental initiatives.
PEMA’s Safety Committee and Environment Committee were formed in February this year, when the committee held its first meeting on the fringes of PEMA’s annual general meeting in Amsterdam. The primary aim of PEMA’s Environment Committee is to help the ports industry become more sustainable. Stefan Johansson, Director of Research and Development at Cargotec, heads the Committee.
How can equipment and technology providers – and specifically the PEMA Environment Committee – help the ports industry operate more sustainably?
“By maintaining a dialogue between relevant stakeholders in the industry, we aim to increase awareness of how equipment and technology can contribute to more sustainable port and terminal operations,” says Johansson. “This includes reduced environmental impact and lower energy consumption as a result of many innovations now being fostered in equipment design, automation and power supply, as well as new technologies that are helping to improve equipment utilization and fleet management.
“We believe that PEMA, and specifically the Environment Committee, has an important role to play as a neutral information and education platform on innovative environmental technologies in the port and terminal industries. We will also engage with other port and cargo handling associations, as well as individual companies, to keep abreast of latest directions and initiatives and feed this back to our members and our industry at large.”
How does the Committee intend to encourage best practice in the industry?
“Our primary approach is the distribution of information on best working practices and technological advances, plus industry surveys. We aim to demonstrate how making ports more sustainable also makes economic sense. Operating efficiently is good for the environment and for business too. To this end, we look among other topics to create discussion on how technological advances can reduce emission levels, and how such an approach can result in reduced fuel costs. As a first project, we will be preparing a neutral white paper on developments in environmental technology for port and terminal operations on a global basis.”
What are the top environmental challenges facing port operators and port equipment manufacturers?
“The key issue we encounter is emission reduction – this is something that generates concern, and interest, across the industry. It’s also an area where there has been steady progress for a number of years,” Johansson says. He also adds that reducing noise pollution, using fewer materials and equipment that requires less maintenance, for example systems that require less lubricants, are also ways in which ports can reduce environmental impact.
What sort of obstacles might the Committee face?
“New technologies and new equipment require investment. As an industry, we have to make the case for an investment that may not deliver a return before the medium- and long-term.”
In what ways is the Committee unique?
“Prior to the formation of PEMA, the port equipment and technology sectors had no neutral platform or voice to address matters of general concern and interest to our industry and our customers. We now have this forum. The Environment Committee represents the first time that a variety of individual suppliers have agreed to come together to exchange views and experiences, pool and share knowledge on behalf of our industry as a whole, and build a neutral dialogue with the key stakeholders.”