Foreword Alexandra van Huffelen
Conference program Sustainability in the Maritime Industry
12 April 2012

The city and the port of Rotterdam form a unified entity. There is no other place where city, port and shipping are so closely connected than in our city along the river Maas. Rotterdam is extremely proud to play host to the international Sustainable in the Maritime Industry conference for the second time.

Anyone will have gathered that Rotterdam, together with her partners, is working to realize the city’s firm sustainability ambitions. We want to seize technological innovation and new opportunities to create a cleaner, greener and healthier city, while maintaining a strong economy. A city and port where one can make money out of sustainability.

There are many approaches to our work. We will lower CO2 emissions by 50% in 2025 and reduce energy consumption. We will promote the use of clean energy and energy resources. We will also work to bring noise under control and to improve air quality as this is of great importance for the health of our citizens. Furthermore, as a low-lying Delta-city we take measures to ensure that in 2025, we will have adapted to climate changes. An inspiring example of this is the Floating Pavilion in the Rijnhaven.

We do not work on our own to realize these ambitions. Within the framework of the Rotterdam Climate Initiative (RCI) we cooperate closely with the Port of Rotterdam, the Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond and Deltalinqs. We share a conviction that future generations in Rotterdam need a comfortable, safe and healthy environment where a strong economy, and the port in particular, can flourish. We want to be the forerunner in this area, therein lies our future.

There is proof that the need to operate in a more sustainable way is gaining ground in all sectors, also in the shipping industry. We see a growing conviction that ambitious measures are necessary that are beneficial to both the environment and to a healthy and strong maritime sector. I therefore fully support the goals of CO2 emission reductions and of a carbon neutral growth of shipping from 2020 onwards.

I am proud also of the fact that we have recently presented the Top 25 of the most sustainable sea-going vessels. This ranking is based on the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) scores. The ESI is an initiative of the World Port Climate Initiative and designed by specialists from the ports of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Antwerpen, Hamburg, Bremen and Le Havre. The good news is that as of 1 January 2012 there are 570 sea-going vessels that meet the ESI norms. All these vessels perform better than the legal norm. The Port of Rotterdam offers an incentive to clean ships – they receive a 5% reduction in port dues. This way the Port of Rotterdam rewards vessels that have fewer CO2 emissions and encourages a sustainable shipping industry.

The city of Rotterdam sees the inland shipping industry as a special target group. We offer facilities for shore power that will contribute to cleaner air and CO2 reduction. That way we also take away noise nuisance caused by generators. Furthermore, RCI started a sustainable inland shipping network a few years ago, which will help coordinate the activities for sustainability in inland shipping.

The construction of the LNG terminal (GATE) in the port of Rotterdam also offers a good opportunity for the use of small scale LNG. A growing inland shipping industry – now with Maasvlakte 2 – demands a cleaner inland shipping industry. Through pilot projects we are trying to introduce the use of LNG in inland shipping. I think that it is inspiring that Gerard Deen, owes his title of ‘Port man of the year’ to the development and building of the ‘Argonon’, the first LNG-fuelled inland ship in Europe.

I hope and expect that this conference will inspire the shipping industry to make sustainable decisions, as these will ultimately contribute to an even stronger maritime sector.

Alexandra van Huffelen
Vice Mayor for Sustainability, the City Centre and Public Spaces, City of Rotterdam
SMI2012 Conference Patron