The Port of London, the second largest port in the UK, has indicated its commitment to environmental performance improvement by creating a discount on port charges for cleaner ships. Performance is measured by the Environmental Shipping Index.
The Environmental Shipping Index (ESI) was developed by the World Ports Climate Initiative (WPCI). It ranks an ocean going vessel's environmental performance with criteria including emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide, and carbon dioxide. The Port will discount vessels that have an ESI score of 30, or above, according to GreenSea.com. The ESI is more rigorous than the current emission standards of the International Maritime Organization.
The Initiative aims to encourage ship owners/operators to improve their engines, employ clean fuels, and add technology to reduce emissions.
The Port of London Chairman, Christopher Rodrigues, explains that this discount is only one of several other efforts it will take to reduce any negative impact on the environment. He states, “Our overall goal, set through the Thames Vision project, is to reduce the port's environmental impact and this initiative is the start of that journey.” He considers shipping as “...the most environmentally friendly method of moving large volumes of goods and materials.”
The Port of London has 70 terminals and 10,000 plus commercial ship calls annually, carrying more than 45 million tons of cargo.
According to the WPCI, as of October 1, 2016, 4,610 ships with a positive ESI score are registered and 47 ports offer incentives. A complete list of ports providing incentives can be found here. Major ports, such as Tokyo, Panama Canal, Yokohama, Paris, Busan, Los Angeles, New York and New Jersey, Rotterdam, and Oslo, have also signed on to the initiative. The WPCI has as its goal to sign on all the world's key ports.
Ship owners pay no fee to register; incentive providers are expected to pay small fees for Initiative expenses. Ship owners are responsible for checking and reporting their ESI scores. A more complete description of the ESI scheme can be found here.