Sustainable Development at ports
Ports have the moral responsibility towards the planet, to sustain its carrying capacity, while achieving their economic targets. Krishnapatnam Port is a shining example of a port balancing its environmental responsibilities with economic objectives
Ports have the moral responsibility towards the planet, to sustain its carrying capacity, while achieving their economic targets. Krishnapatnam Port is a shining example of a port balancing its environmental responsibilities with economic objectives.
The idea of sustainable development as a concept, dates back to 20th century in the era of industrial revolution. As the first evidences of environmental crisis started, the consensus that, economic growth cannot be achieved indefinitely with the existing utilization pattern, started to arise among the global communities. It culminated in UN Conference on the Human environment in 1972 as the concept of sustainable development. This concept suggests that it is possible to achieve economic growth and industrialization without environmental damage.
Over the decades, the definition of sustainable development evolved. It is defined as “the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. This addresses two fundamental issues – the need of economic growth to alleviate poverty and the problems of environmental degradation that accompany economic growth. So, this concept has three dimensions: Social development, Economic growth and Environmental protection – that holistically ensures a good quality of life to everyone.
Why sustainable development is needed at ports?
Development of ports and their associated operations contribute significantly to international trade, economic development of the countries and direct & indirect employment in the region. However, there are numerous challenges to ports – they must reconcile commercial and social objectives, be compliant to environmental laws, withstand environmental risks, etc. Given these challenges, integrating the concept of sustainability in all its policies like, port designing, infrastructure planning, business models, investment decisions, CSR activities etc., can help to unleash the potential of a port to contribute to the nation’s development without compromising on ecological and social objectives. Globally, many ports have started to incorporate the concept of sustainability in their vision and mission. For example,
1. European Ports came up with an initiative of “Ecoports” under European Sea Ports Organisation, in order to raise awareness on environmental protection at ports. They follow the mechanisms like Self Diagnosis Method, that can enable port managers to self-assess environmental management programme and port environmental review system, that come up with port specific environment management standards. They also follow environmentally differentiated charges for vessels. 2. Singapore Port Authority's “Next Generation Port 2030” vision embraces automation, digitisation and Artificial Intelligence to make Port smart and green.
3. Rotterdam Port Authorities have incorporated the vision of
Paris Agreement into their energy systems planning like, utilization of residual heat from port and surrounding industries for energy needs, carbon capture and storage technologies etc.
In the Indian Scenario, we have to engrain this sustainable development into our economic development models. Here there is a case study, of how Krishnapatnam Port on the east coast of India has been growing at unprecedented growth rates of around 25 per cent through its sustainability vision.
Krishnapatnam Port envisioned to become the most sustainable port in the country. The Port authorities have created an organisational eco-system to confront the issues of climate change and resource scarcity by looking at sustainability perspective of the port operations. It adopted clear strategies in three dimensions: Economic dimension:
1. Infrastructure planning: Krishnapatnam Port ensures that its infrastructure must aim for efficient operations with faster turn-aroundtime and minimal wastage. coal conveyor system, edible oil pipelines, cargo-wise dedicated railway sidings, state of the art equipment like Liebherr, Gottwald, RTGS, crawlers, automated fertilizer bagging systems, etc., are deployed to ensure energy efficiency, rational
human resource utilization, and economic viability of the port. 2. Stakeholders engagement:
Port involves its different stakeholders like customers, employees, customs, local residents and govt in many of its decisions. This helps to plan port operations and future expansion by looking at all of their perspectives.
3. Customer-centric Business model: Krishnapatnam Port believes that customer empowerment is very important for the economic sustainability of the port. Various strategies like single-window clearance system, 24/7 customer support,
ICT technologies like Kyte control to enable customer to track their shipments, real-time pricing methodologies, green channel strategy to arrive at truck turn-around time of 1.5 hours that ensures time efficiency, automated infrastructure to efficiently handle cargo, non-disclosure agreements to ensure customer privacy, etc., put the customer at the centre of business model.
1. Inclusive growth:
Krishnapatnam Port is aiming to build an eco-system around the port with every one benefiting from this system and all working together for sustainable development of the port. Its CSR activities include:
a) Education: Providing free english medium education to the poor children of the surrounding villages, World-class boarding school for meritorious poor children, free evening tuitions for govt school children, scholarships for higher education, sponsorships to sporting talents etc. b) Health: Free primary health centres for the poor people in the surrounding region, periodic health camps, mobile-health units, homeo-clinics, dental clinics, free medicines for employees. c) Nutrition: Providing free food to employees, mid-day meals for school children, setting up RO plants.
d) Skill development: Skilling in the areas of security, fire fighting, driving, welding, solar installations, crane operations. and specific training for women in tailoring, hospitality, bouquet making, kitchen maintenance. e) Employee engagement: Periodic skilling, rejuvenation activities, career development programmes, enhancing soft skills etc. f) Community Development: Renovation of cultural centers, schools; development of parks and roads; extending hand during natural disasters; etc.
2. Alignment with govt’s social objectives: Krishnapatnam Port partners with govt schemes like Swachh Bharat, Sagarmala, Kaushal Vikas yojana, Start up India, Stand up India, Digital India, Pradhan mantri Ujjwala yojana etc.
Krishnapatnam Port is envisioned to become a “Garden Port”. It rightly identified that greening its operations can reinforce its economic and social sustainability. So, environmental consciousness is not a boutique thing for them, but it’s one of the core activities of their every business decision. 1. Biodiversity and conservation: Port’s vision went beyond the legal compliances to protect coastal eco-system. It knows that preserving mangroves and local bio-diversity can act as hedge against any climate-related risks in future. So, they developed more than 50 hectares of mangroves and planted local specific saplings of more than 3.5 million. This green belt has reduced the local temperature by about 2-3°C, that broke the belief of rise in temperatures due to industrialization. 2. Water Management: Water resources are finite and hence have to be utilized in a careful manner. Krishnapatnam Port has policy on water management and thereby fulfil all its requirements through Smart, Wise and Green acts. a) Smart: Deployed technologies like Atomizers to reduce water consumption for dust suppression, vacuum based dust sweeping systems.
b) Wise: Recycled water is used for green belt development, storm water is used for dust suppression, used water from Garage truck wash is used for road wetting. c) Green: Almost 41 per cent of rain water is preserved through rain water harvesting ponds.
3. Waste management: There are sewage treatment plants to recycle about 14 per cent of used water. 4. Energy emissions: To avoid emissions from inter-carting, coal conveyor belts, edible oil pipelines, railway sidings till storage yards, electrified railway lines, electrified cranes etc. are deployed. 5. Environmental Consciousness: Port conducts a yearly programme of “Van Mahotsav” and makes employees to plant saplings and take care of them.
6. Green Mous: Environment (EHS) dept at port signs MOU with other departments for implementing safety measures and environmental protection.
Hence, Krishnapatnam Port is standing as a good example of sustaining consistent economic growth by integrating their environmental and social objectives with the business objectives.
About the Author
Anil Yendluri (IPS) is the Director and CEO of Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd. Under his able leadership Krishnapatnam Port has been showing tremendous developments and is instrumental in creating new records, winning awards and accolades. Mr Yendluri earlier is his career served as Addl. SP at Kottayam, Kollam, Kerela; SP, Palakkad, Kannur, Thrissur; Commissioner of Police, Kozhikode, Kochi, Ernakulam; DIG and IG of Kerala. He also served as SP, CBI at New Delhi, Visakhapatnam. He has been deputed to UN Mission in Bosnia & Herzegovina.