Environmental Issues in Port Competitiveness

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  • Topic: World's busiest port, Port, Environment
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  • Published : October 30, 2012
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ATLANTIC GATEWAY INITIATIVE CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND TRANSPORTATION WORKING PAPER 7

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN PORT COMPETITIVENESS

Michelle ADAMS Eco-Efficiency Centre Dalhousie University Pablo QUINONEZ School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS, Canada Athanasios A. PALLIS Department of Shipping, Trade and Transport University of the Aegean, Chios, Greece Thomas H. WAKEMAN Center for Maritime Systems Stevens Institute of Technology,

The intellectual property in these papers remains with the authors. Material in this publication may be freely quoted, but acknowledgement is requested, by listing all authors and referring to the working paper number in the Atlantic Gateway Working Paper series, and the web site you have accessed to download the paper. The Atlantic Gateway Research Initiative is funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, and hosted by the Centre for International Trade and Transportation

E NVIRO NME NT AL I S S UE S ABSTRACT

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P O RT C O MPE T IT IVE NE S S

What is the role of environmental performance in port competitiveness? The port industry has often faced governmental mandates for achieving regulatory compliance, including safety, security or environmental requirements. Meeting these requirements has been typically perceived as added costs. Still, some have suggested that a port’s environmental compliance, or even more aggressive environmental practices, could be transformed into a business attribute that would produce an enhancement of a port’s competitive position. With the assistance of desktop research and a survey of existing environmental performance practices, this study examines whether port authorities in practice already endorse this concept, and to what extent, and how, is environmental performance, or might be, a supportive competitive factor for Halifax and other Atlantic Canada ports in their attempt to (re-)emerge as major players for ocean borne trade. The research findings suggest while there is not yet a clear ‘business case’ associating ‘environmental performance’ with direct port competitiveness, Enhancing this performance needs to be prioritized as a mean to address current needs and as an - at least - supportive condition for developing an Atlantic Gateway. KEYWORDS Environmental Performance; Drivers and motives; Business models; Survey Corresponding Author Michelle ADAMS* Eco-Efficiency Centre Dalhousie University, Halifax NS Canada B3H 1W7 T.: 902.494.4588 F.: 902.494.3728 Pablo QUINONEZ School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS, Canada Athanasios A. PALLIS Department of Shipping, Trade and Transport, University of the Aegean, Chios, Greece Thomas H. WAKEMAN Center for Maritime Systems Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken NJ, USA * Michelle Adams will act as the Corresponding Author

e-mail: Michelle.Adams@dal.ca

e-mail: pabloq@dal.ca

e-mail: apallis@aegean.gr

e-mail: Thomas.Wakeman@stevens.edu

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E NVIRO NME NT AL I S S UE S INTRODUCTION

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P O RT C O MPE T IT IVE NE S S

The maritime sector is composed of highly competitive businesses that survive on razor-thin margins. This is particularly true of the port industry that has often faced governmental mandates for achieving regulatory compliance, including safety, security or environmental requirements. Meeting these requirements has been typically perceived as added costs that hamper a port’s efforts to compete in the sea trade marketplace as they drive up the costs of services. The requirements are not going away, nor should they; so is there an opportunity to reverse this perception from being viewed as a liability to being viewed as an opportunity? Some have suggested that a port’s environmental compliance, or even more aggressive environmental practices, could be transformed into a business attribute that...
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