EcoPorts News

ESPO Conference celebrates 20th anniversary of its green network, EcoPorts

30 May 2017

The 20th anniversary of the EcoPorts network has been celebrated today during the first day of the annual ESPO Conference, which takes place in Barcelona this year.

EcoPorts, the main environmental initiative of the European port sector, started in 1997 as a separate initiative of a number of proactive ports and has now grown into a solid network of almost 100 ports, working on the improvement of their environmental performance. Since 2011, EcoPorts has been fully integrated into the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO).

 “EcoPorts helps European ports to deliver on their sustainability goals. Ports in Europe combine commercial and public interests. Most of them consider themselves as mission-driven entities and sustainability is at the centre of their mission. For many ports, joining Ecoports is a first step towards greening their port”, says Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General of ESPO.

A special session in the ESPO conference, dedicated to the 20 years of Ecoports

During the session, presentations by Chris Wooldridge, science coordinator of EcoPorts, Sotiris Raptis, EcoPorts coordinator and senior advisor of ESPO, and Frans De Kruif, lead assessor at Lloyd’s Register, allowed the audience to understand how the EcoPorts network has developed over the years and how it gained in professionalism and added value.

This 20th anniversary must also be seen as a milestone. A renewal of the EcoPorts tools and a complete new set of communication tools have been developed, i.e. an updated website, a new brochure to present the EcoPorts tools and a publication on the history of EcoPorts.

During the celebration in Barcelona, ESPO also looked towards the future: “We are celebrating 20 years of EcoPorts with the aim of further strengthening the network and of assisting more European ports to protect the environment, improve public health and address the challenges of climate change”, said Sotiris Raptis, EcoPorts coordinator and senior advisor of ESPO.

Update: renewal of EcoPorts tools

The aim of the well-established EcoPorts tools is to assist ports to self-assess and improve their environmental management.

By completing the Self Diagnosis Method (SDM), a checklist of more than 250 questions, ports can join the network and become EcoPorts members. Furthermore, ports can apply to obtain a comparison of their performance’s score with the European benchmark and receive expert’s advice and customised recommendations on how to improve the environmental performance.

Last but not least, the Port Environmental Review System (PERS), has firmly established its reputation as the only port sector specific environmental management standard. PERS doesn’t merely incorporate the main general requirements of recognised environmental management standards (e.g. ISO 14001), but it also takes into account the specificities of ports. PERS, which is independently certified by Lloyd’s Register, builds upon the policy recommendations of ESPO and gives ports clear objectives to aim for.

For more information on EcoPorts, please visit the new website:

Green your Port, Join EcoPorts!