Twenty-two shipping lines were honored today, May 14, 2014, by the Port of Long Beach for their efforts to improve air quality by slowing down or deploying cleaner vessels – or both – at the Port’s first Environmental Achievement Awards.
Formerly the Green Flag and Green Ship Awards, the annual event has been re-introduced as the Environmental Achievement Awards to reflect the participation of vessel operators in both Green Ship and Green Flag programs.
At the event, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award for his leadership and dedication to environmental stewardship.
“Congratulations to Mayor Foster, and to all the winners of the Green Flag, Green Ship and Environmental Achievement Awards. We greatly appreciate what they’ve done to improve air quality for Long Beach and beyond,” said Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Doug Drummond.
The Port’s Green Flag Program was created in 2005 and participation today is nearly universal. In 2013, the most recent eligibility period for the awards, 98.9 percent of all ships calling at Long Beach slowed to 12 knots within 20 nautical miles of the Port. In 2009, the Port added the 40-nautical-mile option and last year, more than 87.9 percent of vessels slowed within 40 nautical miles.
Slower ships burn less fuel, producing less pollution. This program offers financial incentives for participation as well as a green flag. Green Flag participants were awarded $2.9 million in dockage incentives in 2013. Seven of the largest vessel operators were honored as top performers, earning special Green Flags this year for the impact of their air quality efforts.
Meanwhile, eight shipping lines received a Green Ship award, a program that since July 2012 has encouraged vessel operators to assign the cleanest, lowest-emission ships to Long Beach. Green Ship participants were presented $460,000 in incentives.
The newest award, Environmental Excellence, was awarded to seven vessel operators for participation in both the Green Flag and Green Ship programs: Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd., Matson Navigation, “K” Line, Mitsui OSK, Mediterranean Shipping Co., Orient Overseas Container Line and Wallenius Wilhelmsen.
The Green Flag winners in the 20-nautical-mile category were Carnival Cruise Lines and CMA CGM, and in the 40-nautical-mile category: Alaska Tanker, COSCO, NYK, Pacific International Lines and Zim.
Green Ship award winners were Tesoro Maritime, Unisea Shipping, Wan Hai Lines, Pacific Basin Chartering, ConocoPhillips, Navig8 Group, Chembulk Trading, and Oxbow Carbon & Minerals.
In all, more than 200 vessel operators were awarded Green Flags for participation in 2013, and qualified for reductions on dockage fees. The Green Flag and Green Ship programs are just two of the many Green Port initiatives that have helped the Port to dramatically decrease air pollution from port-related operations. Since 2005, nitrogen oxides are down 54 percent, diesel exhaust is down 81 percent, and sulfur oxides – which mainly comes from ships – is down 88 percent.