Ports constitute the main trade axe worldwide, therefore they should implement the principles of sustainable development, demonstrating great concern on the protection of the environment, since environmental protection is in direct link with cost-effectiveness and development regarding any activity.
PPA SA, being a leader in the Mediterranean area and having a beneficial geographical position in Europe, is in continuous development, according to the principles of sustainability and environmental protection.
PPA SA has elaborated and implements an Environmental Policy, considering the European and National Environmental Legislation, as well as the International Environmental Regulations, whilst it has designed a specific mechanism for the evaluation of the environmental performance of the port activities. PPA SA wishes to go further to a more advanced level of organization and environmental management, by means of the following actions:
- Environmental Management Standard
- Environmental Quality monitoring programs
- Ship-generated Waste Management Plan
- Marine Pollution Preparedness and Response Contingency Plan
PPA SA has achieved an ‘’EcoPorts port’’ status and has joined the Ecoports network (www.ecoports.com). The Ecoports network consists of European ports that have self-assessed their environmental performance, according to the ESPO (European Sea Ports Organization) methodology, Ecoport Self Diagnosis Method (SDM). The assessment criteria have been established by ESPO, based on the European port sector benchmark of environmental performance and the main requirements of international environmental standards, such as ISO 14001 and PERS (Port Environmental Review System).
Ecoports network partners are European ports with a diversity of activities and size, whereas Pireaus Port consists the biggest Mediterranean Port among the partners of the network.
The Environmental Management Standard that PPA SA implements, has been certified since 2004, according to the European Environmental Management System PERS (Port Environmental Review System) of ESPO. Being developed by ESPO for ports, PERS is a well-established Environmental Management Standard within the European port sector, designed to deliver effective port environmental management, whereas the organization of the environmental management system according to the PERS requirements is certified by the independent certification authority of Lloyd’s Register.
In 2017, PPA has been recertified (for the fifth time since 2004) for the implementation of the Environmental Management System in line with the principles and the requirements of the revised edition of PERS (version 5). In the framework of PERS, PPA has elaborated and implements a specific Environmental Policy, whereas is in a continuous process for the registration of the environmental aspects related to its port activities and seeks for the continuous improvement of its environmental performance, according to European and international standards, in order to protect the environment and preserve the natural resources for future generations.
The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978, known as Marpol 73/78, specifies the Mediterranean Sea as ‘special area’ within which any discharge of oil, chemical substances or other solid and liquid waste is forbidden. Each year, million tones of oil and general cargo are shipped via the Mediterranean Sea. Although preventive measures are taken, during those shipments, accidents do occur (e.g. collision, grounding, cargo transfer failure etc.) causing marine pollution, known also as accidental pollution. This kind of pollution is usually caused when large quantities of oil or chemical substances are spilled into the marine environment and therefore the effective management of these incidents is crucial for the impact caused on both the marine environment and the society. Response from the authorities must be immediate and effective.
PPA SA, operating according to the provisions of the Protocol on Preparedness, Response and Co-operation to pollution incidents by Hazardous and Noxious Substances, as to the OPRC Convention and to the Greek legislation, has adopted and implements a Marine Pollution Contingency Plan for oil, hazardous and noxious substances, approved by the local Port State for the preparedness and response to oil, hazardous and noxious substances marine pollution incidents from shipping and offshore installations within the PPA SA port area. This Plan is in line with the National Legislation and compatible with the Local Contingency Plan of the local Port State and the National Contingency Plan, as well.
Image: Response to an oil pollution incident by using absorbents and floating barriers within the PPA SA port area.
PPA SA has elaborated and implements a Ship-generated Waste Management Plan, in line with the European Directive 2000/59/EC on port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues, as embodied in Greek Legislation, as well as according to the International Convention Marpol 73/78 for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.
Through the implementation of this Plan, PPA SA aims at the reduction of discharges into the sea and especially the illegal discharges of ship-generated waste and cargo residues from ships calling at European ports, by improving the availability and use of port reception facilities, thereby enhancing the protection of the marine environment.
PPA SA Ship-generated Waste Management Plan applies to all ships, calling at PPA SA port area, irrespective of the flag they fly. According to this Plan, PPA SA provides port reception facilities, adequate to meet the needs of all kind of ships that normally call at PPA SA port area, without causing them undue delay.
PPA SA, while designing its port reception facilities, takes into consideration the type of ships that normally call at its port area, their operating needs and estimates both the type and amount of waste and cargo residues they generate, in order to ensure the adequacy of the PPA SA port reception facilities.
In the PPA SA Ship-generated Waste Management Plan, waste and cargo residues are categorized according to the International Convention Marpol 73/78, as following:
Annex I: Oily waste
Annex II: Noxious liquid substances carried in bulk
Annex III: Harmful substances carried in packaged form
Annex IV: Sewage
Annex V: Garbage
Annex VI: Ozone-depleting substances
PPA SA provides port reception facilities for all the above-mentioned types of waste and cargo residues, according to the PPA SA Ship-generated Waste Management Plan.
According to this Plan, the ship-generated waste management is divided in:
- Liquid waste management
- Solid waste management
Liquid waste is:
- Oily waste (Annex I), including crude oil, fuel oil, sludge and oil refined products, other than petrochemicals, vegetable and animal oil. Oily waste can also be divided in:
- Oily waste generated in the engine department of any type of ship, including used lubricating oil, fuel residues, sludge and oily bilge water,
- Oily waste generated in ship tanks, including oil cargo residues, oily tank washings, dirty ballast water etc.
- Noxious liquid substances carried in bulk (Annex II), including noxious liquid cargo residues, tank washings and dirty ballast water.
- Harmful liquid substances carried in packaged form (Annex III)
- Sewage (Annex IV), generated from ship lavatories, kitchen areas etc.
Solid waste is:
- Domestic waste (Annex V): food waste, packaging materials (plastic, cans etc.), medical wastes, bottles, paper, glass, plastic etc.
- Operational waste (Annex V), including maintenance waste (machinery maintenance remains, broken parts, rust, oily rags, paint, packaging materials, cargo residues etc.), cargo-associated waste (pallets etc.) and other harmful solid waste (ash of onboard garbage incineration etc.)
- Harmful solid substances carried in packaged form (Annex III)
PPA SA has also organized the Port Reception Facilities Department in order to ensure the effective operation of the PPA SA port reception facilities.
An innovative technology on the sewage reception services is applied in the Cruise area. More specific, a permanent sewage network is operated in this area and the cruise ships calling at PPA SA Cruise Terminal may discharge their sewage by connecting to this permanent network, which connects to the urban sewage network with final recipient the Wastewater Treatment Plant of Athens in Psittallia. This permanent port sewage reception network was constructed to meet the increased needs of visiting cruise ships during the Olympic Games ‘’Athens 2004’’ and since then many cruise ships have benefitted due to saving of discharge time. Saving of energy and fuel, reduction of air emissions and traffic congestion avoidance are also achieved, in comparison with delivering cruise ship-generated sewage on tanker trucks.
PPA SA implements environmental quality monitoring programs in collaboration with universities and external experts. Monitoring results may indicate special areas and issues of concern, needing improvement. Thus, PPA SA can evaluate its environmental performance and take proper corrective measures when necessary.
In particular, PPA SA focuses on the following issues:
- Seawater quality
In collaboration with University of Piraeus (Greece) and Cardiff University (UK), PPA SA implements a seawater quality monitoring program each year. Twice a year, seawater and sediment sampling takes place within the entire PPA SA port area and collected samples are tested for marine pathogens and physical and chemical parameters.
During the dredging works within the port area of Central Port (Passenger and Cruise Terminals), a special technical study was elaborated regarding the sound management of the dredged materials.
Image: Surface seawater samples collected for testing.
Image: Surface seawater samples collected for testing.
Image: Sediment sample is collected from the seabed using a special grab.
- Noise quality
PPA SA implements an acoustic environment quality monitoring program for its entire port area. PPA SA has undertaken corrective actions considering the evaluation of the results from noise level measurements and relevant noise studies. Such an action is the installation of noise barriers along the borders of a school in Perama area, located at close proximity to the port.
In parallel, the enhancement of the plantation which takes place in the port’s surrounding area, not only improves the area’s aesthetics, but also contributes to noise absorption, even in places that are indirectly affected by noise caused by port activities.
Image: Noise measurements at PPA SA container stevedoring area.
- Air quality
Climate change and greenhouse effect are major issues that concern our society. Anthropogenic activities are regarded as the main source of CO2 emissions, which contribute to the greenhouse effect and solutions that will lead to the effective mitigation of this problem, are sought.
PPA SA, acknowledging the severity of this issue and although its activities do not relate directly to it, has initiated and implements a pilot quality monitoring program of the atmospheric environment in the port area, taking into consideration both direct and indirect port activities.
In order to implement this monitoring program, an Air Quality Monitoring Station has been installed in the N-NW area of the Central Piraeus Port (Passenger and Cruise Terminals), in collaboration with the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA – School of Chemical Engineers), fully equipped for the inventory of air pollutants’ concentrations on 24 hour basis. The aim is, by assessing the monitoring station inventories, to result in useful information about the levels and distribution of air pollutants in the atmosphere, as well as to identify the main air pollutant sources.
Image: The Air Quality Monitoring Station in PPA SA port area.
Image: Inventory instruments in the PPA SA Air Pollutants Monitoring Station.
PPA SA has elaborated a Technical Study concerning the enhancement of the plantation in collaboration with Agricultural University of Athens for the entire port land area, aiming at enhancing the area’s aesthetics, improving the micro-climate through the removal of certain pollutants from the air and optimizing the plants’ maintenance conditions, such as water saving, sound use of pesticides etc.
PPA SA enhances the existing landscape by planting new local species of trees and bushes, such as Cercis silliquastrum, Ceratonia siliqua, Elaeagnus angustifolius, Rosmarinus officinallis, Nerium oleander etc., according to the Technical Study outcomes. Thus, PPA SA contributes to the improvement of the micro-climate and the aesthetics of the surrounding urban area and achieves a better quality of life in the entire area.
Image: New plantings in the Ikonio-Perama area, near the new PPA SA Container Terminal (Pier I).
- · Energy management
PPA SA initiates the awareness of its employees regarding good practices for energy saving.
PPA SA also implements energy saving measures by means of:
- purchasing electrical equipment depending on the energy class and certification
- scheduled and frequent maintenance of cooling and heating infrastructures
- replacement of incandescent lamps with energy saving ones
In parallel, PPA SA seeks ways of energy saving in buildings and therefore has constructed a green roof on the top of the new office building at the PPA SA Container Terminal (Pier I), where plant species, such as Levandula, Rosmarinus officinallis etc., have been planted. Thus, PPA SA achieves reduction of the building’s energy demands, for both heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. The green roof consists also an aesthetics element of the building, improving the view of the residents in the upwards Perama area.
PPA SA also schedules actions for the evaluation of its buildings’ energy efficiency, whilst at the moment is studying the implementation of Renewable Energy Resources (RES) projects.
Image: Green roof on the top of the new office building at PPA SA Container Terminal (Pier I).
- On-shore generated Waste management
PPA SA has organized and implements an on-shore generated Waste Management System for the on-shore generated waste (in offices, workshops, passenger terminals, warehouses etc.), according to which, waste segregation and recycling takes place.
Office-generated waste is:
- Paper –Glass – Packages
- Empty ink cartridges & toners
- Portable batteries and accumulators
- Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
Workshop and in other areas-generated waste is:
- Used Lubricating Oils
- Vehicles and other industrial type accumulators
- Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
- Vehicle and machinery tires
- Workshop operational waste
- Dry docks (stationary and floating) operational waste
- Excavation, construction and demolition waste
For the implementation of the PPA SA on-shore generated Waste Management System, PPA SA collaborates with Alternative Waste Management Systems and private waste collection companies, authorized by the relevant competent authorities, ensuring high cleanliness standards at the waste collection spots, where proper waste collection bins have been placed, the avoidance of overflowing waste and the constant awareness of employees and port users.
Image: Waste collection bins placed within the PPA SA port area.