Ports, Trading Partners Worldwide Gather in San Pedro to Tackle Global Sustainability Issues 

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — Feb. 24, 2012 — Working together to build a more prosperous and sustainable future was the focus of the Third Pacific Ports Clean Air Collaborative Conference (PPCAC) held this week at the Port of Los Angeles. The international conference, which concluded today, drew about 125 participants representing ports from around the Pacific Rim, Asia, the Americas, Europe and Australia.  Also on hand for the two-day conference were representatives from well-known shipping and cruise lines, terminal operators, regulatory agencies, think tanks and environmental consultants. 

"Enormous gains have been made in reducing emissions tied to goods movement," said Jared Blumenfeld, Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Pacific Southwest Region, who was a keynote speaker at the conference and urged attendees to continue their efforts. "But as the U.S. moves toward its goal of increasing exports, we need to make goods movement cleaner. Not only is it better for the environment, it also helps improve the health of those who live in the desperately disadvantaged communities where many of these rail, trucking and shipping hubs are located."

Under the theme “Changes for a Sustainable Future,” conference participants exchanged strategies for greening the supply chain, combating climate change, identifying business opportunities for environmental innovation, and Corporate Social Responsibility approaches to partnering with communities for responsible port development. Participants networked under the guiding principle of the “Triple Bottom Line,” whose three pillars are environmental protection, economic prosperity and social responsibility.

“This week in Los Angeles, ports and their partners around the globe demonstrated they are more committed than ever to pooling our resources and expertise so the economic, social and environmental benefits of trade reach everyone,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.  “As the birthplace of numerous cutting-edge environmental initiatives -- including the first Pacific Ports Clean Air Collaborative -- the Port of Los Angeles is honored to continue its role as a global leader in advancing healthier, better business practices in the port and maritime industries,” Knatz said.

The Third PPCAC was a working conference during which panelists representing ports and their partners shared best practices, emerging standards, state-of-the-art technology, and scientific and technical know-how behind environmental projects and initiatives. Workshops included discussions about current and future trends in terminal automation terminals, port related emissions reductions strategies, and shrinking port carbon footprints to mitigate climate change.

Speakers also shared valuable, on-the-ground experience implementing environmental strategies. The Climate Change session included a presentation on Japanese ports in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami and earthquakes and the challenge of making infrastructure decisions in the face of rising sea levels.

The Port of Los Angeles teamed up with its sister port, the Port of Shanghai, to launch the groundbreaking conference in Los Angeles in 2006. The second conference followed in Shanghai in 2008.

In addition to the U.S. and China, Pacific Rim nations represented at this week’s conference were Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Australia, Chile, Mexico and Canada. European nations represented were Denmark and the Netherlands.

Participants represented ports, shipping lines, terminal operators, railroads, trucking, regulatory agencies, universities, equipment manufacturers, community and other groups. Many are also members of the World Ports Climate Initiative, a project of the International Associations of Ports and Harbors (IAPH).

The focus on sustainability expands upon PPCAC’s initial emphasis on air pollution reduction. It also speaks to a broader environmental ethic uniting an industry that has made major strides in combating pollution and is committed to making more progress going forward, said Knatz, who is also the current president of IAPH.

“The maritime industry is embracing its responsibility to tackle tough problems together,” she said. “Our success and our future depend on it.”

The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port supports more than 830,000 regional jobs and $35 billion in annual wages and tax revenues.

The Port of Los Angeles – A cleaner port.  A brighter future.