The Port of Galveston has been recertified as a Green Marine port, confirming its long-term commitment to continuous improvement in environmental performance.
“We are one of only two Texas ports certified by the voluntary environmental program for North America’s maritime industry,” said Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves Port Director and CEO (pictured).
“We joined Green Marine in 2019, were first certified in 2021 and have been certified annually since then. To receive recertification, participants must benchmark their annual environmental performance through Green Marine’s self-evaluation guides and show improvement each year.
Our results are verified by an accredited external verifier and published by Green Marine,” Rees said.
Participating in Green Marine helps to identify and implement best practices, manage environmental programmes, measure progress and strive for continuous improvement.
“With the commitment of our board of trustees and staff, we’re identifying opportunities for partnerships on environmental programs unimagined just a few years ago,” Rees added.
Shore power, LNG-powered ships, solar power and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are port initiatives undertaken to reduce air emissions.
Representatives from the Galveston Wharves, Carnival Corp, CenterPoint Energy, Royal Caribbean Group, Shell and Texas A&M University at Galveston are exploring the potential of connecting berthed ships to shoreside electricity rather than using on board diesel auxiliary engines to generate electricity, Rees further explained.
Galveston’s first EV charging stations will be available for port cruise parking customers soon. The Port of Galveston was awarded two Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Programme (TXVEMP) grants totalling $35,000 toward the purchase of 28 universal EV charging stations to be installed in port parking areas.
In addition, the port is investing $40,000 in the project.
Galveston is also the home port for the newly built ‘Carnival Jubilee’, which is equipped to use LNG as a fuel.
Royal Caribbean’s new cruise terminal at Pier 10 is the first cruise terminal to generate 100% of its energy from on-site solar panels. This makes the facility the world’s first LEED Zero Energy cruise terminal.
The port is also partnering with community and business stakeholders on smaller projects to promote shared environmental goals.
The port staff regularly meets with neighbourhood and civic groups and participates in volunteer events, such as Maritime Day, Share Your Christmas and beach cleanups.
“We landscaped areas of the Royal Caribbean cruise terminal with native plantings with a $5,000 grant from Clean Galveston.
“All these programmes strengthen our relationships with our business partners and the community, while making positive, long-term environmental impacts,” Rees explained.
Business partners, Metro Ports, Ports of America and Ceres Terminals have joined the port in becoming Green Marine participants. Metro and Ceres are certified for Galveston, and Ports of America is aiming for Galveston certification next year.
“As we grow our circle of port partners, sharing ideas and efforts along the way, we collectively have a bigger impact,” Rees concluded.