Maritime sector lauded for green practices at annual awards

The Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) won two of the three titles given to the maritime sector at the annual Singapore Environmental Achievement Award.
The Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) won two of the three titles given to the maritime sector at the annual Singapore Environmental Achievement Award. ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - Green practices in the maritime sector were recognised at an annual environmental awards ceremony on Wednesday evening, with the industry scooping up three of the six titles.

The Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) won two of the three titles given to the sector, including the overall Outstanding Singapore Environmental Achievement Award. It was also named joint-winner for the public sector category together with the Nanyang Technological University.

MPA, Singapore's regulator of maritime issues, won for initiatives such as the setting up of the MPA Sustainability Office. The office drives programmes such as the $100 million Maritime Singapore Green Initiative, which encourages the shipping community to adopt eco-friendly ship designs and technologies, use cleaner fuels and better manage their operations.

At MPA's piers and facilities, energy-efficient lighting and solar panels have also been installed and recycling practices introduced.

The third award went to the Orient Overseas Container Line, which won a regional award. It had launched initiatives such as investing in state-of-the-art green technology for its vessels and adopting fuel-saving initiatives that cut their carbon dioxide emissions by more than 40 per cent since 2004.

The annual Singapore Environmental Achievement Award, first launched in 1997, is organised by the Singapore Environment Council to inspire local commitment to green issues.

Representatives from the winning organisations, including hotel Marina Bay Sands, semiconductor firm Ardentec Singapore as well as engineering company SystemNix Technologies, received their plaques from Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan, who was guest-of-honour at the event in Shangri-La Hotel.

MPA's chief executive Andrew Tan said it was encouraged to be recognised for its green efforts.

"As one of the world's busiest ports and largest transshipment hubs, Singapore can show how we can be both economically dynamic and sustainable as a global hub port."

The event also celebrated the Singapore Environment Council's 20th anniversary, during which council chairman Isabella Loh announced that it will be working with the Northwest Community Development Council and the National Parks Board (NParks) to launch new biodiversity trails at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

An orchid named after the council was also unveiled at the event.

Called the Dendrobium Singapore Environment Council, it is a Dendrobium hybrid that produces yellow flowers.