During the last couple of years, there have been much global news and new EU regulations concerning environmental issues, especially also in the maritime sector. This had a measurable impact on the current or future day-to-day activities in ports and especially also on the harbour’s energy and environmental profile. There are already several official documents describing the vision for a future sustainable port – for example, EU Green Deal, EU’s Fit for 55 package and ESPO Green Guide 2021. All put great focus on environmental concerns and energy efficiency. These are important issues and require certain actions from port authorities. Addressing them can be a difficult task, especially for smaller ports. Missing funds and limited personnel make it hard to dedicate enough time and resources to perform appropriate considerations.
To support port authorities in meeting the challenge posed by the energy transformation in the whole maritime sector, the Energy-wise Port (EVISA)-project developed self-evaluation tools for port authorities. The EVISA tools enable the ports to establish their own strategic energy management plans, assess their carbon footprint and find out the right ways to decrease their environmental impacts. The energy-wise port of the future, according to the EVISA project, will be energy- and resource-efficient, as well as low carbon.
Self-assessment tools to improve the energy efficiency of ports
The goal is to first evaluate the energy-related baseline for the port and in the end to develop an energy management roadmap based on all previously collected information - addressing important energy efficiency issues and introducing environmental measures. The easy-to-use tools include a vast set of questions and case-related instructions based on the information available from the harbours. The compiled set of questions and procedure recommendations were tested as case studies in real-life conditions during the EVISA project.
There are four different self-assessment tools and one planning tool: a sustainability pre-survey, an energy mapping survey, a renewable energy potential assessment tool, a carbon footprint calculator and a strategic energy management planning tool. Each of those can be handled separately. However, especially the planning tool benefits from using the various self-assessment tools beforehand. Every tool has its own guidebook and supporting materials. Time requirements vary between the different tools and depend strongly on the availability of information and expertise of the person assigned to conduct the assessment. While some tools require practical knowledge about the port’s daily operations, others are easier to handle from a management perspective.
The project is implemented by the Water, Energy and Environmental research unit of the University of Oulu. In addition to this, a couple of Finnish ports took part in the project as test beds for the developed self-assessment tools. Furthermore, the national Finnish Port Association is committed to the project and acts as a dissemination channel and provides a home base for the tools even after the project ends. The project received funding from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ERDF) from 01.01.2020 to 31.12.2022.
Where to find the tools?
These tools are presented shortly on this page and each section contains also the tools themselves that can be freely downloaded.
Pre-survey-"How sustainable is your port?"
The first step, when a port wants to improve energy-efficiency or take other actions to decrease emissions, is to assess the status quo. What kind of energy and environment related measures are currently carried out in the port, what actions have already been taken to address these issues? Is a port pioneer in this field, or is there still room for improvement so that the national and EU level emission targets are reached? What steps should be taken on the road to become a green port? This pre-survey is a rapid test, which evaluates the current level of sustainability of the port and paves way for the use of the following tools. You can find the pre-syrvey below as well as a short manual and a link to a tutorial video.
Energy mapping survey
This survey collects background data about the port and about current energy monitoring and follow-up systems. This includes also detailed information about the energy, water and fuel consumption, and how they are measured. In connection to the evaluation of energy consumption and management, the current processes that are used will be assessed hierarchically from more general towards detailed level, from total consumption to consumption of smaller units.
This survey will result in an overall picture about the energy usage in the port. Based on this, the first conclusions and recommendations can be made to change the current practices. The survey reveals also the most energy intensive operations, when it comes to usage of electricity or other fuels. Concrete recommendations and conclusions can be drawn up from the survey, for instance for updating the energy-efficiency of equipment and vehicles, or for utilisation of renewable energy sources. This tool package contains the following items:
Renewable energy potential assessment
With the help of this tool ports can find out, what is the renewable energy potential in their port area. The assessment takes into account both external factors, such as annual wind and sun accumulation, but also economic viability the investments. The tool is user-friendly and does not require in-depth technical knowledge from the user. The main focus of the assessment is on sun and wind energy, which utilise web based tools (Global Wind Atlas & PVGIS Photovoltaic Geographical Information System). The results received from these systems will be utilised in the actual EVISA tool. This tool package includes the following items:
Carbon footprint calculation
What port activities constitute the biggest greenhouse emissons? Which are the most significant emission sources and development objects, which have most room for improvement? You can find out the answers to these questions by calculating the carbon footprint of the port. This tool can be used to map out the greenhouse gas emissions of the port, which are caused by energy consumption as well as by fuel usage of visiting ocean-going vessels, harbour crafts, cargo-handling equipment and heavy road vehicles. This tool package contains the tool itself and instructions on how to use it:
Strategic energy management plan
The strategic development of ports require also drafting a long-term energy management plan, which takes into account the previously acknowledged deficiencies and gaps, and lays out a road towards "energy wise" port. The planning tool that has been developed in EVISA, instructs the user in creation of of a vision for the port through assessment of current gaps in energy management. Using the tool's priority matrices, the most suitable measures for the port are selected and realistic implementation schedules are draw up for them. This tool package includes the following items: