This week, I participated in a panel at the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference titled: “Beyond the Headlines – How the industry implements environmental improvements.” The panel represented some of the biggest powerhouses in the port industry talking about environmental performance and sustainability, including:
- James Jack, Executive Director, Coalition for Responsible Transportation (CRT)
- Dean Tracy, Director of Import Transportation, Lowe’s
- Curtis Foltz, Executive Director, Georgia Ports Authority
- Tony Chiarello, President and CEO, TOTE, Inc.
- Rick Gabrielson, Senior Director, International Transportation, Target Corporation
Peter Tirschwell, Senior Vice President of Strategy, UBM Global Trade, Journal of Commerce, moderated the discussion.
Each of the speakers shared some new and exciting initiatives going on within their organizations. Some of the highlights included:
- Information on the two new LNG containerships recently purchased by Tony’s company, TOTE. Scheduled to be operational on short hauls in US waters in 2014, the over 700 foot long containerships are expected to be the largest ships of any type in the world to be primarily powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). This new technology was developed as part of an effort for short sea shippers to comply with the new fuel standards that have been adopted as part of the emission control area (ECA).
- New environmental efforts underway at the Georgia Ports Authority include the first electric rubber tired gantry crane
- Corporate sustainability initiatives underway at Lowe’s
- Corporate sustainability initiatives underway at Target
- The Coalition for Responsible Transportation, an industry association committed to supporting sustainability efforts at ports
I’d like to thank Georgia Ports Authority for the invitation to participate in this year’s conference, and for their leadership in incorporating environmental sustainability as part of their overall strategic plan. Recognizing and highlighting powerful players focused on sustainability and best practices in the industry is just plain good business.