News & Events

October, 2014

SOHAR aims to plant a seed through inaugural Environmental Management Programme

SOHAR Port and Freezone has launched its first Environmental Management Programmes in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs. The five-day programme will see 10 MECA employees collaborate with the logistical hub’s Environmental Unit over the coming days, in a bid to strengthen ties with the government authority and share knowledge and experiences that will be vital in ensuring that Oman’s and SOHAR’s economic growth are aligned with the highest international environmental standards.



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Despite having one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world – 0.17% – Oman has signalled its intention to ensure growth does not come at the expense of its rich natural ecosystems and biodiversity, and the new programme reflects a desire to increase understanding and cooperation in pursuit of what Executive Commercial Manager Edwin Lammers says is a commitment and responsibility that is shared by SOHAR.



“Growing within the carrying capacity of the local environment is a fundamental part of our business model and we take the potential impact of increased productivity on carbon emissions and climate change very seriously. In 2013, for example, we became the first port in the Middle East to introduce a reward scheme for ships that qualify under the Environmental Ship Index’s clean ship system,” said Mr. Lammers.



“Worldwide there are around 1,700 ships with a valid ESI score and our scheme means clean vessels calling at the Port are able to claim a rebate on their duties based on their Environmental Ship Index score. We were also the first in the Middle East and one of an elite group of 30 ports and harbours worldwide to have entered the Green Award Scheme, which encourages ships and ship-owners to embrace environmentally-friendly operations. Over 200 ships – mainly dry bulk and 20,000 DWT ships – are Green Award certified.”



In addition to bringing SOHAR’s Environment Unit and government representatives together, the initiative sought to identify ways to engage customers and investors seeking to use SOHAR as a gateway to booming Gulf economies. With the port and freezone bracing for further growth, the arrival of new investment and infrastructure, mean instilling environmental principles across the supply chain are of equal importance.



“Global supply chains are coming under intense scrutiny throughout the world, and as we continue to grow over the coming years, there is no doubt that we will have to work together to maintain traceability within the growing number of countries, industries, and the customers that we interact with,” said Mr. Lammers.



“Our credentials speak for themselves; together with investments totalling US$21 billion, over a decade of double-digit growth, and exceptional customer service, our environmental record was one of the main reasons we were awarded the title of 2013 Port Authority by Seatrade ME. We are also fortunate to be able to draw on expertise at Port of Rotterdam, one of the most environmentally-friendly ports in the world.”