The second Sustainability Award presented by the port of Antwerp has gone to the shipping group Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB). With this award the three organisers – Antwerp Port Authority, the Scheldt Left Bank Corporation and Alfaport-Voka – seek to highlight sustainable initiatives by port users and to encourage sustainable enterprise by port companies. CMB has won the award with its “Hydroville” shuttle, the first passenger vessel to be powered by hydrogen.
Hydrogen-powered passenger shuttle
Together with the points awarded by the jury, members of the general public voting online were able to determine that the Sustainability Award should go to CMB, making it a worthy successor to Ecluse, winner of the first award two years ago. The Antwerp-based shipping group was singled out for its “Hydroville” shuttle, the first passenger vessel to be powered by hydrogen. This is a pilot project that will serve as a testbed for hydrogen technology on a wider scale, thus contributing to more sustainable travel between home and work. In its citation the jury commended CMB for pioneering the way with this promising, future-oriented project which will act as a catalyst, lowering the barriers to entry for other players in the market. The jury also emphasised the significance of the project for other countries where hydrogen is seen as the fuel of the future.
As the second-ever winner of the Port of Antwerp Sustainability Award, CMB will now take its place alongside Ecluse with a specially designed stone along the “Walk of Sustainability” at the foot of Port House
“Together with the rest of the port community we are working towards a sustainable port,” declared Port Authority CEO Jacques Vandermeiren. “Thanks to this joint commitment we are achieving concrete results in making such a transition. The entries for this award make it abundantly clear that here in this port we have a wealth of sustainability initiatives that can inspire other companies. I am especially proud to be able to present this award today to CMB as a splendid example of how a commercially-driven project can offer high sustainability gains.”
Alexander Saverys, CEO of Compagnie Maritime Belge, for his part commented: “We are particularly gratified and proud with this Port of Antwerp Sustainability Award. With our investments in new, sustainable technologies such as the Hydroville we aim to make ourselves and the Antwerp maritime cluster ready for an exciting future. From its base in Antwerp, the beating heart of maritime Europe, CMB aims to further place its stamp on international shipping with innovative ship designs and the development of low-carbon energy sources.”
Award for sustainable initiatives
The port of Antwerp as the leader in creating sustainable added value aims to encourage all companies operating in the port to make effective contributions in the transition towards a more sustainable port. For this purpose the Sustainability Award is presented every two years jointly by Antwerp Port Authority, the Scheldt Left Bank Corporation and Alfaport-Voka. This award recognises a project that contributes towards such a transition and that helps on a local level to achieve the Sustainability Development Goals outlined in 2015 by the United Nations.
A total of 16 companies and organisations active in the Antwerp port area responded to the general invitation to enter the competition that was issued before the summer. The specialist jury headed by port Alderman Marc Van Peel selected a shortlist of three entries with the emphasis on creative, participative and innovative solutions. Along with the final winner CMB the other two shortlisted entrants were Ashland Specialities Belgium and BASF Antwerp. The jury commended Ashland Specialities for the way in which it recycles rainwater, while BASF Antwerp was singled out for its new waste-saving aniline plant with energy recovery.
Biennial Sustainability Report
Ever since 2011 the organisers of the Sustainability Award have also been the driving force behind the biennial Sustainability Report published by the Antwerp Port Community. The 5th Sustainability Report due to be published in June 2019 will be a touchstone for the port's ambition to remain the leader in creating sustainable added value.