The Napier Port has just adopted a plan – A Sustainable Future: HE PŌPŌ TOITŪ – that sets out an impressively comprehensive and ambitious level of sustainability goals for itself.

They’ve set the bar at an Olympic record height … now we’ll see if they can jump it!

The plan covers a full range of sustainability issues, not simply the usual environmental objectives one would expect, but also goals in areas like health & safety, equity & diversity, ethical supply chains, cultural collaboration and ‘good neighbour’ policies.

The intent is to align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, to which the NZ Government has subscribed. These take a holistic view regarding the governmental and corporate behaviours needed to ensure sustainability for all in the broadest sense – social, environmental and economic.

The Napier Port plan outlines 102 future actions, not all with equal specificity, and 18 of these are being given top priority.

There are occasional ‘tensions’ some (e.g., Whakatu residents) might spot in the plan – for example, committing to a ‘Good Neighbour’ policy while also to progressing an ‘Inland Freight Hub Plan’ – but the aspirations expressed are commendable.

Here’s just a cherry-pick of some actions committed in the environmental domain:

  • Establish a Marine Cultural Health Programme (BayBuzz previously reported on this here).

  • Ocean plastics (Awareness and Clean Up) programme.

  • Climate Action & Energy – take action to reduce our carbon footprint and support our national zero emission future by 2050.
  • Energy Consumption and Efficiency Plan – determine the data capture/breakdown, energy usage, efficiency, reduction targets and actions.
  • Renewable Energy Transition Plan – investigate transition to renewable energy options (eg. wind, solar, tidal, hydrogen, geothermal etc) and collaborative opportunities to develop trials.
  • Identify and map current water resources, stormwater collection points and treatment systems, infrastructure, discharges points, monitoring locations and results. Strengthen understanding and management of stormwater.
  • Water Quality Improvement Programme – to improve water quality monitoring (i.e. expanded monitoring points and parameters), stormwater treatment options (WSUD) and shut off valves. Program to align with Healthy Reefs and Oceans.
  • Waste reduction targets identified and supported by action plans and reporting.
  • Introduce and implement ‘Circular Economy’ initiatives to target no residual waste and define opportunities to collaborate and maintain resources in circulation.
  • Sustainable Sourcing – responsible sourcing and sustainability criteria for procurement of materials, assets and supply services.
  • Investigate options for a clean shipping programme to advance vessel safety and environmental performance. Investigate schemes that reduce emissions, underwater noise, encourage slow steaming and environmental initiatives.
  • Social and Environmental Partnership Projects – collaboration with community, cultural and NGO groups to enhance and protect social, environmental and reef values.
  • Sustainable Cruise Tourism Footprint & Initiatives – measure resource management (waste, water, energy), emissions from tourism activities on port land. As an indicator of improved performance, implement initiatives to reduce environmental impact of tourism.

As you can see, the devil will be in the detail for many of these as more concrete implementation plans are devised. The Port has also committed to a high standard of accountability for its sustainability progress, embracing the Global Reporting Initiative framework, widely considering to be an international ‘best practice’ example of sustainability reporting.

All of this will deserve persistent local outside monitoring. In that regard, BayBuzz will do its part!

But without question, Napier Port has set a high bar for all other major commercial enterprises and public institutions in the region. Who else in Hawke’s Bay will step up to this challenge?

Here is the full action plan.

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  1. Sounds very worthy and woke, but have they given any thought and set aside some money to properly restore the Napier Beacons? The deterioration of these icons is a highly visible indictment of years of neglect, and when one of them topples, we residents will never forgive the Board, regardless of the fine words in their business plan.

    1. Totally agree and let’s not forget who owns a big chunk of the shares in PoN so maybe the new Regional Councilor may like to take this on as a personal project.

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