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The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) and Green Award Foundation have signed an agreement to administer and manage the Environmental Ship Index Portal (ESI).

The ESI Portal, which includes more than 8,400 ships and 59 incentive providers, enables ports and other interested parties to incentivise ships to use cleaner engines and fuels with preferential treatment offered either through discounts on port dues, bonuses or other benefits commensurate with a specified level of cleanliness.

ESI, a voluntary tool which includes a formula-based evaluation of vessels' nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions, also rewards vessels that are equipped to use available onshore power and which demonstrate fuel efficiency improvements over time.

Commenting, IAPH Technical Director Antonis Michail said the agreement would take the ESI ‘to the next level’ in terms of full-time administrative support, governance and further expansion.

‘The ESI has become the established standard upon which port authorities and maritime administrations incentivise ship owners and ship owner- operators to continuously improve the environmental performance of the fleets calling at their terminals,’ said Michail.

‘In partnership with Green Award, we aim to expand the range of potential emissions including greenhouse gases in the calculation and will further enhance the separate noise emission functionality.’

Michail said that currently, the strongest representation on the Index comes from the container shipping sector, with over half of the world fleet registered. Some 28% of the world fleet of tankers were also signed up. Going forward, Michail said the focus will be on growing the number of registered dry bulk and general cargo vessels as well as Ro-Ro and cruise vessels.

Established in 1994, Green Award is a global, independent, non-profit quality assurance organisation with the primary task of certifying ship managers and vessels that go beyond the industry standards in terms of safety, quality and environmental performance. The organisation has been an active member and Incentive Provider to the IAPH Environmental Ship Index, having collaborated with the Working Group since its foundation back in 2011.

‘With this agreement with IAPH, we take a step further in accomplishing our vision of driving the highest standards in environmental performance and safety in international shipping,’ said Green Award Executive Director J.A.A.J. (Jan) Fransen. ‘By operating this non-profit certification scheme that assesses ship environmental performance based on continuous improvement, we offer owners and operators further motivation for environmentally-responsible shipping.’

As of January, owners and owner-operators with ships registered on ESI will be approached directly by the Green Award team for certification updates and will also be informed about the new subscription fee scheme that will be implemented to finance further user improvements and the further development of the Index.

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