June 3, 2017 - The 20th anniversary of the EcoPorts network has been celebrated during the first day of the annual ESPO Conference, which takes place in Barcelona this year. EcoPorts, the main environmental initiative of the European port sector, started in 1997 as a separate initiative of a number of proactive ports and has now grown into a solid network of almost 100 ports, working on the improvement of their environmental performance. Since 2011, EcoPorts has been fully integrated into the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO).
 “EcoPorts helps European ports to deliver on their sustainability goals. Ports in Europe combine commercial and public interests. Most of them consider themselves as mission-driven entities and sustainability is at the centre of their mission. For many ports, joining Ecoports is a first step towards greening their port”, says Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General of ESPO. 
A special session in the ESPO conference, dedicated to the 20 years of Ecoports During the session, presentations by Chris Wooldridge, science coordinator of EcoPorts, Sotiris Raptis, EcoPorts coordinator and senior advisor of ESPO, and Frans De Kruif, lead assessor at Lloyd’s Register, allowed the audience to understand how the EcoPorts network has developed over the years and how it gained in professionalism and added value.

 This 20th anniversary must also be seen as a milestone. A renewal of the EcoPorts tools and a complete new set of communication tools have been developed, i.e. an updated website, a new brochure to present the EcoPorts tools and a publication on the history of EcoPorts. During the celebration in Barcelona, ESPO also looked towards the future:
“We are celebrating 20 years of EcoPorts with the aim of further strengthening the network and of assisting more European ports to protect the environment, improve public health and address the challenges of climate change”, said Sotiris Raptis, 
EcoPorts coordinator and senior advisor of ESPO.

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