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Port of Tallinn: sustainable not only in words but in real actions

Port of Tallinn is one of the largest cargo- and passenger port complexes in the Baltic Sea region, playing a vital role in the Estonian transport system and economy. On average, Port of Tallinn serves around 10 million passengers and 20 million tons of goods every year. The company has set ambitious targets to reduce the environmental impact of their operations, which is accompanied by real, tangible steps. 

Based on the environmental impact assessments of the Port of Tallinn, the company has set a goal to achieve climate neutrality in all its port operations by 2050. In view of the ambitious climate neutrality target, Port of Tallinn has decided to manage the entire company and all projects according to sustainable principles. For the port, environmental issues are not isolated projects but part of a strategic approach and management system, and the entire management team is responsible for the implementation of the sustainable development strategy. 

Each unit and employee of the Port of Tallinn must operate in accordance with the set sustainable development strategy, which includes addressing environmental impacts. In addition to climate-neutrality, the aim is to achieve zero emissions from ships at berth, use 90% renewable energy and recycle 70% of ship waste, thus contributing to a cleaner environment and the preservation of the Baltic Sea. 

In order to reduce environmental impacts, the company is increasingly adding environmental expertise to its business and development activities. To this end, Port of Tallinn continuously monitors the distribution of greenhouse gas emissions within their operations and carries out ambient air quality measurements in cooperation with the Estonian Environmental Research Centre. 

Responsibility in protecting the environment is not just a promise but includes concrete steps in rethinking the way we do business 

In line with the priorities set out in the strategy, the Port of Tallinn is working on several fronts at once. Considering that emissions from ships and tankers at berth account for the majority of the environmental footprint, the Port of Tallinn is already implementing solutions to reduce emissions. For example, shore power charging equipment has been installed on the piers of the Old City Harbour, enabling ships at berth in the port to use shoreside electrical power to reduce exhaust emissions, noise pollution and fuel consumption. 

The Old City Harbour is one of the busiest passenger harbours in Europe, and the use of onshore power  is a key factor in reducing the environmental impact of shipping on urban space. For example, a Tallink passenger ship using green shore power for at least 7 hours per day for electricity consumption will reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 120 tons per month. The shutdown of ships’ engines will also result in improved air quality, as less exhaust gases and particulate matter will be emitted into the air around the port. 

Ships arriving at and departing from the Old City Harbour on the Tallinn-Helsinki route are served by state-of-the-art automated mooring equipment. The vacuum automooring equipment allows ships to save time on mooring and therefore to travel slower and with lower fuel consumption. This solution can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships by up to 12 000 tons per year, which is comparable to 10 000 diesel cars. 

Green solutions are also prioritised in the planning and construction of new facilities. A good example is the new cruise terminal at the Old City Harbour, the technical design of which is based on a study carried out beforehand to determine which energy-saving and ecologically sustainable solutions are suitable for the construction of the building in the Nordic climate. The building’s energy needs are covered by 725 solar panels, which cover 35% of the energy demand in the cold season and up to 100% in summer. The terminal building is heated and cooled by two heat pumps connected to an innovative seawater heat exchanger. 

Read more: https://www.ts.ee/en/port-of-tallinn-sustainable-not-only-in-words-but-in-real-actions/


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