Climate Crisis


Carbon Emission Reductions

The reduction of carbon emissions is one of the major challenges facing all sectors of society, including the transport sector. This has been recognised by national governments and European institutions as a key challenge to be tackled. The EU has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990 figures by 2020, 40% compared to 1990 figures by 2030 and 80-95% compared to 1990 figures by 2050. To ensure that future generations can inherit a world in which sustainable development is possible, it is crucial that all actors within the logistics chain coordinate and take their responsibility to reduce carbon emissions seriously.

Terminal operators have taken this responsibility to reduce carbon emissions seriously through the development of a common methodology for calculation carbon emissions. The methodology (EEEG/FEPORT Guidance for Greenhouse Gas Emission Footprinting) elaborates how terminals can calculate their emissions over a set period of time. Thereby, terminals will get a stable set of data on which concrete actions to reduce carbon emissions can be based and measured.

The EEEG/FEPORT Guidelines were established in September 2012 by APM Terminals, Contship Italia, DP World, ECT, Eurogate, HHLA, Hutchison Port Holdings and PSA. The signatories of the September 2012 guidelines account for over 75% of all containers handled in the European Union.


FEPORT/EEEG Methodology for the calculation of the GHG emissions

The EEEG/FEPORT Guidelines are in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHP). The GHP is an internationally accepted set of standards which sets the global standard for how to measure, manage, and report greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the EEEG Guidelines, the terminal operators calculates their emissions taking into consideration all their Scope 1 (direct greenhouse gas emissions) and Scope 2 (indirect greenhouse gas emissions from consumption of purchased electricity, heat or steam) emissions. Scope 3 (greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, equipment not owned by the operator) is excluded given that the terminal does not have control over these emissions (for instance, the presence of reefer containers) and cannot take steps to reduce their emissions. The terminal can only be responsible for emissions produced by the terminal.


How does it work?

  • All terminals using the EEEG/FEPORT will calculate CO2 emissions in a harmonized way. That being said, all terminals are free to expand their calculation methodology beyond the EEEG/FEPORT guidelines if they so wish. This will depend on the activities of individual terminals. The EEEG/FEPORT guidelines are built upon the basic operations of all terminal operators.
  • The guidelines focus solely on handling equipment. Emissions from handling equipment are the sole consideration given that handling equipment covers 95% of the emission. Terminal operators believe it is best to focus energy on the greatest source of emissions rather than to enter into an exercise on all emissions (for instance; including buildings) which may be misleading. Of course, other emissions may be tackled separately.
  • The methodology uses CO2-conversion factors recommended by the GHP. The CO2 conversion factors recommended by the GHP are the DEFRA (UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) factors for all kind of fuels. For electricity, the individual emission factors of the electricity suppliers are used. The adoption of common CO2-conversion factors are important for ensuring consistency in calculations.
  • For container terminals, the common denominator is the “number of boxes entering and leaving the terminal”. The methodology is utilised by dividing the total terminal emissions by the total number of containers entering and exiting a port in a year. This gives the total figure for a terminals total emissions per container handled (kgCO2e/box). The methodology is applicable to other cargo types, subject to the establishment of a common denominator. This task is best left to experts in the respective cargo types (for instance; the common denominator for container terminals was devised by the leading international container terminal operators).
  • Terminals using the EEEG/FEPORT Guidelines establish an individual base year and report at least the change in [kg/box] compared to the base year. An annual report of [kg/box] is recommended.

In December 2023, FEPORT and UNISTOCK have finalized and adopted the Methodology for the calculation of GHG emissions for Bulk Terminals.


The GLEC Framework

The GLEC (Global Logistics Emission Council) Framework is the only globally recognized methodology for harmonized calculation and reporting of the logistics GHG footprint across the multi-modal supply chain. The EEEG Guidelines are currently being incorporated into the GLEC Framework so as to ensure that the work of GLEC is aligned with the work of FEPORT. The EEEG guidelines are terminal guidelines (created by the container terminal industry) to assist terminals in calculating their CO2e emissions (for further information, please refer directly to the EEEG Guidelines). The EEEG guidelines were last revised in December 2017. There may need to be a future revision at a later date (for instance, once every 5 years).

FEPORT decided to cooperate with the GLEC Framework in order to ensure the methodologies for calculating emissions remain an industry led initiative. There has previously been a risk that the European Commission would legislate on this issue given that some Member States have already adopted initiatives.

FEPORT has serious concerns regarding the usefulness of a cross-sectoral methodology. It is not possible to create one methodology for all actors in transport which creates useful figures allowing to take concrete steps towards emission reductions. The GLEC approach of trying to make existing methodologies somewhat interoperable is therefore viewed as the most appropriate approach.

FEPORT also believes there is no added value in comparing performances on decarbonisation. The main reason for this is that many emissions from a terminal are outside their control. For instance, a terminal that is totally electrified is dependent on the emissions factors of the national grid. Identical terminals in two Member States would therefore have varying environmental performances due to the environmental performances of their respective national grids.

The revision of the GLEC Framework has been completed in 2019. The Framework has been updated to include logistics sites (such as terminals) and cites the EEEG Guidelines as the relevant tool for calculating emissions in container terminals. For GLEC Framework recommendations on logistics sites, please see pages 37 and 38.

The GLEC Framework is a global method for calculation and reporting of logistics emissions which is created by industry actors. FEPORT has worked with GLEC to ensure the EEEG Guidelines are incorporated into the GLEC framework thereby ensuring that container terminals have ownership over how emissions should be calculated in container terminals (as opposed to a third-party making recommendations for terminals). Both GLEC and EEEG guidelines recommend that terminals are only responsible for their scope 1 and scope 2 emissions (direct fuel consumption and purchased fuel consumption) and third-party emissions in terminals should not be included (for instance, ships calling at a terminal).

Smart Freight Council (authors of the GLEC Framework) will now work to ensure the GLEC Framework is used as an international tool for calculating emissions as opposed to arriving at a situation of having a patchwork of various national or regional methodologies.

Read the GLEC Framework.



Terminal Corporate Social Responsibility

There is a need by both cities and terminal operators to be aware of each other’s existence. On the one hand, cities need to be aware that ports are industrial areas. Being an industrial area, there will be noise pollution and odours that may originate from the port. Cities need to bare this in mind when planning city and residential developments. On the other hand, ports need to be aware that they need to take measures to ensure that they are minimising disturbances. Terminal operators have proven to be extremely proactive in reducing not only their own impact on the local community, but also the impact other actors using the port.

Air and Water quality

Terminals are aware that some cargoes being unloaded and loaded can have a harmful or disturbing impact upon the local environment. For instance, excessive dust arising from the terminal can be disturbing for local residents. Bulk cargoes spilt during unloading can also have a harmful impact on the water quality in the ports area. For this reason, terminals are proactive in taking measures to minimise any potential impacts on air and water quality during cargo handling operations.