About ESPO and EcoPorts

ESPO / EcoPorts

The environment has always been a major priority for ESPO. There is a firm link between effective environmental management and effective port management. If ports want to secure their license to operate and the future for new port development and new investment this must be done with environmental protection to the forefront. ESPO is in a unique position to encourage best practice amongst its member ports and to set challenging targets. The integration of EcoPorts within the structure of ESPO and the launching of this website is part of that process.

The European port sector has achieved significant progress in the field of environmental management during the last 15 years and this has been largely driven through the long standing close cooperation between ESPO and Ecoports. Further progress is expected as ESPO broadens the guiding principle of “ports-helping-ports” and the commitment towards continuous improvement through voluntary self regulation to its whole membership.

This website is the window to the EcoPorts network through which ESPO offers the opportunity to the ports within its broad membership to access and use the new updated versions of the well-established EcoPorts tools, SDM and PERS.  




History of EcoPorts

Since 1994, the vision of EcoPorts has been to create a level playing field on port environmental management in Europe through the sharing of knowledge and experience between port professionals. Serving the principle of “ports-helping-ports” EcoPorts brought together a network of port professionals from several European ports committed to exchange views and practices and to commonly work towards the improvement of the sector’s environmental performance in line with the principles of voluntary self regulation. Through collaborative EC co-funded research and development initiatives EcoPorts expanded and grouped under its umbrella universities, research institutions and other professional bodies offering expertise in port environmental management.


The EcoPorts R&D initiatives were focused on research outcomes with applied practical value, namely on developing tools and methodologies that would assist port environmental managers in their daily work. The nowadays well-established EcoPorts tools, Self Diagnosis Method (SDM) and Port Environmental Review System (PERS) have their origins within R§D projects such as the Eco-Information (1997) and the ECOPORTS (2002-2005) and have been subject to continuous development and refinement during the last 15 years.