PIANC’s Working Group (WG) 188 on Carbon Management for Port and Navigation Infrastructure was tasked by PIANC to investigate the carbon footprint of activities related to development, maintenance and operation of navigation channels and port infrastructure including the management of dredged material. Life-cycle analysis (LCA) and other assessment methods supported this investigation and provided insights into opportunities for improved carbon management. The group was tasked to highlight exemplary case studies, identify good practices in the management of navigation infrastructure, identify opportunities to engage in carbon-sequestering activities, and summarize means to reduce the carbon footprint of the industry.
When considering developing a carbon management framework for ports and navigation infrastructure, taking proactive steps to effectively manage carbon will help an entity:
comply with emerging regulatory requirements,
respond to general stakeholder and public pressure to reduce environmental burdens,
take a leadership role in carbon management practices,
address UN Sustainable Development Goals,
drive innovation and investment while influencing future practice and regulation, and
cut costs; through efforts to reduce energy consumption.
In addition, there are unique opportunities to reduce and offset emissions from waterways navigation infrastructure development, including dredging and the beneficial use of dredged sediments, which need to be considered in any carbon management framework for this sector.
The WG188 guidance document was prepared to describe the important considerations when developing a carbon management framework and describes how carbon can be managed, influenced and reported for a navigation infrastructure project or a port with both land-side and water-side considerations. This document covers aspects of the whole lifecycle of the navigation infrastructure for completeness (as shown in Figure 1): from design to construction to operations/maintenance and end-of-life considerations.