Friday, November 3, 2017

Port of Seattle Focus on Sustainability

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Seattle Commissioners moved forward on an Energy and Sustainability Motion that strengthens the port’s commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions, prioritizes sustainability and looks at new renewable energy sourcing opportunities.

“In addition to reducing the Port’s carbon emissions and working to reduce the competing demands on Washington’s hydropower system, these projects demonstrate how the port can lead efforts to reduce the increasingly obvious impacts of climate change on the environment and our quality of life,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman, who co-chairs the Port’s Energy and Sustainability Committee with Commissioner Courtney Gregoire.

"Today's action reinforces the Port of Seattle's commitment to sustainable economic growth and should encourage expanded innovation in green technology. From biofuels at Sea-Tac Airport to solar panels at Fishermen's Terminal, we look forward to strengthening partnerships to make our region a market leader in the green economy,” Commissioner Gregoire added.

Commissioners authorized port staff to create a Sustainability Evaluation Framework to help reach greenhouse gas reduction and sustainability goals by raising the transparency of project impacts; identify up to four pilot projects that incorporate “environmental and societal components in design and decision-making for Port construction and operations” (The solar project at Pier 69 could be the first pilot project to test the port’s new evaluation framework); and expand its carbon reduction emission goal to include indirect emissions with the goal to be carbon neutral or carbon negative by 2050.

“The port knows that a more prosperous future is also a cleaner, more sustainable one,” said Vlad Gutman-Britten, Washington Director of Climate Solutions. “These policies put the Port of Seattle on a path towards environmental leadership that reflects the values of this region.”