Thames Green Scheme Launched
London Climate Action Week (16-20 November) has opened with the launch of Thames Green Scheme, a Port of London Authority (PLA) project, encouraging vessel operators to adopt more environmentally friendly practices.
Developed in partnership with vessel operators, applicants will be ranked in one of five tiers, from bronze, silver and gold, through to the highest ratings of diamond and platinum. Rankings will be based on their performance related to air quality, carbon emissions, energy use, water quality, litter and waste.
Veronica Chan, air quality adviser at the PLA, said: “We have introduced this new scheme to help the inland waterways community do their bit in achieving national Net Zero goals, improving air quality and reducing damaging carbon emissions.
“The rankings will recognise the early adopters of new technology and enable customers to make informed choices in the battle to combat climate change.”
Under the scheme, the PLA’s own fleet is set to earn a silver rating, a ranking aided by its investment in Leader, the UK’s first hybrid pilot cutter boat, which ferries its staff round the clock to and from visiting larger ships, to ensure their safe navigation up and down the river.
Driftwood II, a PLA vessel that retrieves litter and obstructions from the river, such as tree branches, is due early next year to be fitted with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system, to cut nitrogen oxide emissions.
The PLA is also introducing facilities enabling its vessels to plug into onshore electrical supplies, rather than running their engines when alongside piers. This is one of the major changes the PLA is currently making as it expands Barrier Gardens Pier in Woolwich.
The Thames Green Scheme was previewed at the PLA’s recent Greening Inland Shipping webinar, attracting 150 delegates from around the world, where the company’s CEO Robin Mortimer stressed the need for urgency in delivering a Net Zero port: “There is no time to delay, we need to get on with it”, he said. “The imperative now is to build back better. “
Robin Mortimer added: “Thames Green Scheme is part of a package of things we have in place to support vessel operators including the roadmap for vessel emissions reduction.
“Our aim is to share best practice, support innovation and make sure the early adopters are recognised by passengers and logistics companies using the river.”
During the webinar (5 November), the PLA committed to cut carbon emissions by more than 60% by 2025 and achieve Net Zero by 2040.
Full details of the Thames Green Scheme are available on the PLA’s website: (https://greenscheme.pla.co.uk/).