Our sustainability strategy
We developed our sustainability strategy in 2017 and communicated it in the first Sustainability Report 2019. We have called it hafen+ because we see it as a value-added strategy: a strategy with many stories and faces that we are pushing forward at all of our 15 port locations.
The strategy will guide our sustainable actions until 2025 and covers four areas in which we can and want to contribute to sustainable development (see figure below). They are also the backbone of sustainability reporting.
In each area, we have set ourselves long-term strategic and operational goals. To this end, we have planned measures that we are continuously implementing in order to achieve the targets set for 2025. We measure their effectiveness with a key figure system that makes the achievement of the goals transparent and comprehensible. In addition, the unified goals offer us orientation – even in stormy times. Thanks to the key figures, we always know where we are on the way and where we want to go.
Our sustainability strategy is aligned with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To this end, we have systematically compared the SDGs at the global, federal and state levels with our sustainability strategy. The 17 goals are an important frame of reference for us, which we also fill with life in everyday life.
In 2019, we have integrated the sustainability strategy into the corporate strategy – a measure that is far from being taken for granted by many companies. Thus, the SDGs are also corporate goals, which takes them to a new level and emphasizes their importance.
In order to position ourselves for the future, we also participate in external dialogue processes. As an important stakeholder and initiator, we play a key role in the preparation of the perspective paper "Der Hafen Niedersachsen 2025". In close cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour, Transport and Digitization and other stakeholders, we contribute to the medium-term strategic orientation of lower Saxony's seaports and set important accents of Lower Saxony's port policy.
Strategic goals of the sustainability strategy by 2025
In order to align our sustainably actions, we bundle all relevant activities in a company-wide sustainability management.
Our management is at the forefront of the sustainability organization. The operational responsibility also lies with the central and staff division management as well as the branch management. The Strategic Business Development/Sustainability Management division provides strategic and operational support. In each branch (Brake, Cuxhaven, Emden, Norden and Wilhelmshaven), sustainability officers take over the interface between strategic and operational sustainability management. The Communication and Public Relations Unit supports the entire process in its internal and external impact.
Since 2016, we have established the position of Sustainability Manager, which is assigned to the Strategic Business Development Division. Our sustainability manager is committed to the systematic and company-wide sustainable port development.
Regular communication includes monthly management group meetings in each branch where sustainability is firmly on the agenda. The branch managers discuss relevant projects and measures in regular meetings with our sustainability management team. Once a month, the team meets with management to share progress and make decisions.
Sustainability management at Niedersachsen Ports
The environmental issues are coordinated by the Strategic Business Development Department. Regular exchanges between the staff, branch managers, sustainability officers and management ensure the review and initiation of environmental protection measures. In 2016, we adopted our environmental policy, which is now integrated into our sustainability strategy.
Environmental Management System
Our environmental management system is based on our environmental activities. The International Environmental Review System (PERS, based on ISO 14001) was developed by ports for ports. The certificate is awarded after an extensive preparatory phase by the environmental initiative EcoPorts of the European Sea Ports Organization (ESPO). The international standard requires the implementation and documentation of targeted environmental requirements. Every two years, EcoPorts puts environmental management to the test once again. The aim of certification is, among other things, to recognize the environmental impact of the various port areas and to reduce the environmental impact of our ports. Responsible for our environmental management system is the Strategic Business Development/Sustainability Management division together with the specialist personnel of the relevant area. Depending on the complexity of the tasks, external staff are called upon to carry out the audit. In this way, we ensure that current standards are taken into account and continuous improvement is achieved. In order to ensure compliance, regular inspections are carried out in different cycles within the company.