As a leader in the shipping industry, we are committed to making sustainability a priority — this is the foundation of our Global Commitment Program, which reflects our dedication to the environment, safety, and community and the development of best practices in ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance). The program includes protecting the environment and wildlife in the communities in which we operate. GCT continues to demonstrate our responsible stewardship through innovation, densifying our existing footprints, improving our energy efficiency, investing in more efficient equipment, and decreasing overall emissions. It also means promoting local economic growth and positive impacts in the community, supporting meaningful partnerships with Indigenous Peoples and communities, and providing a safe and equitable workplace for our employees, stakeholders, and customers.
All three of Global Container Terminals’ shareholders are signatories to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI). IFM Investors, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) are responsible and engaged shareholders with a principled approach to managing risk and opportunities. On behalf of our owners, GCT is an effective steward and a sustainable, clean, and green investment.
Our Global Commitment ensures we challenge ourselves to continuously improve our environmental performance at every terminal, going beyond levels set by regulators. In 2014, GCT joined Green Marine, an environmental certification program for the North American Marine Industry. As we continue to lead our industry to operate more sustainably, in 2018, GCT Canada also became a Climate Smart certified business and has reduced absolute emissions by 14% since 2014. And in 2021, GCT USA became a Climate Smart certified business and has reduced absolute emissions by 20% since a 2015 baseline.
But we can’t do this alone. GCT’s collaboration with customers, port authorities, industry, community associations, Indigenous Peoples and communities, vendors, and suppliers, is what sets us apart from our peers and competitors. We don’t just implement new procedures within our facilities; we challenge our partners and customers to similarly improve their practices.
In 2017, GCT Canada was honoured with the prestigious Clean50 Top 15 Projects award for our leadership in reducing emissions from third-party trucks calling GCT Deltaport and GCT Vanterm. As the first terminal operator to pioneer truck reservation systems in North America in 2004, our innovative program smooths peak hour traffic and removes 11,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually – or the equivalent of over 2,400 cars off the road – all by reducing idling and dwell times. In 2017, GCT Bayonne became the first terminal to introduce a comprehensive truck appointment system on the East Coast. Working in tandem with the most advanced terminal in the New York harbour, the new truck process improved drayage truck turn times by more than 40%, removing more than 21,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, or the equivalent of removing 4,500 cars off the road. Read more about the US Environmental Protection Agency case study on GCT Bayonne.
As our terminals continue to expand and increase capacity, sustainability and environmentally responsible practices will remain a core focus. We are committed to supporting and protecting the communities in which we operate and already have many successful initiatives in place that are making a difference.
As leaders in the industry, we are working with our partners and stakeholders to find solutions that improve overall efficiency and operational safety. One of our key areas of focus is reducing truck idling and dwell times through the introduction of reservation systems, automated gate transactions, and night gate operations. These initiatives not only alleviate congestion, but also help to reduce noise, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollutants.
It takes a considerable about of energy to move containers and as such, electrical consumption at our terminals can be high. In order to offset the effect this might have on the environment, we have invested in technology that allows us to capture and reuse some of the energy used in daily operations. This enables us to reduce fuel usage while also reducing the emission of greenhouse gases and pollutants—even while our overall volumes are increasing.
Since so much of our business takes place near delicate coastal habitats, we try to densify our operations within our existing footprint instead of using additional land. A key part of our terminal development projects is the restoration of surrounding water and land ecosystems. During the recent GCT Bayonne expansion, we created new tidal wetlands, preserved 6.5 hectares (16 acres) of adjacent land along the Hackensack River, planted native vegetation in order to help local marsh species thrive, managed stormwater, and enhanced the local landscape.
Everything we do at GCT revolves around safety and ensuring that anyone interacting with our facility is kept out of harm’s way. This approach has driven many of our innovations including the recent expansion projects at GCT Deltaport and GCT Bayonne that introduced semi-automated machinery, a redesigned complex, and remote operations centres. It is our belief that safety is everyone’s responsibility and we count on our employees, workforce, stakeholders, and customers to help us uphold our high standards.
When it comes to safety, we believe in doing more than just the regulatory minimum. In fact, GCT Canada is leading industry safety standards in Port of Vancouver with the support of the BCMEA and the ILWU and GCT USA has been regularly recognized by Signal Mutual as a safety leader.
We believe it is our responsibility—not only as a business but also as good citizens—to ensure the future of generations to come. And while we are a global company, we are committed to strengthening the local communities in which we operate and enriching the lives of those who live there—many of whom are employees of GCT. Our many initiatives include buying and hiring locally, participating in charitable events, and protecting the surrounding environment and wildlife.
GCT is also committed to developing effective and meaningful partnerships with Indigenous communities and Indigenous-owned businesses. Together with Indigenous peoples, local communities, governments, port authorities, and supply chain partners we can build long-term, sustainable, and mutually beneficial relationships.
Our approach goes beyond just meeting the minimum regulations. We are continually pushing ourselves to proactively find ways to do things better like reducing fuel consumption and emissions, using resources wisely, and reducing our environmental footprint—all while maintaining our economic competitiveness.
Community feedback is welcomed. Please contact us via email@example.com for assistance.
GCT Global Container Terminals is proud to support initiatives that create positive results in our communities. As part of our Global Commitment program, we are committed to supporting and protecting the communities in which we operate and already have many successful initiatives in place that are making a difference.
GCT Global Container Terminals traditionally supports community giving in areas that align with our Values and drive positive outcomes in our communities:
Learn more about some of GCT’s recent community giving recipients:
Do you have a project, initiative, or event that aligns with advancing our communities? Please apply here.