As a leader in the shipping industry, we are committed to making sustainability a priority. This includes protecting the environment and wildlife in the communities in which we operate, investing in more efficient equipment, promoting local economic growth, and of course, providing a safe work place for all of our employees, stakeholders, and customers.
As a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI), our shareholder Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), is a responsible and engaged shareholder with a principled approach to managing risk and opportunities. Through GCT, OTPP is an effective steward of owning a “clean and green” investment.
In Q4 2014, GCT joined Green Marine, an environmental certification program for the North American Marine Industry. As a participant, we have committed to certifying all our facilities in this voluntary, transparent, and inclusive program in 2015.
But we can’t do this alone. Our collaboration with customers, port authorities, industry and community associations, vendors, and suppliers is what sets us apart from our peers and competitors. We don’t just implement new procedures within our own facilities, we challenge our partners and customers to similarly improve their practices.
As our terminals continue to expand and increase capacity, sustainability and environmentally responsible practices will remain a core focus, both locally and globally. 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 close to delicate coastal habitats, we try to densify our operations within our existing spaces as opposed to using additional land. A key part in all 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, and planted native vegetation in order to help local marsh species thrive, manage storm water, and enhance 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 recent innovations including the GCT Bayonne expansion, which introduced semi-automated machinery, a redesigned gate 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 Metro Vancouver with the support of the BCMEA and the ILWU. The recent implementation of Type II hardhats for all our staff and workforce is just one example of our full commitment to safety.
We will provide a safe, secure, and healthy environment.
We will train our employees to work safely and provide them with the equipment and information necessary to do so.
We will ensure that all work is performed safely, no matter how important or urgent.
We will ensure a continued and open dialogue with all business partners.
We will focus on the continuous improvement of our operations.
We will comply with all regulations and industry standards.
We will cooperate with all regulatory agencies.
We will prevent and investigate the occurrence of unsafe or illegal acts.
We will prepare and react promptly to an emergency situation.
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.
Our approach goes beyond just meeting the minimum legal 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.