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Pete Bevington

22 October, 2008

Gary Cooper of Lerwick Port Authority is accepting the certificate from Ann Black, chief executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise's Lerwick office.LERWICK Port Authority has been declared the greenest port in Scotland, after receiving the highest environmental standard certificate in the world.

The ISO 14001 certificate was handed to the port’s systems compliance manager Gary Cooper yesterday (Tuesday) after he spent the past 18 months improving the environmental practices of the authority’s 46 staff.

Mr Cooper said the port had introduced 25 management procedures with built in environmental benefits, including the monitoring of all fuel and electricity uses in port premises and vehicles, and recycling all waste.

“We believe we are the first port in Scotland to receive this certification, and one of only a clutch in the UK including the ports of London and Cardiff,” he said.

Lerwick is now the only UK port capable of decommissioning oil and gas rigs upholding the same environmental standards as the oil industry, with operators Peterson SBS holding the same standard.

“We will be the first port in the UK that will have the complete stamp with the authority and the operator. That demonstrates to the oil industry that our working practices are exactly the same as theirs,” Mr Cooper said.

He praised the enthusiasm of authority staff in taking on board the change in working practices which certification required, such as separating bottles and newspapers in their waste.

“We have been asking some of them to do things they don’t even do in their own house, and the enthusiasm shown by the majority of staff has been overwhelming,” he said.

Mr Cooper also said that Shetland was “spoiled” for recycling facilities, thanks to Shetland Islands Council’s new Gremista waste facility, which can recycle practically anything despite the islands’ remoteness from mainland facilities.

He added that the green tactics had made the authority a leaner organisation, saving money on fuel and electricity by monitoring it so closely.

The British Standards Institute carried out a four day audit of the LPA before certifying the port. Its business development director Andrew Morris praised the efforts put in by Lerwick.

“ISO 14001 focuses the organisation on being proactive in identifying environmental aspects and impacts and driving down risks. In doing so, an organisation can benefit from improved operational effectiveness, leading to reduced costs and improved profits,” Mr Morris said.

Port chief executive Sandra Laurenson said they were delighted to have received the internationally recognised certificate at their first attempt.

The port will continue to be assessed every six months to ensure it is maintaining and updating its environmental practices, otherwise it will lose its certificate.

Most recent update - Thursday, 23 October 2008 20:43
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