Image Attribute: Port of Mundra, Gujarat, INDIA
As India celebrates its National Maritime Day (April 5th, 2017), the world is looking at how the country approaches its shipping and seafaring activities. These days, Mundra Port is not only India's largest and most successful private port; it's also hailed as the greenest - thanks to the management's approach to sustainability.
Owned by Indian infrastructure conglomerate, the Adani Group, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) was just one port in Mundra. Now it's a portfolio of ten ports dotted along the Indian coastlines. In 2011, APSEZ was declared the winner of International Association of Ports and Harbours Award, making it part of elite C-40 greenest ports in the world. These days, its environmental, economic, and societal benchmarks are higher than ever.
APSEZ was the first port operating company in India that ever calculated its carbon footprints and has committed to significantly reducing it, thanks to operational efficiency, new technologies, and innovative approaches. Mundra Port has also created a vibrant economy for local communities, according to Karan Adani, the CEO of Adani Ports and Speical Economic Zone Limited.
"Our ports demonstrate our commitment to the environment, society, health, and safety that goes beyond just mere compliances with the laws and the regulations. We have emphasized a lot on the employability of local youth in the areas we operate."
Thanks to Adani's designated horticulture department, 2,880 hectares of mangroves have been planted along the Gujarat coastline in recent years, all monitored and audited by the third parties. What's more, another two million terrestrial trees are going to be planted, using advanced irrigation systems. Captain Unmesh Abhyankar, Joint President of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited, says Adani's approach to mangroves is one of the main reasons the port has been labeled the greenest in India.
"We have a horticulture department, and the horticulture department is involved in the greening of the port. To date, we have greened about 500 hectares of land and planted more than a million of trees. What all does to the industrial development is you have equal system surrounding the port. This has helped the local fishermen, this has helped the local people around creating the jobs, and as an organization, we have been able to help the local fishermen find jobs in the off-season when they are not able to fish."
Fishermen at Mundra Port have been provided with exclusive access to creeks accessible via special roads that stretch for more than 30 kilometers. A special 40 meter-wide water channel allows fishing irrespective of tidal variations. This is just one of the many employment opportunities that Mundra Port has provided the community throughout the year.
The Adani Group is about to start work on the Carmichael mine, coal, and rail project in Queensland, Australia, and Mundra Port is an example of how seriously it takes its commitment to sustainability and safeguarding the environment. In Queensland, the project will provide 10,000 direct and indirect jobs for Queenslanders, as well as generate power for 100 million Indians.
(c) 2017 Thomson Reuters