The Environmental Port Index (EPI) is a model for calculating environmentally differentiated port fees, based on a specific ship’s emissions at the port in question. The largest Norwegian cruise ships have participated in developing this model based on self-reporting of data through a portal. The model will quantify and report the environmental impact of the vessels.
By rewarding the vessels that have the lowest emissions and thus the lowest environmental impact, the goal for the ports is to attract exactly these vessels. This will be an incentive for the shipping companies to contribute to increased investments in green, technological solutions. At the same time, the cost differences between ships that pollute little and those that pollute a lot will increase and thus act as a punishment for not making green investments.
In sum, this could contribute to more environmentally friendly ships calling at Norwegian ports and to reducing emissions from ships in port areas as well as at sea.
The aim is also to contribute to the introduction of EPI as a common standard for ships in both Norwegian and foreign ports. In the first phase, the focus is on cruise ships, while other types of ships will eventually be included.
The EPI was launched in several ports, including the ports of Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger in 2019. Most other Norwegian cruise ports will likely follow in 2020. The pilot has mapped how the introduction of environmentally differentiated port fees can incentivize shipping companies to invest in green technology.
A paper examining the role of ports in the green transition and the effect of introducing environmental port fee differentiation has been published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin.