On 5 May 2023, the World Health Organization declared the end of COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern which, in many ways, was confirmation that the global pandemic was finally over. Even though most of us had already returned to normality for quite some time, the announcement has given us all newfound confidence in the way we go about our daily lives.
Yet, for much of 2022, we were still very much focused on managing the disruption caused by the global pandemic and the resulting adverse impact this was having on our people and business. As a result, we continued to focus a lot of our attention on the overall health and well-being of our colleagues and in this regard, our global BEWELL campaign has continued to be very successful in helping our people develop a resilience to hardships. Indeed, all of our ports also have in place their own local initiatives to support the development and well-being of their people and communities – our long-established Go Green and Dock School continues to be the cornerstone of our local community outreach programmes.
During 2022, we also continued to make significant progress in our equipment electrification programme as we progress towards our short-term goal of only purchasing non-fossil fuel internal trucks by 2024. Indeed, our future equipment electrification programme and the adoption of renewable energy and other sources of alternative fuel have enabled us to develop a net-zero roadmap which is in line with the latest available models and scientific techniques. Hutchison Ports is now officially committed to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to achieving a 46% scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction by 2032 and net-zero by 2050 or earlier.
This is a significant milestone for our group and recognises the urgent need to adopt practices that help to mitigate against the growing risks of climate change, caused by Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, to our people and business.
Regarding scope 3 emissions, we have started a more detailed study and analysis of how our own supply chain impacts our overall carbon footprint and will refine our approach to measuring carbon emissions from 2023 onwards. Some of our ports have already started working with their suppliers to reduce scope 3 emissions. Many of our shipping line customers, who include ports in their own scope 3 emissions measurements, are already engaging with us to gain a better understanding of our own emissions reduction plans – preferring to partner with port operators that have a clear direction in this regard.
Furthermore, our customers continue to expect the highest standards of service especially after the global supply chain disruptions our ports experienced during the pandemic. During 2022, many of our ports continued with their plans to implement the roll out of technology in their operations – remote control ship to shore and yard cranes, ATs and digitalised landside processes will become common features at many of our ports during the next few years. Technology will not only enable our ports to operate more efficiently, which will benefit our shipping line customers and other port users, but it will also be a key feature of sustainable development in that it will lead to more environmentally friendly and safer port operations.
Ultimately though, the key principle always remains the same and that is to deliver our services as a global port operator in such a way that it fulfils the needs of society with the minimum adverse impact to our people, our environment, and our business. Above all else, our aim is to ensure that Hutchison Ports, with a clear agenda to tackle climate change, is a happy, safe, and inclusive place to work.