The environmental policy of the port authority of Huelva contains its environmental management principles, set forth according to efficiency and sustainability to contribute to protecting optimum environmental quality and to the continuous improvement of environmental performance.
UNE-EN ISO14001:2015 Environmental Management System
The new UNE-EN ISO 14001 standard approved in September 2015 is currently being applied by the port authority of Huelva
Port Environmental Review System (PERS). EcoPorts
The port authority of Huelva is part of the EcoPorts system of the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO). In addition, the implementation of the PERS as a specific environmental management standard for the port sector, developed under the framework of EcoPorts, guarantees our commitment to sustainable, environment-friendly activity.
Environmental recovery of the left bank of the Odiel estuary
The port of Huelva, aware of the needs for environmental conservation, has carried out projects in relation to the environment and society for the recovery of the natural areas around the port. In particular, the environmental recovery of the left bank of the Odiel estuary is a project for the conservation of habitats and their environmental values, and to promote the social use of the area.
The port authority resolved to recover the environmental values of the left bank of the Odiel estuary and has made important efforts in the last 10 years. In particular, between 2006 and 2007, an initial environment-recovery project was carried out on a section of 4 km. It was an innovative project in Europe thanks to the use of bio-tools to recover the ecological functions of the ecosystem. Later, between 2010 and 2012, environmental monitoring work took place and revealed the success of the recovery project. Finally, in July 2015, a new project began for the conservation of the habitat created after the recovery. The most significant results of the project have been as follows:
- Increase in the diversity of the plant life in the port marshes, which currently have a mature and diverse marsh ecosystem that fulfils its ecological functions satisfactorily.
- Recovery of local and threatened species whose populations are growing successfully in the port marshes.
- Creation of habitats for birds, highlighting the important increase in the populations of waders and species protected at European level.
- Creation of new habitats for the community of fish and invertebrates, showing the wealth of the environment.
This environmental work has been complemented with the construction of a boulevard along 1 km of the Odiel estuary, next to the Riotinto Dock, together with a pedestrian path along 4 km, connecting the estuary Boulevard to the headland of El Sebo. This has provided citizens with a recreational area with an important social function.
“The port of Huelva has made a firm commitment to becoming a green port. This project is an example of how it has helped recover an area of important ecological quality for the city”.
Javier Barrero López
As a result, the population of Huelva has been given environmental and recreational benefits: a degraded area has been recovered, new habitats have been created for protected seabirds, social use has been encouraged through the creation of a pedestrian path for local citizens and visitors and environmental education and information has been provided.
The project has been taken as a reference by the Worldwide Network of Port Cities (AIVP) in its guide to good practices "Plan the City with the Port". Similarly, this project has been presented at different international meetings and congresses and was a finalist at the annual awards given by the European Sea Ports Organisation as an innovative project that improves the environment in areas around ports and has encouraged the integration of the port in the city.
Guide to Good Environmental Practices of the Port of Huelva
Progress towards sustainable port activity at the port of Huelva is becoming evident not only because the companies in the port community are adopting the environmental prevention measures that are necessary to comply with legislation, but also because they are fostering and assuming the fact that, beyond mere compliance with legal requirements, investment in resources to prevent contamination has a positive effect on not only environmental efficiency, but also on the economic and social aspects of the business that is carried on and, as a result, on corporate image.
The development of such public and private investments in the port of Huelva and its dissemination as an environmental reference for other ports is the main aim of this Guide to Good Environmental Practices. Accordingly, the assessment and knowledge of the activities and processes involved in the port community have been used as the base for defining and prioritising the good environmental practices used.
Safe & Green Port
The "Safe & Green Port" project is part of the ERDF 2007-2013 Programme. It is an R&D project designed to create a centralised technological system for integrated management to coordinate port protection, railway traffic safety, industrial emergencies, marine contamination, environmental contingencies related to air quality and the new electrical mobility system.p>
Regarding air quality, the "Safe & Green Port" project has involved the following actions:
- Design of an air quality network at the exterior port.
- Integral data management.
- Air quality control campaigns and emission modelling.
- Assessment of the efficiency of adopting certain best available techniques and good practices for preventing particle emissions during port operations.
- Development of a valid weather forecast system at the level of the port of Huelva.
Creation of a tool that integrates all the information obtained from the sampling processes and the air quality network and models and forecasts developed to view existing conditions and validate the appearance of models in real-time to forecast future scenarios for the adoption of good environmental practices.
ROM 5.1.: Quality of coastal waters in port areas
The project titled ROM 5.1 'Quality of Coastal Waters in Port Areas' is part of the thematic series 'Recommendations for Maritime and Port Works in the Surroundings of the Coastal Area' which, developed by the State Ports Authority in collaboration with a group of experts from the University of Cantabria, looks at the problem of the quality of water in port areas in relation to the application of the so-called Water Framework Directive.
The ROM 5.1 provides a method for the integral management of port water masses, proposing tools for defining uses and classifying water masses in the service area, assessing and managing environmental hazards, the environmental monitoring of the quality of water and sediments, as well as the management of contamination events.
This method for managing port water quality has been applied as a pilot at the port of Huelva and the ports of Gijón and Santander; it is currently valid for application to other state ports.