Small port actors encouraged to holistic thinking

Carefully situated and regularly maintained piers, sewage pump-out stations and other port infrastructure underlay the basis of a convenient port visit. Boaters, typically with high respect for nature, value properly organized waste disposal that prevents littering and eutrophication of the coastal environment.

‘Developing small ports, their economic profitability, safety and friendliness to the environment are often combined, even in single investments’, says researcher Renne Vantola from University of Helsinki research group at Kotka Maritime Research Centre.

Customer-centric service design is part of small ports’ local role in the governance of the environmental pressure caused by boating. Boaters do not want to jeopardise their own safety to access, for example, a cumbersomely located pump-out for sewage holding tanks.

‘A pump-out station that is easy to access and effortless to use encourages boaters to environmentally sound practices and supports sustainable boating”, Vantola states.

Malfunctions and shortages with port facilities, in turn, hamper boaters’ otherwise responsible behaviour and sometimes even make their on-board environmental chores, such as waste sorting, meaningless.

These findings and many others are presented in a newly published report  by Helsinki University  outlining a route map to sustainable small port operation. The report offers information for both port operators and urban planners in coastal regions.

The report Small ports aiming at sustainable operation- holistic thinking as a stepping stone is part of the 30MILES project.