The Port of San Diego and its tenants have taken significant steps to become better environmental stewards through sustainable business practices.
According to an announcement from the port, it has become a leader in environmental innovation through its Green Port Program and Climate Action Plan, which were both showcased in its annual Green Port Year in Review for Fiscal Year 2014.
The report, which was released at the Climate Action Plan Workshop on September 16, 2014, shows how the port and its tenant businesses decrease waste, reduce emissions and conserve water and energy around San Diego Bay.
The annual report coincides with Green Port Month, which takes place during the month of September. The port’s program integrates environmental sustainability principles into business decisions, development, and operations.
The port said that it has saved more than $2.6 million in energy and water conservation since 2008.
"The Port takes its responsibilities as a trustee of public lands seriously. We want to ensure the beauty and usability of the tidelands for generations to come," said Cody Hooven, the port's senior environmental specialist. "We do our best to lead by example when it comes to sustainable practices."
Some of the ways the port said it is "walking the talk" are demonstrated in results from its own operations: A 42 percent reduction in water use compared to 2008; a 16 percent reduction in electricity use compared to 2008; a carbon footprint that is 22 percent smaller compared to 2008; about 414,000 square feet of port-managed turf replaced with water-wise landscaping; 22 Big Belly solar trash and recycling compactors installed in parks and open spaces; more than 27 tons of waste recycled from port operations, which is the equivalent of 33 families' annual waste production.
The port also works in partnership with its tenants to increase sustainability within its entire jurisdiction. Some of these joint efforts include having waterfront visitor shuttles that run on compressed natural gas, installing energy efficient equipment and providing shore power to cruise and container vessels.
In addition is the Green Business Network, a program that encourages businesses within the port's jurisdiction to reduce their environmental impact. There are 81 hotels, restaurants, retail shops, industrial businesses and other groups who are members and have implemented hundreds of "green" actions that also save them money.
Local and state organizations have recognized the port as a leader in sustainability efforts. In the past year, the port received the Alonzo Award for Sustainable Business Practices, the Green California Leadership Award and the SANDAG iCommute Diamond Award.