The Copenhagen Malmö Port (CMP) saved 120,000 litres of diesel, representing a cash saving of more than DKK ¾ million (SEK 1 million), according to a press release from the port.

CMP used 12% less diesel in 2008, and air pollution from its operations fell by an average of 19% compared to 2007.

"A number of factors contributed to the positive result," said Lennart Hall, CMP's quality and environment co-ordinator. "The lower diesel consumption is partly the result of sending some of our dock workers on 'eco-drive' courses. In other words, they drive in as environmentally friendly a manner as possible – e.g. by avoiding unnecessary acceleration. We also improved the way we plan calls by ships, to ensure that driving distances are as short as possible when we load and unload cargo."

The reduction in air pollution is due, first and foremost, to the particle filters installed on CMP's machinery. More than 50 large machines are to have particle filters mounted by 2010. Some of the oldest machines have been replaced by new, more environmentally friendly models.

"Less air pollution means a better working environment for our dock workers, but it's also good news for the environment as a whole," said Hall, who thinks that it may be difficult to replicate the scale of 2008's positive results in the future. "But there's still a lot we can do," he added.