February 06, 2016 – Evergreen Line has received recognition for its excellent performance in a voluntary environmental and ecological protection program, which started on July 1 last year and ended on November 15. The initiative was aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions of vessels and avoiding whale collisions by encouraging slow sailing speeds in California’s Santa Barbara Channel region. The recognition ceremony took place on January 23, 2017.
Vessels enrolled in this program were required to reduce speeds to 12 knots or less within 95 nautical miles of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. This practice helps to minimize the emissions of greenhouse gases and thus reduce their influence on air quality within the port community. The result was a reduction of more than 1,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases and 27 tons of the smog-forming air pollutant, nitrogen oxides (NOx).
The July to November period sees an increase in whale population in the Santa Barbara Channel region; these include blue, humpback and fin whales. With thousands of vessels sailing through the Channel each year, ship strikes are unfortunately a major threat to the endangered whale population. Slowing ship speeds has proved to reduce the risk of such fatal strikes.
“When you slow ships down you provide whale conservation and cleaner air for us to breathe here on shore,” said Kristi Birney, marine conservation analyst for the Santa Barbara-based Environmental Defense Center, one of the backers of the initiative. The institutions that supported this program also include the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, NOAA’s Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Ventura County Air Pollution Control District, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and the Volgenau Foundation.
Evergreen Line is committed to safeguarding the environment of both marine ecosystems and port communities within which it operates. Over the years, the carrier has worked with government agencies, scientific research institutions, cargo owners and other relevant parties in the supply chain on various environmental protection programs. In September 2016 Evergreen Line was honored with an environmental protection award by the Port Authority of Los Angeles in recognition of the carrier’s excellent performance in the 2015 Vessel Speed Reduction Program.
Furthermore, Evergreen has implemented its environmental policy in its fleet renewal programs by adopting the latest shipbuilding technologies to create an eco-friendly fleet and to provide sustainable transportation service. For instance, the ships that Evergreen enrolled in this program included its award-winning S-type containerships and the more advanced L-type vessels that have been delivered in the recent years.