GPA Today: Service, Sustainability and Safety


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In every decision, GPA balances three factors vital to a sustainable business model: service excellence, a commitment to preserving natural resources, and ensuring those who work at the ports make it home safely each day.

Tangible investments demonstrate GPA’s commitment to conservation.

Upgraded cranes, lighting and other equipment reduce fuel consumption and air-polluting emissions. For instance, moving to electric rubber tired gantry cranes for container handling reduces GPA’s carbon footprint by 96 percent per crane. Once all RTGs are switched to electric power, GPA will avoid the use of 2.7 million gallons of diesel each year. Savannah’s electric ship-to-shore cranes capture enough energy from lowering boxes to power themselves 18 minutes of each hour.

To reduce light pollution, the 1,200-acre Garden City Terminal uses a computer-controlled lighting system and efficient fixtures that direct light downward, where it’s needed. Adjusting for the season of the year, the system turns on the lights as the sun sets.The project saves 8.7 million kilowatt hours per year and cuts annual CO2 emissions by 3,569 metric tons, with a projected 10-year energy savings of $4.9 million.

To protect the Savannah River and provide wildlife habitat, GPA created more than 14 acres of wetlands at the nation’s fourth busiest container terminal. The wetlands are home to native plants, birds, fish and other wildlife.

GPA has also focused on waste reduction, such as recycling thousands of tons of construction materials, keeping it out of landfills.

The Authority’s approach to sustainability extends to the health and safety of everyone working at GPA facilities, with an emphasis on mutual accountability and ownership of safety. It includes an ongoing engagement in the communities in which GPA operates, with efforts ranging from noise abatement to site visits with port users to discuss on-terminal safety.

Not only do GPA’s sustainability efforts produce cleaner water and air, they also make good business sense. International shippers now factor port environmental policies and performance records into supply chain decisions. As leaders in environmental stewardship, GPA’s commitment to preserving natural resources gives Georgia A competitive edge.