Port of Rotterdam adopts Green Award verification


Green Award verification provides a pathway for ships to maximize savings while accelerating the spread of environmentally sound waste management practices.

Port of Rotterdam adopts Green Award verification for new EU shipping sustainability incentives
Storage tanks with heating pipes, Port of Rotterdam © Eric Bakker

The Port of Rotterdam has become the first EU port to utilize the Green Award Foundation’s specialized Ship Waste module program to verify ships meeting new environmental performance criteria enacted this year. Recent EU regulations require member state ports to grant discounts on waste fees to ships that can demonstrate reduced waste volumes and sustainable management practices.

Commenting on this precedent, Jan Fransen, Executive Director at Green Award Foundation said: “We commend the Port of Rotterdam on being the first port to take advantage of Green Award Foundation’s specialized certification program.

Market-driven race to the top

“Over one-third of ships now eligible for Rotterdam’s waste fee discount under these EU sustainability criteria actively chose to undertake Green Award’s rigorous certification process in advance of regulations taking force this year. Their foresight and voluntary steps to implement responsible waste practices consistent with Green Award standards demonstrates that financial incentives catalyze market-driven acceleration beyond basic compliance.”

“Our expanded certification scheme allows leading ports like Rotterdam to reward vessel operators going above and beyond baseline regulations,” Fransen explained. “By harnessing independent verification tools instead of administrative burdens, these incentives create a market-driven race to the top.”

Green Award-certified ships

To date, 38 ships have completed evaluations by Green Award auditors and qualified for discounted waste fees at the Port of Rotterdam. The assessed vessels are currently all Green Award-certified ships, but the Ship Waste module is also open to non-certified ships.

Port of Rotterdam in 2023: Less throughput, progress on sustainability

Drawing on over 30 years of experience auditing and incentivizing responsible shipping, Green Award launched a tailored module aligned with EU sustainability benchmarks. Independent verification through the Green Award allows ships meeting these exacting new voluntary standards to benefit from waste fee discounts of up to 32% when calling at accredited ports.

Other major European ports are currently working to integrate The Green Award’s verification services for determining ships that meet the EU waste discount criteria.