Environmental management

Comprehensive environmental protection. A joint task.

Environmental protection at the ports of Bremen is a joint task in which the main stakeholders at the ports are involved:

Preventive environmental protection has to start at an early stage. At the roots. In order to avoid – or minimise – environmental impact. At the ports, we are faced with the challenge of reconciling that aspect with the need to guarantee the permanent availability of our facilities. We do not want to destroy the environment for humans and animals, and nor do we want to jeopardise the future of our ports.

Boot der Taucher von bremenports im Hafenbecken in Fahrt von rechts nach links. Hinten rechts Containerbrücken

Environmental management with the Port Environmental Review System (PERS)

The location-based environmental management system PERS helps the ports of Bremen achieve their environmental goals pursuant to the ESPO regulations and specifications. The European port standard is based on DIN ISO 14001. The prime instruments are continuous environmental monitoring, environmental protection projects, key performance indicators for port operations and management and for the environmental situation, as well as a register of the legal requirements relating to environmental aspects at the ports. Our monitoring parameters and the latest key performance indicators are published in our detailed Environmetal Report.

By regarding environmental management as a joint issue, we improve the environmental performance of the different stakeholders at the ports of Bremen cost effectively and sustainably – also for future generations. We review our environmental policies every two years. We publish an environmental report as confirmation that we satisfy the requirements of EcoPorts, ESPO environmental policies and the port institutions.

Promoting eco-friendly shipping

Ports and shipping go hand in hand. What’s more, they are mutually dependent. Challenges such as climate change, decreasing biodiversity and the international Sustainable Development Goals all call for a change of mind-set – on both sides. Global transport flows, which are essentially dependent on shipping, have to be thoroughly reconsidered and redesigned. The entire sector is responsible for developing in a sustainable way in order to protect the environment and drastically reduce emissions and pollutants. We therefore pursue a holistic sustainability strategy, every step of which points our ports towards the future.

Dealing with ship-generated waste and waste water

Different kinds of waste water occur in the shipping business. The competent departments in the Federal Land of Bremen have therefore published a leaflet about dealing with that waste water as guidelines for the institutions at the ports of Bremen. The specifications contained in the leaflet are intended primarily for shipping companies and skippers. The leaflet also contains information about obtaining a permit for underwater hull cleaning at the ports. The notification of waste by the vessels in accordance with MARPOL regulations is monitored by Bremen’s port authority, HBH. The treatment of ship-generated waste and cargo residues is governed by the provisions of the Waste Management Plan and the Bremen Act on Port Reception Facilities.


Die Luneplate. Eine grüne Wiese. Im Vordergrund Gräser, im Hintergrund sind unscharf die Umrisse von Rindern zu sehen.

Preventive environmental protection has to start at an early stage. At the roots. In order to avoid – or minimise – environmental impact.

First in Bremen, then in individual stages and test phases in parallel operation in Bremerhaven, and now throughout the entire Federal Land of Bremen: PRINOS (Port Railway Information and Operation System), the operating system developed specially for Bremen’s port railway, now handles the entire traffic control on the more than 200 kilometres of railway tracks at the ports in Bremen and Bremerhaven.

Following its successful premiere last year, the Envoconnect will take place for the second time on 19 and 20 September 2024: the sustainability conference for the ports and logistics business, which already attracted a highly committed port community last year, will once again promote the joint effort to ensure a sustainable future for the ports and logistics sector and provide a forum for the discussion of topical issues.

After a longer break due to the pandemic, bremenports is again offering three excursions to the Luneplate in 2022. As a result of the compensation measures, the Luneplate has developed into an important habitat for animals and plants.

For one year now, the marine garbage collector “Seabin” installed by bremenports has been busy fishing up to four kilos of waste a day from the water in Kaiserhafen. “Seabin II” has now been assembled and lowered into the water in Fischereihafen.

Environmental Ship Index at the ports of Bremen

The Environmental Ship Index (ESI), developed by a working group of the major North-West European ports on behalf of the World Port Climate Initiative, compares and rates the emissions of ships. It is a voluntary, international scoring system which enables ports to offer benefits to eco-friendly seagoing vessels. The owners register their vessels and obtain the corresponding certificates and documentation. An index formula is used to calculate the individual ESI score, which always takes the latest legal requirements into account.

The ports of Bremen have offered a bonus programme based on the ESI since 2012. This means that eco-friendly seagoing and inland shipping vessels receive a discount on the port charges. Since 2020 a financial bonus has also been available as part of the “ESI Noise”.

Environmental Policy Statement

As the second-largest port location in Germany, the ports of Bremen handle functions which are of central economic importance at both national and regional level. The Senate of Bremen is fully aware of its responsibility of reconciling not only social, but also economic and environmental concerns in the interests of sustainability. The environmental management system “PERS – Port Environmental Review System” was introduced in 2011 with regard to environmental issues, PERS documents the efficiency of the ports in terms of environmental protection, promotes continuous improvements and provides a framework for stipulating and reviewing the environmental targets of the ports of Bremen. Accordingly, an Environmental Report is updated and published at two-yearly intervals. This practice satisfies the requirements of EcoPorts, the ESPO environmental policies and the actors at the ports.

Find the Statement here for Download

The greenports awards – in recognition of the most eco-friendly vessels


bremenports has presented greenports awards every year since 2014. These awards are given to particularly environmentally friendly vessels in the categories “Vessel with the lowest emissions” and “Shipowner or charterer of the fleet with the lowest emissions”. The awards are based on the Environmental Ship Index score (ESI) for the preceding year for the ports of Bremen. Vessels have to call at our ports several times during the reporting period to qualify for the award. This is intended as a token of our appreciation for our regular customers.


Greenports Awards - Mit Blick auf den Containerhafen

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