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Sustainability Strategy

The Ports North Sustainability Strategy delivers an action plan to guide our sustainable future, while celebrating our proud history of sustainability work in the environment; community; and across diverse trade, development and tourism initiatives.

Our Sustainability Strategy reflects ideas and feedback from more than 100 port customers, employees, local industry representatives and community members. It recognises the unique nature of our network of nine regional ports, while also following best practice industry guidelines from Ports Australia and aligning with the international conversation on sustainability and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Four strategic themes

The Ports North Sustainability Strategy sees the organisation align itself with a global trend towards broad sustainability thinking and innovation, embedding sustainability initiatives across all areas of strategy and operations.

Our local priorities and actions are aligned to the UN SDGs across four strategic themes.

Together, these provide Ports North with a strategic framework to continue supporting environmental stewardship, community partnerships and economic prosperity throughout Far North Queensland.

Why sustainability matters

Ports North not only connects the communities of Far North Queensland to each other, it also connects Far North Queensland to the world.

Our network of ports includes some of the most remote wharves and jetties in the country, and we provide services that are vital to sustaining the people and economic activities of our region. 

We must continue to foster strong local and global partnerships, progressing our region towards a more sustainable and interconnected future. 

Our diverse role in tourism, property, defence and community supply services, alongside our responsibilities as a trade enabler of bulk, project and general cargo, means we are ideally placed to bring together multiple parties and lead sustainability initiatives.

Developing our strategy

While sustainability has long been essential to Ports North, our strategy was formalised in 2021 to embed sustainable practices across our business.

The process was robust, consultative and focused on identifying actions to improve outcomes across all four of our strategic sustainability themes.

It enabled us to identify strengths, opportunities and areas in which we could expand our practices. Our process also helped us to determine how we can take action now and ensure we continue to work strategically and proactively towards sustainability in the future.

Taking action

Sustainability is inherently a long-term project. It is a constant commitment to find a balanced approach to caring for our planet, people, prosperity and partnerships.

We are acting now, through detailed and output-driven priority action plans.

However, we are also planning for the future. Our medium- and long-term sustainability action plans will be agile. Some items will flow naturally from deliverables scheduled within our priority plans, such as implementing newly identified initiatives or acting in response to engagement surveys.

Other ideas reflect bigger picture thinking and longer-term planning. We won’t wait to start them, but they may take more time to deliver, as we build new partnerships and lay the foundations for new approaches. 

Actions within our Sustainability Strategy cover areas from regional prosperity, long-term planning and business resilience through to climate change, renewable energy and sediment offsets, as well as continuing to nurture First Nations and sustainable regional partnerships in all areas of our business.

 

Measuring our progress

Delivering the best possible outcomes in sustainability means holding ourselves accountable and reporting openly and regularly on our performance.

Regular check-ins enable us to track and show progress against our action plans.

We will also aim to create a continuous feedback loop. Using formal and informal reporting structures, we aim to capture project information, create a register of future ideas, and ensure all of our sustainability learnings are integrated into the next iteration of our strategy and action plans.

Lastly, we will seek to contribute to industry benchmarking standards. Mechanisms to achieve this are being explored, and we hope to include an update on our approach as part of our first sustainability report.

Ports North Sustainability Strategy reporting will be published regularly on the Ports North website, and announced via our social media channels.  

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