Green shipping corridors and cruise ship food waste are the focal points of the first CBSS EGSME expert seminar under the Finnish Presidency

Green shipping corridors and cruise ship food waste take the spotlight at the first CBSS EGSME expert seminar under the Finnish Presidency. Held on 12 October 2023 in Turku, Finland, the event brought together over 40 participants to address these pressing issues.

To advance the deployment of green shipping corridors and address food waste pollution from cruise ships in the Baltic Sea Region, the first expert seminar of the Council of the Baltic Sea States’ (CBSS) Expert Group on Sustainable Maritime Economy (EGSME) under the Finnish Presidency of the CBSS brought together more than 40 participants in Turku, Finland, on 12 October 2023.

“We find ourselves amidst several key challenges in the world of global logistics today. We here, around the Baltic Sea, are not isolated from them. In fact, we can be in the forefront of solving these challenges,” said Ms Minna Kivimäki, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland, in her video address.

The expert seminar was moderated by EGSME Chairs Mr Jussi Soramäki from the Prime Minister’s Office of Finland and Mr Eero Hokkanen, from the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland.

“It is very encouraging to see that once again the Baltic Sea states are getting together to be at the forefront of innovation and to kick-start the deployment of tomorrow’s technologies,” said Ms Magda Kopczynska, the Director-General of DG Move at the European Commission.

Green shipping corridors in the Baltic Sea Region will enhance the environmental sustainability of maritime transport. They are currently being developed to reduce the environmental impact of shipping activities, primarily by promoting the use of cleaner fuels and technologies, implementing emission reduction measures, and minimising the ecological footprint of vessels operating in the Baltic Sea.

The EGSME event was hosted by the City of Turku and the Port of Turku. During the seminar, participants had an opportunity to make a study visit to the Port of Turku and learn more about advanced technological solutions enabling the reduction of ship emissions in port.

Forward-looking messages from the EGSME meeting in Turku, October 12 2023

Green shipping corridors (GSC)

  • National and regional policy action is key for closing the cost gap associated with kick-starting the deployment of GSC (reaching 5% by 2030).
  • The role of Governments is paramount in enabling partnerships and establishing financial support mechanisms.
  • Increased emphasis on positive business cases associated with launching GSC as well as public-private partnerships.
  •  National contact points for green shipping corridors is a welcomed practice in the Baltic Sea Region.
  • Coordinated view on the timelines for launching GSCs and a roadmap elaborated by Governments would be a welcomed initiative.

Tackling food waste from ships

  • Current regulations allow discharging treated/grounded food waste into the sea.
  • Cooperation between all operators in the value chain is key for reducing food waste.
  • “No special fee” incentive scheme is important to support the collection of food waste from cruise ships.
  • Important to develop a harmonized approach for reducing food waste discharges into sea.
  • Responsible cruise operators already leave all their food waste to ports in the Baltic Sea.
  • New regulatory framework for tackling grey water discharges should allow enough time to adequately prepare for implementation.