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Harit Sagar: The Green Port Guidelines 2023

  • 13 May 2023
  • 6 min read

For Prelims: Harit Sagar Green Port Guidelines 2023, Zero Carbon Emission Goal, Sagar Shreshtha Samman awards, Green Reporting Initiative (GRI) standard.

For Mains: Harit Sagar: The Green Port Guidelines 2023, Zero Carbon Emission Goal.

Why in News?

Recently, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways has launched 'Harit Sagar' Green Port Guidelines 2023 to achieve the Zero Carbon Emission Goal.

  • Sagar Shreshtha Samman awards were also conferred to major ports for their exceptional achievements in various operational parameters.

What are Harit Sagar Guidelines 2023?

  • About:
    • Harit Sagar is a Sanskrit term that means “green ocean”. It reflects the vision of making India’s ports more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
    • They also cover aspects of the National Green Hydrogen Mission pertaining to ports, development of green hydrogen facility, LNG bunkering, and Offshore Wind Energy among others.
    • These guidelines also provide the provision for adopting the global Green Reporting Initiative (GRI) standard.
  • Objectives:
    • To promote the adoption of best practices and technologies for green port development and operations, such as renewable energy, water conservation, biodiversity protection, and climate resilience.
    • To minimize waste through Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle to attain zero waste discharge from port operations.
    • To establish a rating system for assessing and benchmarking the environmental performance of ports based on various indicators and parameters.
    • To incentivize and recognize the ports that achieve high standards of environmental excellence and sustainability.
    • To facilitate the integration of green port principles into the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of port infrastructure and services.
  • Significance:
  • Benefits:
    • Enhancing the competitiveness and attractiveness of ports by improving their efficiency, reliability, safety, and quality of service.
    • Reducing the operational costs and increasing the revenue generation potential of ports by optimizing the use of resources and minimizing waste.
    • Improving the environmental compliance.
    • Mitigating the environmental impacts and risks of port activities by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, noise pollution, water pollution, and marine litter.
    • Contributing to the national and global goals of sustainable development and climate action by supporting the transition to a low-carbon and circular economy.

What are the Challenges and Barriers for Implementing?

  • Lack of awareness and capacity among port stakeholders.
  • Lack of coordination and collaboration among different agencies and sectors.
  • Inadequate data and information on environmental aspects of ports.
  • Weak enforcement and monitoring mechanisms for environmental compliance.

What are India’s Efforts for Green Port Development?

  • Initiatives:
    • Green Port Awards, Green Port Policy, and Sagarmala Programme.
  • Setting Targets:
    • Increase the share of renewable energy in ports, reduce carbon emissions per ton of cargo handled, and adopt green fuels and technologies for port operations.
  • Selection as Pilot Country:
    • India selected as the first country under the IMO Green Voyage 2050 project to conduct a pilot project related to green shipping.

What is the Sagar Shreshtha Samman Award?

  • The Sagar Shreshtha Samman Award is conferred by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways to major ports in India for their outstanding achievements in various operational parameters.
    • The award recognizes ports that demonstrate high standards of environmental excellence and sustainability.
  • The awards for FY2022-23 are:


  • The Harit Sagar guidelines are a visionary initiative that will transform the Indian port sector and make it more sustainable and resilient in the face of the changing climate and market conditions.
  • The guidelines will not only benefit the ports but also the environment and society at large.
    • They will also enhance India’s image and reputation as a responsible maritime nation that cares for its environment and its people. The Harit Sagar guidelines are a shining example of how India is leading the way in green port development and operations.

Source: PIB

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