Acciaro, Michele, Thierry Vanelslander, Christa Sys, Claudio Ferrari, Athena Roumboutsos, Genevieve Giuliano, Lam, Jasmine Siu Lee and Seraphim Kapros

Environmental sustainability in seaports: a framework for successful innovation

Maritime Policy & Management, 41 (5): 500-480, (2014).

Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1080/03088839.2014.932926

Abstract: Environmental sustainability in the port industry is of growing concern for port authorities, policy makers, port users and local communities. Innovation can provide a solution to the main environmental issues, but often meets resistance. While certain types of technological or organisational innovation can be satisfactorily analysed using closed system theories, in the case of seaports and in particular in the area of environmental sustainability, more advanced conceptual frameworks have to be considered. These frameworks need to be able to account for the multiple stakeholder nature of the port industry and of the network and vertical interactions that environmental sustainability calls for. This article investigates successful innovations improving environmental sustainability of seaports. The proposed framework builds in part on research concepts developed in the InnoSuTra EU FP7 project. From a methodological perspective, this article develops a method for quantifying the degree of success of innovation with respect to a set of specific objectives. Several case studies are used to test the framework against real innovation examples, such as onshore power supply, or alternative fuels. In this article, we argue that only those innovations that fit dynamically port actors’ demands and the port institutional environment stand a chance to succeed.

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