The Port of Gothenburg wins prestigious environmental prize


The Port of Gothenburg has been awarded the Energy Globe Award for the port’s Railport Scandinavia railway network, which has resulted in an annual reduction of 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The award was presented to the port at a ceremony at the Port of Gothenburg.

“This is a long-term, highly prioritised initiative that we’ve been working on resolutely for more than 20 years now. It’s really great that this work is being recognised, although the most important acknowledgement is that the system is continuing to grow exponentially,” says Antti Laakso, Senior Logistics Development Manager at the Gothenburg Port Authority.

Railport Scandinavia is the Port of Gothenburg’s railway network that currently connects the Port of Gothenburg with 30 inland terminals at locations all over Sweden and Norway via 80 departures every week.

In 2021, 458,000 containers (TEU*) took the train between the Port of Gothenburg and one of the connected inland terminals, an increase of nine per cent compared with 2020. Additional rail shuttles were introduced in 2022, while the existing system saw an increase in volume with more frequent departures. All in all, the rate of growth at Railport Scandinavia is 13 per cent so far this year. The majority of the port’s container volumes are handled by terminal operator APM Terminals.

Customer benefit brings climate benefit

According to Antti Laakso, the recipe for success is to constantly work proactively to create competitive strength in the system, which must be reliable and cost-efficient, have high capacity and high frequency to many destinations, and be run by competent train and terminal operators.

“We’re seeing that the more attractive Railport Scandinavia is to our customers, the greater the rate at which goods are being shifted from road to rail. Which in turn produces an additional reduction in carbon dioxide emissions,” says Antti Laakso.

In the long-term perspective, the proportion of rail-based container traffic has increased from 20 to 60 per cent since the launch of the Railport Scandinavia initiative more than 20 years ago. This is a level that few other major international ports can match. According to the port’s own calculations, port-related emissions are being reduced by over 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, thanks to the shift from road to rail to which Railport Scandinavia is contributing.

2,500 competition entries from 180 countries

The Energy Globe Award is an international environmental award that is based in Vienna. The award has been presented since 1999, and with more than 2,500 competition entries from 180 countries, it is now one of the most prestigious environmental awards in the world. The jury is chaired by Maneka Gandhi, India’s former Environment Minister, and consists of a panel of experts with representatives from organisations including the UN and the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC).

The Gothenburg Port Authorty has won the award once before. That was ten years ago, when the port was recognised for its work on electrical connections for ships.

Extract from the jury’s citation:

The highly efficient railway network of Railport Scandinavia connects inland terminals throughout Sweden and Norway with the Port of Gothenburg. Rail shuttles are a sustainable, cost-efficient, long-term solution that ensures that large volumes of freight can reach end customers rapidly and efficiently. The Railport Scandinavia concept lowers carbon dioxide emissions by up to 60,000 tonnes per year by moving goods from road to rail, and this helps to protect the environment.

*TEU = Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit

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