The Panama Canal has announced, in 2016,  the launch of the Green Connection Award, which was intended to promote a new initiative to recognize customers who demonstrate an outstanding environmental stewardship, also, expecting to encourage others to implement technologies and standards to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In order to be eligible for this award, the Panama Canal will evaluate candidates based on specific environmental factors, such as the amount of nitrous oxides they emit due to engine performance, vessels powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), Environmental Ship Index (ESI), and the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions they reduce by using of the Panama Canal compared to alternate routes.

Last month, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has awarded Garnet Leader, a pure car and truck carrier (PCTC), and NYK Remus, a containership, both of them NYK-operated vessels, its Green Connection Award. Both vessels Captains received the award from ACP environmental specialist Alexis Rodriguez.

Recipients of this award, part of the Panama Canal Authority’s Green Connection Environmental Recognition Programme, are determined by evaluating eligible candidates based on the ship’s Environmental Ship Index (ESI) score, an index managed by the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) to measure emissions based on the amount of sulphur oxide (SOx), nitrogen oxide (NOx),  particulate matter (PM), and greenhouse gas emitted.

As the executive vice president for environment, water and energy, Carlos Vargas, said: “These sustainability initiatives reiterate the Canal’s commitment to being a global maritime industry leader, while actively sustaining the environment of Panama… Through international compliance, water resource management, reforestation and other environmental strategies, we ensure the continued conservation of the Watershed, guaranteeing the viability of the waterway for centuries to come.”

In compliance with one of the main objectives of this program, NYK said they consider environmental issues to be an opportunity for differentiation, and the company will continue to promote environment-minded activities.