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Context: The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways released 'Harit Sagar' the Green Port Guidelines to achieve the larger goal of achieving the Zero Carbon Emission Goal.

'Harit Sagar' the Green Port Guidelines


  • ‘Harit Sagar’ is a comprehensive set of guidelines for enhancing the environmental performance of Indian ports and promoting sustainable development of the maritime sector.


  • It is a visionary initiative of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, which aims to transform Indian ports into green ports by adopting best practices and technologies for reducing carbon footprint, improving energy efficiency, conserving water resources, managing waste and biodiversity, and ensuring social responsibility.

Key Highlights of the Guidelines

  • It provides a framework for assessing the environmental performance of ports based on a set of indicators and benchmarks and also suggests measures for improvement and innovation.
  • It covers various aspects of green port practices such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste management, water conservation, biodiversity conservation, air quality management, noise reduction, carbon footprint reduction and social responsibility.
  • It provides incentives and recognition for ports that adopt green port practices and achieve excellence in environmental performance.
  • It will help in enhancing the competitiveness and efficiency of Indian ports while ensuring minimal impact on the environment and local communities.

Significance of greening the port sector


  • The port sector is one of the most important and dynamic sectors in the global economy, facilitating trade, transport and tourism. However, it is also one of the most polluting and energy-intensive sectors, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and noise.
  • Greening the port sector is therefore a crucial challenge and opportunity for achieving sustainable development and mitigating climate change.
  • Greening the port sector refers to the adoption of policies, practices and technologies that reduce the environmental impact of port activities and operations while enhancing their economic and social benefits.

Greening measures

  • Using renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, wind turbines and biofuels, to power port facilities and equipment.
  • Implementing energy efficiency measures, such as LED lighting, smart grids and energy management systems, to reduce energy consumption and costs.
  • Promoting modal shifts, such as rail and inland waterway transport, to reduce road congestion and emissions from trucks.
  • Developing green infrastructure, such as green roofs, wetlands and urban forests, to improve air quality, biodiversity and resilience.
  • Implementing waste management and recycling schemes, such as circular economy principles, to reduce waste generation and disposal.
  • Applying environmental standards and certification schemes, such as ISO 14001 and EcoPorts, to monitor and improve environmental performance.

Benefits of Greening the port sector

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, which contribute to global warming and health problems.
  • Saving energy and resources, reduces operational costs and dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Enhancing competitiveness and innovation, which attract new investments and customers.
  • Improving social responsibility and reputation increases stakeholder engagement and trust.
  • Creating green jobs and skills, which support local development and employment.

Way Forward

  • Greening the port sector is not only a necessity but also an opportunity for the port industry to become more sustainable, resilient and profitable. It requires a collaborative approach among various stakeholders, such as port authorities, operators, service providers, regulators, customers and communities.
  • It also requires a supportive framework of policies, incentives and regulations at the local, national and international levels. By greening the port sector, we can ensure that ports continue to play a vital role in the global economy while protecting the environment and enhancing social well-being.

Must Read Articles:

Major Seaports in India: https://www.iasgyan.in/blogs/major-sea-ports-in-india

Maritime India Vision: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/maritime-india-vision-2030


Q. How can the port sector contribute to the global efforts of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing environmental sustainability? What are the benefits and opportunities that greening the port sector can bring to the maritime industry and society at large?