Reflecting on the RSB Ports Meeting in Copenhagen
Last week, in the beautiful city of Copenhagen, RSB hosted a brand-new event for RSB members and invited stakeholders, in partnership with Maersk, ClimateWorks Foundation, Copenhagen Airports and Topsoe.
From 22nd to 23rd March, RSB brought together key stakeholders from across industry and civil society for two days of important meetings on issues that are at the frontline of sustainability conversations relating to aviation and maritime decarbonisation. And what a pleasure it was to meet, connect with and learn from over 110 participants.
Days before the start of the RSB Ports Meeting, the IPCC published its synthesis of all the reports published as part of the 6th assessment cycle, once again highlighting: “There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.” While shipping harbours and airports are undoubtedly centres of economic development, it is now imperative that ports also become centres of climate action. With this in mind, representatives from over 65 organisations – all across RSB’s collaborative network – came together in Copenhagen to explore the role of ports in advancing a transition to a biocircular economy.
On 22nd March, participants were officially welcomed to Day 1 of the RSB Ports Meeting, hosted at the Maersk Headquarters, for a full-day of interactive presentations and discussions into the hot topics of power-to-x (PtX) technologies and book and claim.
It started with an opening address by RSB’s Executive Director, Elena Schmidt, in which we were asked to reflect on our motivations for the day and to envision a future we were personally working towards. We then got underway with our deep-dive into PtX, led by RSB’s Policy & Innovations Manager, Carolina Grassi, and moderated by Sylvain Verdier (Topsoe) and Tjasa Bole-Rentel (Enertrag). In this session, we were joined by Eva Ravn Nielsen (Ramboll) and Anders Thorsen (EKF – Denmark´s Export Credit Agency), whose provided exceptionally thorough insights into the infrastructure challenges associated with the PtX and its respectively products, as well as the cost of energy transition and how the value of sustainability can be measured.
This was followed by two fascinating a panel discussions. The first with Matthieu Boisson (Hinicio), Jeppe Juul (Transport & Environment – T&E), Tom Berg (SkyNRG) and Brandon McKenna (Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping) on co-creating a PtX ecosystem – looking at and how sectors, countries, and geopolitical regions will need to collaborate to reduce costs, develop best practices, and encourage investments. The second with Christoph De Beer (Sasol), Farai Chireshe (WWF South Africa) and Tejs Laustsen Jensen (Brintbranchen) – looking at how PtX can be part of a just transition package that contributes to social and economic opportunities for both developed and developing countries.
The final session of Day 1, led by RSB’s Programmes Director, Arianna Baldo, and moderated by Adam Klauber (World Energy), saw us unpack the book and claim chain-of-custody model and showcase RSB’s work on this exciting market mechanism. The session started with a panel discussion on the varying perspectives on the concept of ‘additionality’ and the use of claims in book and claim featuring Julia Fidler (Microsoft), Noelle Froelich (Deutsche Post DHL Group) and Fabio Luttazi (Etihad Aviation). This was followd by Marieke Verhoeven (Shell), who provided some insight into the Avelia project and the importance of having an aligned recognition framework when it comes to book and claim.
After a quick break, the book and claim session returned with a presentation from RSB’s Certification Manager, George Deslandes, and Miguel Ruiz (SCS Global Services), on auditing the chain of custody sustainability claims. Thereafter, RSB’s Digital Solutions Manager, Max Eichelbaum, called in virtually to preview the RSB Book & Claim Registry, before handing over to Arianna, who officially launched the RSB Book & Claim Platform.
The day ended with networking drinks and snacks at Copenhagen’s famous Admiral Hotel, where participants reconnected and celebrated Day 1 of the RSB Ports Meeting, and readied themselves for Day 2.
On 23rd March, participants met at the historic Vilhelm Lauritzen Terminal at Copenhagen Airport for Day of the RSB Ports Meeting for parallel sessions on the RSB’s new membership initiatives, the Sustainable Marine Fuel Platform and the Sustainable Airports Platform, before heading over to Topsoe for a R&D tour of their facilities.
In the Sustainable Airports Platform session, we were joined by Judit Sandquist (SINTEF), Krzysztof Żychowski (Centralny Port Komunikacyjny), Jesper Jacobsen (Copenhagen Airports), Erin Cooke (San Francisco International Airport) and Bastian Rauch (DLR – Institute of Combustion Technology), whose presentations built on the progress RSB’s collaborative network has achieved this past year, as part of the Sustainable Airports Platform, discussing the main topics around aviation sector relating to airports’ role in the SAF value chain.
In parallel, the Sustainable Marine Fuel Platform was officially launched, with presentations from Emma Harvey (Virgin Voyages), Jacob Sterling (Preferred by Nature), Marie-Caroline Laurent (Cruise Lines International Association), Jos Tholhuijsen (GoodFuels) and Pedro Piris-Cabezas (Environmental Defense Fund) – and moderated by Ingrid Marie Andersen (Maersk) – who presentations focused on the key sustainability topics affecting the transition to sustainable marine fuel, driving engagement with regulators, and advocating for a robust and consistent sustainability approach.
The day ended with an incredibly exciting tour of Topsoe’s R&D facilities, where participants were able to see how the company is developing and testing various technologies, such as production of SAF or green hydrogen.
RSB would like to thank all participants who contributed their time and effort, and made the first-ever RSB Ports Meeting such a resounding success. We would especially like to thank Maersk, ClimateWorks Foundation, Copenhagen Airports and Topsoe for making this event possible – your commitments to sustainability and decarbonising the shipping and aviation sectors are a true example of what our collaborative network can achieve.
This year, with the COVID restrictions easing up, we are thrilled to have many more in-person events around the world lined up, including the RSB Annual Conference in Geneva, 14-15 November. Please see RSB’s event calendar for the latest plans for members, invited stakeholders and the public – and stay tuned for announcement!
If you have any queries relating to events, please reach out to RSB’s Outreach & Engagement Director, Hannah Walker.