In the late 1980s, Port Houston established an environmental affairs department, developed a policy concerning environmental compliance, and began its history of leadership in environmental stewardship and sustainability. Port Houston’s nationally recognized and award-winning dedication to ensuring that business and the environment can co-exist successfully is often held up as the model for others to emulate.
In 2002, the Port Houston became the first U.S. port authority to attain and subsequently also be re-certified to the international standard for environmental management systems, known as ISO 14001.
Today, use of the Environmental Management System is the cornerstone of business decisions at the port. This systematic approach to the environment protects and preserves the natural environment along the ship channel and surrounding areas. The environmental management system is continually expanding to integrate additional port operations. Environmental staff also works with Port Houston tenants through an assessment program that regularly evaluates compliance with environmental regulations.
Among the numerous awards for environmental stewardship received are four of the coveted Gulf Guardian awards: in 2011 for an international demonstration of fuel-switching on ocean-going vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, in 2008 for the Clean and Green Program, in 2004 for its storm water pollution cleanup program, and in 2000 for the Houston Ship Channel demonstration marsh. In 2002, the port received the American Association of Port Authorities’ environmental achievement honor: the Calvin Hurst Award.
The Bayport Container Terminal has been developed to be one of the greenest terminals in the U.S. Innovations to control storm water pollution, noise and lighting are a few of outstanding features. Its administration building is built to LEED standards and two stevedore buildings were constructed using shipping containers.
“Guardian of the Bay” Award
In 2016, the port was honored with the Galveston Bay Foundation’s “Guardian of the Bay” Award. The award is given to organizations that have shown ongoing commitment to preserving and protecting the natural resources of Galveston Bay.
Partnership with Galveston Bay Foundation
The Port’s 10 year partnership with Galveston Bay Foundation supports regional environmental awareness and conservation efforts. The port and GBF work collaboratively to preserve and protect Galveston Bay, home of the Houston Ship Channel. Learn more about GBF and about how you can get involved here.
Galveston Bay Action Network
The GBF developed their own free mobile app and website called the Galveston Bay Action Network (GBAN). This allows the public to report pollution to the proper authorities from anywhere in the Houston-Galveston Area. Pollution events like chemical spills, illegal discharge of boat sewage, and the dumping of waste have the potential to impact water quality and threaten the health of the local people, plants, and animals. GBAN makes reporting easy and empowers anyone to be an active steward for Galveston Bay.