Sustainability

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Lead port sustainability with a focus on people, the environment, our clients and operations

Ensuring the ongoing success and viability of NQBP and the communities in which we operate, requires strategies and actions that embrace balance and leadership in delivering economic, social and environmental outcomes.

NQBP is the only port operator in the world to operate three major ports within a World Heritage Area. In 2015-16, NQBP laid out a clear strategy for port sustainability and published Sustainability Plan 2015+ which guides our work.

Sustainability Plan 2015+

In August 2015, the NQBP Board endorsed Sustainability Plan 2015+ setting a benchmark in the Australian port industry for whole-of-business sustainability planning. The Plan recognises that managing a sustainable business strengthens the organisation’s core ability to grow trade through ports into the future for the benefit of Queensland and Australia. The Plan’s five themes, and 24 actions, will be progressed between 2015-2017 and include:

  1. Smart Port operations: driving smart, safe and efficient business operations
  2. Our environment: supporting science and understanding our environments
  3. Workplace and people: strength, diversity and resilience with transparency
  4. Planning a bright future: efficient, responsible and resilient plans
  5. Port communities: integrating with communities and ongoing learning.

The plan will be reviewed each year to ensure NQBP remains abreast of emerging industry trends and new technologies.

Energy Audit

In February 2016, NQBP implemented a Level 1 Energy Audit across all sites, to identify operational areas where energy efficiencies, including a reduction in green house gases could be achieved.

The audit was undertaken in accordance with AS/NZS3598:2000 Energy Audits and included identification of simple operational amendments to reduce energy, as well as the identification of renewable energy (solar) opportunities for sites that consume higher rates of energy across the business.

Following this work on a Renewable Energy Framework is being developed to identify short, medium and long-term opportunities and potential industry partnerships.

Address Climate Change in Business Operations

NQBP understands the impacts brought on by a changing climate and is committed to addressing climate change in business operations. As a supporter of the PIANC (World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure) ‘Think Climate’ Coalition recently adopted at the Paris Climate Change Conference, NQBP has continued to track the progress of the Coalition’s Navigating Climate Change Action Plan. A review of the climate change adaptation strategies of some of NQBP’s key customers was undertaken to identify learnings that can assist with the development of a port-wide climate change and adaptation strategy.

Materiality Assessment

In pursuing our strategic operational goals, NQBP’s operations cause varying economic, environmental and social impacts to its business and other stakeholders. NQBP conducted a Materiality Assessment to help identify issues material to NQBP, which are important for sustainability planning, stakeholder engagement, sustainability reporting and future business planning purposes, as well as identifying gaps and areas to improve and focus on with respect to sustainability and future strategies.

Peer Review

A peer benchmarking exercise was undertaken to understand the sustainability strategies and reporting of leading industry peers. The review involved six peers (two Australian, two overseas and two from other sectors) which aligned with the key sustainability attributes of NQBP.

The outcomes of the review identified that while NQBP is early in its approach to sustainability, the organisation is beyond compliance level. NQBP is in the process of defining what sustainability means for the business, understanding risk and opportunity, establishing policies, systems, procedures, setting goals and reporting on progress and building rapport. As NQBP moves forward in sustainability, it will progress to going beyond compliance towards understanding, engagement and leadership.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In line with best practice, NQBP tracks its greenhouse gas emissions, although it is not required to formally report under Commonwealth legislation as activities do not exceed the 25,000 tonne CO2 threshold. It is expected emissions from coal terminals will be reported by the terminal operators under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System.

Port Operations and Management

Port Operations and Management2015-162014-15
Total Electricity for power and lighting2015-16: 983.822014-15: 985.96
Total Fuel for fleet vehicles, mowers, boats and plant2015-16: 137.012014-15: 130.29
Total Fuel for rental vehicles2015-16: 3.372014-15: 8.00
Total Fuel from flights2015-16: 321.692014-15: 325.05
Total Fuel from Dredging Activities2015-16: 725.802014-15: 777.81
Total NQBP emissions2015-16: 2171.692014-15: 2227.11

Greenhouse gas emissions (tonnes) >>

Note: Calculations are based on ecoBIZ Emission Calculator 2014

Green Office

The development of a Green Office program that aligns with the Harvard University Green Office system has provided all NQBP employees an opportunity to be involved in building sustainability – a key focus area of our Sustainability Plan. The initiative also helps to develop a culture of sustainability within the organisation.

A team of seven employees was assembled to drive and lead this commitment. Current green measures already in place within the organisation include the use of recycling bins, engaging sleep mode on electronic equipment and the efficient use of printers.

A team of seven employees was assembled to drive and lead this commitment. Current green measures already in place within the organisation include the use of recycling bins, engaging sleep mode on electronic equipment and the efficient use of printers.

Environment

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NQBP holds a vision for Australia where trade, communities and the environment all thrive. Our committed approach to sustainability requires that we undertake our work with a clear focus, ensuring we always reduce and manage any potential impact upon the environment. NQBP operates to the highest international standards through our Environmental Management System, certified under ISO14001 since 1999.

Port Environmental Management

Activities

ActivityDescriptionProgress 2015-16
Port of Hay Point
Air quality monitoring

Description:

In place for nearly 20 years, along with terminal operators, this program is designed to improve dust management practices at the port.

Progress 2015-16:

Effective dust management continued at the port throughout 2015-16. A Coat Dust Study was also completed during the financial period with expected release of results in late 2016.
Marine water quality

Description:

Large scale ambient marine water quality monitoring along the coastline of the Port of Hay Point.

Progress 2015-16:

James Cook University's (JCU) TropWATER have been conducting ongoing monitoring covering 60km along the Mackay coastline from Slade Point to Freshwater Point, and offshore to Keswick Island. Plankton sampling has been added to the monitoring program to understand how blooms of algae and plankton contribute to changes in water clarity.
Coral monitoring

Description:

This program investigates local fringing coral health, abundance and distribution and includes annual before and after wet season monitoring along the coastline of the Port of Mackay and the Port of Hay Point.

Progress 2015-16:

Since early 2015, NQBP has had a team of scientists completing diver surveys on four island communities near the ports of Hay Point and Mackay. The 2015-16 survey supported natural seasonal fluctuations in algae abundance and showed an increase in hard coral cover at Keswick Island and a slight decline in cover at Round Top Island.
Seagrass monitoring and research program

Description:

Undertaken by JCU scientists, this program aligns with broader Great Barrier Reef seagrass monitoring and provides linkages to the Queensland-wide network of habitat assessment and management. It covers the coastline of the Port of Mackay and the Port of Hay Point.

Progress 2015-16:

Outcomes of monitoring in 2015 identified seagrass biomass was the highest it has been since 2012.
Port of Mackay
Coral monitoring

Description:

This program investigates local fringing coral health, abundance and distribution and includes annual before and after wet season minitoring along the coastline of the Port of Mackay and the Port of Hay Point.

Progress 2015-16:

Since early 2015, NQBP has had a team of scientists completing diver surveys on four island communities near the Ports of Hay Point and Mackay. The 2015-16 surveys supported natural seasonal fluctuations in algae abundance and showed an increase in hard coral coaver at Keswick Island and a slight decline in cover at Round Top Island.
Marine water quality

Description:

Large scale ambient marine water quality monitoring along the coastline of Port of Mackay.

Progress 2015-16:

JCU's TropWATER have been conducting ongoing monitoring covering 60km along the Mackay coastline from Slade Point to Freshwater Point, and offshore to Keswick Island. Plankton sampling has been added to the monitoring program to understand how blooms of algae and plankton contribute to changes in water clarity.
Seagrass monitoring and research program

Description:

Undertaken by JCU scientists, this program aligns with broader Great Barrier Reef seagrass monitoring and provides linkages to the Queensland-wide network of habitat assessment and management. It covers the coastline of the Port of Mackay and the Port of Hay Point.

Progress 2015-16:

Outcomes of minitoring in 2015 identified a new offshore Halophila spinulosa meadow off the Mackay Marina.
Regional stormwater monitoring program

Description:

This program is a regional alliance developed to look at stormwater runoff in the Mackay region.

Progress 2015-16:

Together, NQBP, Mackay Regional Council and Reef Catchments hope to indentify areas of improvement and implement management strategies to improve stormwater runoff.
Port of Abbot Point
Envionmental approvals of capital dredging

Description:

Abbot Point is a designated Priority Port in Queensland. Capital dredging will be required to allow for future growth of coal export capacity from 50 to 120 mtpa.

Progress 2015-16:

The Abbot Point Growth Gateway Project involves dredging 1.1 million cubic metres of seabed and placing it on vacant industrial land at the port, next to the existing coal terminal.
Seagrass monitoring and research program

Description:

In place since 2008, the program assesses the long-term condition and trend for this valuable fisheries habitat.

Progress 2015-16:

Outcomes of monitoring in 2015 identified seagrasses in teh area showed a two-year steady recovery and strong increases in biomass and area after declines in preious years due to cyclones, high rainfall, winds and flooding.
Marine water quality

Description:

A new ambient marine water quality monitoring program has been implemented at the Port of Abbot Point.

Progress 2015-16:

Six permanent logging stations have been established in the area. Initial findings are expected late 2016.
Coral monitoring

Description:

A new ambient coral monitoring program has been implemented at the Port of Abbot Point with surveys scheduled before and after wet season each year.

Progress 2015-16:

In May 2016, the Australian Institute of Marine Science commenced an ambient coral monitoring program with 12 permanent tranect sites at Holbourne and Cap Islands.
The purpose of the program is to look at the dynamics of these communities as exposed to natural environmental conditions.
Port of Weipa
Maintenance dredging

Description:

Safe, sustainable and competitive seaport services for customers require a well-planned maintenance dredging program to ensure declared depths are preserved. NQBP holds a 10-year long-term Commonwealth Permit and ongoing State permits for routine maintenance dredging at the Port of Weipa.

Progress 2015-16:

The 2015 maintenance dredging campaign was completed between 23 June and 16 July 2015, with full environmental compliance and no incidents recorded. The 2016 maintenance dredging campaign began on 24 June and was completed by 20 July 2016.
Strategic, long-term seagrass monitoring program

Description:

One of the largest running seagrass monitoring programs in the world. JCU scientists undertake monitoring and reporting, including the assessment of seagrass community health indicators.

Progress 2015-16:

Outcomes of monitoring in 2015 identified that seagrass was in good condition and that overall the marine environment was healthy.

EcoPorts Program

NQBP’s EcoPorts Program comprises a practical action plan to achieve longterm environmental and sustainability goals and commitments.It encompasses port environmental monitoring programs, training,auditing and tasks around community and stakeholder engagement on environmental matters for the year. For 2015-16, the program included 35 actions, only one of which remains in progress. The Coal Dust Study is expected to be completed late 2016.

Environmental Policy

In addition to undertaking critical environmental monitoring and management tasks, NQBP is closelyinvolved in the development and ongoing implementation of environmental policy. A key member of NQBP’s Sustainability and External Relations team serves as the Environment and Planning Chair for both Queensland Ports Association and Ports Australia. This involvement allows NQBP to play a vital role in driving industryparticipation and input into marine science, environmental governance and port policy development animplementation. It also sees NQBP’s expertise called on by ports and industry associations throughout Queensland and Australia.

Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan

Throughout 2015-16, NQBP was proactively involved in the Queensland and Federal Government’s Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, which provides an overarching strategy for managing the Great Barrier Reef into the future.

Our involvement has ranged from advising on policy, through to detailing end user requirements and implementing agreed actions.

In 2015-16, NQBP provided:

  • Inputs into the Maintenance Dredging Strategy currently being prepared by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, including the establishment of a framework for the long-term management of sediment at ports
  • Advice and guidance on the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015 prepared by the Department of State Development, including details on how to develop and operationalise Environmental Management Frameworks at ports
  • Guidance on how to implement the Reef Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program based on our experiences in managing comprehensive port-wide ambient monitoring projects
  • Specialist advice on principles for net benefits, offsets and cumulative impacts to be included in future policies
  • Detailed port specific expertise and briefings which will inform various research studies being undertaken on dredging and sediment issues.

Under NQBP’s guidance, ports are currently in the process of developing a long-term sediment management framework in consultation with Reef 2050 stakeholders, government and research agencies.

NQBP has also commissioned a range of research studies on the impacts and opportunities associated with port development near the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. All tasks have been undertaken to highlight the strong environmental and sustainability credentials of ports and to demonstrate that port activities have and can continue to occur adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef without impact.

Sustainable Sediment Management Assessment

To ensure the safe passage of ships transiting our ports, the maintenance of navigational depths is essential. NQBP has started an investigation into the long-term management of sedimentation at the Port of Hay Point, to look at ways to avoid or reduce the ongoing need for maintenance dredging. Where this is unavoidable, the investigation seeks to identify the long-term alternatives to dispose of accumulated marine sediments in the port’s channels, berths and navigational areas. The Sustainable Sediment Management Assessment is extremely comprehensive and will be a form of master planning that demonstrates how NQBP can best manage and maintain safe navigation depth into the future. On completion of the work for Hay Point, NQBP anticipates rolling out the SSM framework across each trading port.

Coal Dust Study

NQBP and Port of Hay Point terminal operators HPCT and DBCT have completed a comprehensive coal dust study which has set a new benchmark in regional dust studies. Over a 15-month period between November 2013 and January 2015, more than 500 dust samples were collected from 15 dust monitoring sites within the Port of Hay Point area and West Mackay, approximately 32 kilometres away. The Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland was enlisted to analyse the data and provide a final report. NQBP anticipates having the report peer reviewed by air quality scientists at the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation before release later in 2016.

Your Ports Environment Report

In December 2015, NQBP released the first Environment Report, demonstrating our commitment to sustainable port practices and dedication to the broader community and regions. The report card aligns with reporting methodologies used in established Great Barrier Reef tools, and will aid NQBP in continuing to manage the interaction between the operations of ports and the natural environment in future years. The report has received strong support, and NQBP will look to further build on the outcomes as the monitoring programs mature.

Emergency Response Training

An oil spill response training exercise was held at the Port of Mackay in May 2016, demonstrating how NQBP would coordinate a response in the unlikely event of an incident occurring. NQBP is committed to environmental protection and is privileged to have three of our major operations located adjacent to the magnificent Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. We are fully committed to ensuring we are ready to respond immediately by implementing best-practice emergency response actions.

Collaborative Partnerships

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Mackay-Whitsunday Healthy Rivers To Reef Partnership

NQBP continued as a major supporter and contributor to the Mackay-Whitsunday Healthy Rivers To Reef Partnership, which consists of 28 organisations. In October 2015, the partnership launched a regional environment pilot report on the health of Mackay-Whitsunday waterways. NQBP is proud to be a primary funding partner and chair of the technical working group responsible for formulating the report card, which was overseen by an independent scientific panel.

PIANC International Working Group

PIANC (World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure) is the international organisation based in Brussels that is responsible for advising on standards in the field of navigable waterway traffic. NQBP’s Senior Manager Environment has been working in the group since February 2015 and has visited six ports on the west coast of the United States of America to further understand their practices and present on NQBP’s environmental management program. In September 2015, NQBP welcomed the working group on a tour of the Port of Hay Point to explore strong environmental management at an operating coal terminal. In addition, the visitors experienced the Great Barrier Reef first-hand, in order to better understand the features of the Reef that contribute to its outstanding universal value and to gain perspective in considering NQBP’s unique role in managing three priority ports in a World Heritage Area.

Port Communities Program

NQBP’s ports play a key role in regional Queensland communities by supporting the growth of industries and facilitating trade of essential commodities for communities and industry.

NQBP also supports local port communities through sponsorships, donations and sustainable partnerships. NQBP consults through Community Reference Groups to build awareness of port operations and future growth plans, to listen to and act on concerns and feedback, and to discuss community investments. In 2015-16, NQBP supported a number of community initiatives and events representing a total contribution of $72,403.

» Port of Hay Point

  • Coal to Coast Sarina Festival
  • Alligator Creek Learn to Swim Program
  • Sarina Beach Coconut Festival 2016
  • Sarina Festival 2016

» Port of Abbot Point

  • Bowen Fishing Classic 2016
  • Bowen Sea Turtle Assessment and Rehabilitation Inc (BSTAR)
  • Bowen Seagulls Rugby League Club
  • Bowen PCYC Rock n’ Revs 2016

» Port of Weipa

  • Weipa Fishing Classic

» Port of Weipa

  • Mackay Marina Run
  • Mackay Relay for Life
  • Resource Industry Network
  • Mackay Beach Horse Races
  • Pink Ribbon Charity Fair

A key highlight from the 2015-16 Port Communities Program was the $15,000 commitment to support Bowen’s North Head Lighthouse restoration project.

November 2016 will mark the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the North Head Lighthouse in Bowen and as such the community sought to have the historical building restored as part of the sesquicentennial anniversary of this community asset. NQBP was proud to support the project through the provision of a Sustainable Partnership grant to restore this important piece of historical maritime infrastructure, much like NQBP’s Bowen Wharf. NQBP further contributed to regional development through sponsorship of the Major Projects Summit held in Bowen, the Bowen Collinsville Business Awards and Resource Industry Network.

NQBP further contributed to regional development through sponsorship of the Major Projects Summit held in Bowen, the Bowen Collinsville Business Awards and Resource Industry Network.

Workplace and People

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Workplace and People

NQBP employs 116 people across a wide range of disciplines including pilotage, engineering, planning, maintenance, governance and legal, administration, finance, communications, trade and property and business and commercial services. The workforce is spread across four locations including Brisbane, Mackay, Bowen and Weipa.

Enterprise Agreements

NQBP finalised negotiation of the expired 2014 Enterprise Agreement for staff (administration, some professionals, operations and trade staff) in late 2015. The approved agreement will expire on 28 February 2018. Marine Pilots continue to operate under an Enterprise Agreement that was approved by the Fair Work Commission in January 2015.

Employer of Choice Strategy

NQBP has progressed an Employer of Choice Strategy that focuses on our people capability, a critical element in the delivery of our Strategic Plan. In 2015-16, the Employer of Choice journey led to improving human resource processes and systems, developing a Rewards and Recognition scheme, providing flexible work arrangements and focusing on the development of a performance culture. Over the next 12 months, NQBP’s aim is to deliver better workforce planning, leadership development and culture alignment.

Drug and Alcohol Policy

The corporation has continued to place a high emphasis on zero tolerance for drug and alcohol at all NQBP offices and ports. This financial year saw a 0.0 per cent Blood Alcohol Concentration procedure implemented.

Summary of workplace and people outcomes

Workforce Profile

Number of employees

Employee Turnover
(12 month average)

*July 2015 – 17 voluntary redu ndancies. July 2016, per cent will decrease to approximately 12 per cent

Developing our People

We aim to be an organisation that values talent, where people understand the alignment between the work they do and the goals of the business, and where each staff member seeks to exceed in their role and develop their skills and competencies.

Percent of employees rated ‘above average or higher’ for their performance in their annual performance review

Number of employees receiving support for accredited tertiary courses

Valuing Diversity

A talented, innovative and diverse workforce is vital if NQBP is to achieve its vision for a sustainable future.

Health and Safety

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NQBP strives to achieve the highest attainable level of occupational safety and health working conditions for its employees, contractors and visitors.

Driving Safety

Actions

Action2015-16 Progress
Workplace inspections

2015-16 Progress

Hazard Hunt have been introduced to supplement ongoing inspection regimes
Operational and system audits

2015-16 Progress

Monthly Operational Audits have been completed, along with two External Operational Audits
Hazard identification and risk management

2015-16 Progress

A leadership focus on calibrating the acceptable level of risk for business with all levels of the organisation participating hazard identification in the workplace
Consultation, communication and cooperation

2015-16 Progress

All employees, contractors and port users have access to regularly scheduled safety interactions
Training and awareness

2015-16 Progress

All statutory training was completed for the period with regular refresher and awareness training conducted monthly
Proactive health and safety programs

2015-16 Progress

NQBP facilitated a regional Safe Work Week program at the Port of Mackay, which included port users and tenants and employees. Ongoing health monitoring and screening has assisted employees to identify latent personal health issues while assessing exposures to potential workplace hazards

Health and Safety Risk Management

The Executive Committee continues to review the effectiveness of, and provide valuable leadership in Health and Safety Management Systems and processes, including active support for continuous improvement of systems and behaviours.

Notable areas of focus this financial year include:

  • Working with port tenants to quantify the exposure from the transfer and storage of hazardous products within the Port of Mackay
  • Optimising operational personal protective equipment across port locations
  • Reviewing the effectiveness of NQBP’s fatigue management systems and processes.

NQBP’s hazard identification and risk management procedures and the associated operational risks are being consolidated into an enterprise wide risk register which will provide greater efficiencies in review and risk treatment.

Hazard Hunts

During 2015-16, NQBP began the process of Hazard Hunts across all port locations. Employee participation has been high with almost 150 individual hazards identified in the four activities held since the program’s implementation. These relatively simple activities have provided valuable team building opportunities, while identifying new hazards and actions to mitigate the likelihood of potential harm. The removal of latent risks and hazards along with ongoing Take 5 completion rates had a direct correlation to the reduction in illness and injuries to employees, contractors and port users.

Accreditation

An accredited Health and Safety Management System provides certainty to future proponents and port users, and helps to ensure NQBP is a business of choice for trade and development. NQBP’s Health and Safety Strategy supports future accreditation for the Health and Safety Management System to the Australian Standard. In the next financial period, NQBP plans to include a precertification audit, complete a review of the systems, processes, procedures and supporting documentation for the NQBP Health and Safety Management System with the aim of reducing paper based processes and inefficiencies.

Employee and Regional Health and Safety

NQBP actively participates in local and regional health and safety networks and consultative committees. This year, as part of Safe Work Week, Port of Mackay held an event for port users and tenants. The event provided important networking opportunities for employees from across all levels of the business while being able to focus on the health and safety of our shared endeavours. There were a number of co-contributors to the event who shared valuable lessons learnt from their own organisations and their individual journeys.

NQBP also utilised the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s Safety Advocate program to highlight the impact that an injury can have on an employee and their families. The lasting effect of the Safety Advocates has been to encourage employees to act on hazards as they are identified and to use the Take 5 process more effectively. Employees physical and mental wellbeing are equally important. During the year employees were able to complete a functional screening and participate in RU OK Day and NQBP will continue to explore activities that support and sustain our employees’ health and wellbeing.

Significant Business Projects

A commitment to improve and upgrade infrastructure to heighten performance, safety and effectiveness of port operations saw a number of significant projects undertaken during the year, including:

  • Opening of the Port of Mackay’s Southern Breakwater which provides safe berths for port and marina users
  • Ongoing repairs and maintenance of the Middle and Northern Breakwaters at the Port of Mackay
  • Repairs and corrosion protection for Port of Mackay’s Wharf 1
  • Repairs and upgrades to marine infrastructure and new public boat ramp at Port of Weipa’s Evans Landing.

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