ABP Unveils £2bn Energy Transition, Net Zero 2040 Plan
ABP (Associated British Ports), the top ports group in the UK, has unveiled its comprehensive sustainability plan, Ready for Tomorrow (RFT), along with an investment commitment of £2 billion.
The plan aims to achieve carbon neutrality within its own operations by 2040 at the latest while also financing significant infrastructure initiatives to support the broader energy transition in the UK.
Ready for Tomorrow is a strategy focusing on ABP's internal operations and external collaborations to address sustainability challenges and seize opportunities for future generations.
Henrik L. Pedersen, ABP’s Chief Executive Officer, said:
“Climate change is an era-defining challenge, but it is also an opportunity to scale innovative new industries to leave an optimistic legacy for generations to come.
“ABP is ready for tomorrow. We are committed to working together with industry partners and authorities to turn this generational crisis into a generational opportunity: to create a decarbonised, dramatically more sustainable future and deliver the significant investment, economic growth and thousands of new, good jobs that should come with it.”
Ready for Tomorrow outlines five key focus areas for ABP's operations: Net Zero, air quality, biodiversity, waste management, and water management. Each area has a set of action plans, which includes input from ABP employees at ports and other sites, to achieve ambitious but achievable goals. ABP has committed to achieving Net Zero from its own operations (Scopes 1 and 2) by 2040.
Maritime Minister Baroness Vere, said:
"The UK is a pioneer in cutting-edge clean maritime solutions, with hundreds of millions of pounds of government funding being invested in developing greener, cleaner vessels and infrastructure.
“However, it’s vital that industry also invests in our future, and I’m therefore very pleased to see Associated British Ports doing just that, ensuring we’re Ready for Tomorrow and injecting billions into decarbonising our maritime sector.”
Ready for Tomorrow acknowledges the critical and unique role that ports, particularly ABP, the largest port operator in the UK, play in supporting various sustainability projects. ABP plans to continue expanding its offshore wind manufacturing and support hubs in Humber and East Anglia while also more than doubling its own green power generation.
ABP's major upcoming projects, in collaboration with industrial partners, include ambitious developments in South Wales, the Solent, Humber, and East Anglia. These initiatives encompass floating offshore wind (with a focus on a major integration port hub at Port Talbot), hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, industrial decarbonisation, and alternative fuels.
ABP's £2 billion green growth and decarbonisation plan involves combining projects that will contribute to significant emissions reductions and sustainability enhancements within ABP's operations and partnering with customers to develop green growth energy transition projects.
Ready for Tomorrow recognises the magnitude of challenges and opportunities that arise from the urgent need for decarbonisation and enhanced sustainability in the UK. This imperative is greater than any single company or organisation. To effectively address climate change challenges and fully capitalise on opportunities, collaboration and partnership are essential. ABP is committed to this ethos.
Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, a sustainable business organisation whose members have a cumulative turnover of around £600bn, said:
“The launch of ABP’s sustainability Strategy marks an important moment in the UK economy’s transition to net zero emissions. Decarbonising ports is not only important in itself, but it is also essential to support the decarbonisation of other key parts of the economy, such as energy generation, shipping, and heavy industries like steel.
“By taking proactive steps to cut emissions in a part of the economy that is complex to decarbonise, ABP is demonstrating true leadership and showing that the business community is ready to lead the UK economy to net zero. The Government must respond by showing equivalent leadership in the coming months through strengthening the UK’s net zero strategy.”
Partnership with the government is also crucial to enable sustainability efforts. The government must create a supportive, collaborative, and consistent policy environment, expedite approvals and consents, and occasionally provide pump-priming or bridging support in cases of market failure.
In addition to environmental improvements, ABP seeks to enhance its contribution to the UK economy and society, addressing sustainability in the broadest sense. ABP aims to build a sustainable society by using its evolving and leading role as a catalyst for investment, quality job creation, and prosperity in the communities where it operates.
Download the full ABP Ready for Tomorrow sustainability strategy document here.