Australia’s Port of Newcastle has announced that it will start using 100% renewable energy by next year and is currently working to shift all vehicles to the electric mode by 2023.

The port has joined the Hunter institutions that aim to ensure the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN).

Port of Newcastle, City of Newcastle, Compass Housing Services, Hunter Water, Kumalie, Port Waratah Coal Services and the University of Newcastle are the seven institutions that aim to ensure the implementation of SDGs in the region.

Port of Newcastle Environment, Planning and Sustainability manager Jackie Spiteri said that it is expected to help it transform into a more sustainable and responsible organisation.

Spiteri added: “The UN’s 17 SDGs form the blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for all by addressing the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.”

“We have joined other leading Hunter institutions to create a shared vision in this area, build our region’s capability and look at what that looks like in practice, including how that affects the supply chain, procurement and strategic direction of each party.”

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Last month, the port released its 2019 Sustainability Report that measured the progress in meeting the sustainability commitments.

It also outlined the contribution with regards to the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the Hunter and regional New South Wales (NSW).

Spiteri said that it is developing a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) scholarship programme for Aboriginal students.

The programme is being developed in collaboration with the University of Newcastle. It is also developing programmes to empower women in maritime.

The programmes are part of the broader commitment of the port towards sustainable and responsible operations.

Spiteri said: “Minimising our environmental footprint, diversifying trade and creating a more resilient economy requires a determined, long-term effort with co-operation between the port and its stakeholders.

“While we look to what the port could be in the decades ahead, it is clear there are things we can do today to make the way we operate the port more sustainable and responsible.”

In August 2018, the Port of Newcastle unveiled plans to develop a new container terminal to improve the job and business opportunities in the Hunter region.