The Port of Virginia continues to make both small and seismic changes to how we do business in order to better position ourselves for the future.
Sustainable Work & Work Processes
The port is committed to maintaining and advancing sustainable work processes. To facilitate this, we are investing in our people and our processes. Whether it is through the use of Lean, Six Sigma, or ISO 9001, we are identifying our customers’ needs and designing processes which support them. This is a journey which depends on embracing our core values and working together with our external partners to succeed.
Building & Maintaining Organizational Knowledge
Every great organization realizes that its people are its greatest asset. We have several years of collective experience running marine terminals, analyzing and reporting financials, responding to marine incidents and a myriad of other functional skills. As these processes get recorded, we must ensure they are accurate, captured in a format that allows easy recall and are continuously updated to reflect best practices.
Culture of Continual Improvement
The processes that we use today may not be the same ones that achieve results tomorrow. The port recognizes that change is inevitable and we believe that smart change is a business necessity. We know that smart change has to be managed. We are continually evaluating how we perform our activities and looking for how equipment, processes or systems can be adapted to meet current and anticipated needs.
Formalizing our Way Ahead
Within our Innovation division, we have created a Process Excellence group. This group is responsible to assist the rest of organization in documenting work processes; improving our processes; and teaching process improvement skills. The creation of this group helps ensure that our process excellence journey continues to remain integrated into all that we do.
EMS Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
ISO 9001 + 14001 Certifications
Sustainability requires good stewardship of all that we’re entrusted with. At the Port of Virginia, we recognize that environmental stewardship means holding ourselves to high standards and creating a robust program to ensure compliance to all federal, state, and local requirements. The port’s environmental management system is certified to the international ISO 14001 standard. We have maintained this standard since we first attained it in 2008. The scope of our environmental management system includes our terminals and actions are already in place to move to the ISO 14001: 2015 standard.
The port understands that strong processes contribute to sustainable operations and provides the basis for operational excellence and fiscal responsibility. Currently, the port’s support functions are certified to the ISO 9001 quality management system standard. This program also began in 2008 and the port has maintained its certification since then. The port is certified to the most recent version of the standard, ISO 9001:2015.
On January 1, 2020, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will impose more stringent vessel emission standards globally. This will significantly reduce the amount of sulphur oxides emanating from ships and should have increased health and environmental benefits globally, particularly for populations living close to ports and coasts. Click here for more information.
There are three major compliance options for ship operators:
- Burn ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel
- Install exhaust gas cleaning systems (i.e. scrubbers) and continue to burn marine fuel oil
- Use an alternative fuel source (with liquefied natural gas currently the only viable option)
In 2019, the Virginia Port Authority became the first port in the United States to join SEA/LNG, a multi-sector industry coalition created to accelerate the widespread adoption of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel. The SEA/LNG coalition unites key players from across the LNG marine value chain to address the barriers to the adoption of LNG; advocating for collaboration, demonstration, and communication on key areas such as regulations, emissions, infrastructure, and the economic case, to provide the confidence and demand required for an effective and efficient global LNG value chain for 2020 and beyond. Click here for more on SEA/LNG.
We are honored and committed to supporting the availability of IMO 2020 compliant fuels for ships calling on our port. Additionally, we have partnered with the Virginia Maritime Association (VMA) to bring together regional stakeholders and industry experts to assess the business case for LNG bunkering in Virginia. Click here for more information on LNG or to join VMA’s directory of companies and services interested in participating in the LNG bunkering supply chain.