Mission, vision, strategy for a sustainable port policy

All the stakeholders in Antwerp’s port want to create sustainable added value together, while reconciling economic, social and environmental interests. The port aims to play a pioneering role in terms of sustainability, with Antwerp becoming the most sustainable port in the Hamburg-Le Havre zone. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations are used as a guideline for sustainable entrepreneurship, benefiting planet, people, prosperity, partnership and peace. 

Environmental care should not be at the expense of economic growth. Instead it should be a competitive advantage. We want to tackle environmental challenges proactive, responsibly and critically, without passing on environmental problems to other parts of society.  The basic principles of our vision are:

  • We comply with local, national and international environmental legislation without disrupting the competition with the neighbouring European ports.
  • We choose to work with the best available techniques.
  • We choose to pass on charges to polluters.
  • We give priority to maximum efficiency in the costs we incur for our environmental efforts.

Our concern for our planet is apparent in logistics. 

  • Antwerp’s geographical location is interesting for new mobility solutions.  The largest (container) ocean-going vessels can sail 80 kilometres inland, to the heart of one of the most industrialised region. This reduces transport costs and the associated environmental effects.
  • The combination of cargo flows means inland navigation or rail transport are more interesting. 
  • The technology of vehicle fleets is constantly improving. Trucks can become more efficient if we load them more intelligently and ensure that the number of empty journeys is limited to a minimum.


Labour continuity must be assured through a durable relationship with employees, attention to their safety and the far-reaching promotion of jobs in the port by companies with a strong employer brand. Having the right people in the right place is the only way to ensure continued high productivity. 


The circumstances in which the port’s activities take place are VUCA, after all, or volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Demographic, geopolitical, technological, industrial, energetic, sociological and economic changes succeed each other at a rapid pace, enhancing one another. The mechanisation of manual labour and automation, for example, are putting pressure on the existing added value. We will therefore strengthen the links between industry, logistics and transshipment to create added value, assuring more (diversified) cargo flows, efficient chains based on synergies and stable employment.  

Antwerp’s port can also continue to build on existing certainties, such as its efficient geographical location, a unique cluster of extensive trimodal facilities for hinterland transport, sufficient scope and scale, the combination with the power of the knowledge and research institutions in the regions, a renowned can-do mindset, a wide range of talent and so on.

On this (economic) level, sustainability therefore means developing a crisis-resistant fabric, which makes investment in the port more appealing. In the future, the port platform must become even more attractive for investors, talented young entrepreneurs and researchers from around the world.


The Antwerp Port Authority, the Scheldt Left Bank Corporation and VOKA are the driving force behind the biennial sustainability report and the Sustainability Award of Antwerp’s port community.  These initiatives are the outcome of an intensive cooperation with a group of stakeholders, who have strong social, societal and economic ties with the port of Antwerp. We map all the efforts to increase the port’s sustainability, while striving to increase support among the various stakeholders and the wider population. In recent years, we have regularly consulted with all the partners, developing a stronger sense of community.


The port of Antwerp greatly values transparency and a dialogue with all the stakeholders, which is the cornerstone of a sustainable transition. Representatives of the private port community associations and of the individual port companies from the three main sectors, i.e., transshipment, industry and logistics, all meet in a platform called “Stakeholdersoverleg Haven, Industry en Logistiek” (STHIL). The members of the Board of Directors are also permanently invited to attend the platform’s meetings, where port themes are discussed, which may give rise to a formal recommendation to the Board of Directors of the Antwerp Port Authority. Besides the stakeholder dialogue in the framework of the sustainability report, there are various other stakeholder platforms or neighbourhood councils which offer opportunities for dialogue and participation. 

The Belgian SDG Charter for International Development wants to raise awareness about the ambitious development agenda of the United Nations. 

Sustainable Development Goals Port of Antwerp