Like all other Canadian Port Authorities, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) is subject to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and federal regulations covering environmental assessment of its projects. The MPA also requires that its tenants comply with environmental regulations that govern their handling activities.

That’s for starters. The MPA has also introduced several environmental initiatives.

environmental POLICY

Since 2001, the MPA’s Environmental Policy (in French), revised in 2010, has set out the MPA’s environmental principles and values. Its objective is to guide the MPA in both its current management and in its development planning. It will be revised again shortly.

It aims to ensure that the MPA’s activities are planned and executed according to the following criteria: compliance with the legal framework; concern to minimize the environmental impacts that may be associated with its activities; and commitment to protect the quality of the environment. It also plays a key role in applying the Sustainable Development Policy.

The environmental policy covers the following guiding principles:

  1. Environmental compliance
  2. Protection of the environment
  3. Environmental management
  4. Communication

1. Environmental compliance

The MPA ensures that its operations, facilities and activities, as well as those of its tenants, comply with applicable regulations.

2. Protection of the environment

The MPA ensures that its operations and those of its tenants are conducted so as to prevent pollution, minimize negative impacts and environmental risks, and protect the quality of the environment.

To this end, the MPA develops and implements procedures, programs and controls that allow it to control the environmental aspects of its activities and maintain its environmental performance.

Lastly, the MPA also ensures that the environmental condition of its property holdings is assessed and, if necessary, that methods are put in place to reduce possible environmental risks related to these properties.

3. Environmental management

To meet its environmental commitments, the MPA implemented an effective environmental management system modeled on the ISO-14001 international standard, and ensures that it is maintained.

Its environmental management system allows it to measure its environmental performance and present these assessments to the Board of Directors on a regular basis.

4. Communication

In its efforts to ensure the compliance of its employees, partners and tenants to the principles of its environmental policy, the MPA communicates this policy to them and encourages them to help achieve its objectives in this area by respecting the processes, programs and procedures implemented under its environmental management system.

Furthermore, the MPA communicates regularly with its tenants and the community to show the MPA’s commitment to the environment, and implements ways to consider the expectations of its tenants and the community in its planning and current management.

Sustainable development policy

In 2010, the MPA adopted a policy that goes well beyond its obligation to conform to various environmental laws and by-laws and reflects its commitment. Revised in 2016, this policy reflects its commitment to integrate economic, environmental and social aspects into its business processes. The policy is coupled with a communication process and a description of the responsibilities of each stakeholder regarding its application. It is important to note that this policy applies to all MPA facilities and activities.

View our Sustainable Development page

Environmental management system

In 2005, the MPA implemented an environmental management system (EMS) for its activities and operations. Modelled on the ISO-14001 international standard, the EMS provides a framework to ensure that commitments made to protect the environment are respected. The EMS has given rise to over 30 procedures that are now entrenched in the management of port activities. These procedures have made it possible to fine-tune the control mechanisms that the MPA uses to manage its environmental footprint, reflecting a better understanding of activities that may create risk to the environment.


  • Identify environmental objectives and targets to improve environmental performance
  • Manage environment-related requests and complaints
  • Manage environmental risks and communications during projects
  • Conduct environmental monitoring
  • Audit environmental compliance of MPA operations and of its tenants’ operations
  • Make EMS integral to decision-making process for all new projects

Green measures

The Port of Montreal is taking hands-on measures to reduce its environmental footprint. Here are some examples:

  • Inventory of atmospheric emissions related to port activities; 
  • Recycling and material recovery program; 
  • Implementation of a new truck entry portal to reduce transaction and weight times. In 2011, the project earned an Award of Excellence in the Transportation and Merchandise category from the Association québécoise du transport et des routes (AQTR); 
  • Replacement of the fleet of service vehicles and vans with hybrid vehicles resulting in a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;
  • Replacement of Port locomotives with GenSet multi-generator locomotives that reduce GHG emissions;
  • Shore power for vessels using the new Cruise Terminal as well as the installation of five dockside connection points for vessels wintering at the Port, leading to a reduction in GHG emissions;
  • Since 2016, a new web-based Trucking PORTal that enables truck drivers and dispatchers to view port traffic in real time and improve their trip planning to reduce wait times and, by doing so, reduce GHG emissions;
  • Installation of broadband (white noise) back-up alarm systems on mobile equipment bellowing to the MPA;
  • Development at the Port of Montreal’s Grand Quay of Promenade d’Iberville, a green roof with a vast wooden terrace and more than 20,000 flowering and aromatic plants;
  • Lowering of the end of the Cruise Terminal pier and development of a public square for better access to the river;
  • The Port of Montreal’s involvement with the NPO Soverdi for the planting of 375 trees for the greening of private and institutional properties in Montreal;
  • Monetary donation to the City of Contrecoeur for the distribution of 350 trees to the city’s residents.

View the MPA’s achievements in sustainable development (2018)

Inventory of GHG emissions

The MPA carried out a detailed inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG) and air pollutant emissions on port territory in Montreal and Contrecoeur for the year 2017, the results of which are included in this summary.

Check out the transition plan for improved energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction 2018-2019.


In 2007, the MPA joined members of the maritime community to found Green Marine, an industry initiative of the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes that aims to guide the maritime industry towards environmental excellence. Its mission is to make maritime transport greener and more sustainable.

Acclaimed by the international maritime community and now comprising more than 100 members in Canada and the United States, this initiative won first prize in the Green Shipping Initiatives of the Year category Sustainable Shipping Awards in London in July 2011. On May 31, 2017, the MPA received the Green Environmental Certification in recognition of its excellence in leadership and effective environmental management of its port operations during 2016.

Green Marine has developed an interactive map that offers information about its participants.

The MPA’s environmental performance results for 2017 can be found along with all the other participants’ results in Green Marine’s 2017 Results table.


In 2009, the MPA became a member of the Green Award Foundation, an international initiative hat gives rebates to ships that have obtained Green Award certification based on rigorous standards, particularly in terms of safety, seaworthiness and environmental performance.