More is better!

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

The port also introduced several environmental initiatives:

Environmental Policy

Since 2001, the environmental policy of the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) 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 aims to ensure that the MPA’s activities are planned and executed according to the following criteria: compliance with the legal framework; taking care to minimize the environmental impacts that may be associated with its activities; and efforts to protect the quality of the environment.

The policy covers the following principles:

  • Environmental compliance
  • Protection of the environment
  • Environmental management
  • Communication 

Environmental compliance

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

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 control mechanisms 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.

Environmental management

To ensure that its environmental commitments are respected, the MPA has implemented an effective Environmental Management System (EMS), and to maintain its effectiveness, it draws on the resources of all of its managers and employees, its partners and its tenants.

Through this system, the MPA develops and implements means and procedures that allow it to measure its environmental performance and to report its findings to the Board of Directors on a regular basis.


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 field by respecting the processes, programs and procedures implemented under its EMS.

The MPA also 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.

Environmental Management System

In 2005, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) instituted an Environmental Management System (EMS) for its activities and operations. The EMS provides a framework to ensure that commitments made to protect the environment are respected. The EMS gave rise to several procedures that are now entrenched in the management of Port activities. These procedures made it possible to fine-tune the control mechanisms that the MPA uses to manage its environmental footprint. This has resulted in a better understanding of activities that may create risk from an environmental standpoint. 

Examples of procedures:

  • Identify environmental objectives and targets to improve environmental performance
  • Manage environment-related requests and complaints
  • Conduct environmental impact assessments on projects
  • Conduct environmental monitoring
  • Verify environmental compliance of MPA operations and of its tenants’ operations

Green measures

The Port of Montreal is also taking measures to reduce its environmental footprint out in the field. The following are a few examples:

  • Environmental compliance audit on MPA activities every three years
  • The inclusion of port environmental clauses in tenant leases
  • Soil, groundwater, waste water and surface water management program
  • The monitoring of air quality and emissions associated with port activities
  • In March 2011, the port implemented a new truck entry portal that has reduced transaction times by 80% and waiting times by 50%. In 2011, the project earned an Award of Excellence in the Transportation and Merchandise category from l’Association québécoise du transport et des routes (AQTR).
  • The port’s fleet of service and maintenance vehicles has been replaced with hybrid vehicles that reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 39%.
  • The port’s locomotives have been replaced with multiple-generator locomotives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHSs) by 90% and fuel consumption by 54%.
  • Shore powering of vessels at the new cruise terminal, leading to a reduction in GHG emissions of approximately 2800 tonnes per year.

Green Marine

In 2008, the MPA along with other partners founded Green Marine, an industry initiative of the St. Lawrence and 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 comprising more than 60 members, this initiative won first prize in the Green Shipping Initiatives of the Year category at the Sustainable Shipping Awards ceremony 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.

Green Award Foundation

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