Friday, September 27, 2013

The final output from BSR InnoShip project – Pan-Baltic Manual of Best Practices on Clean Shipping and Port Operations

After three years of intensive work among reducing harmful atmospheric emissions from shipping, BSR InnoShip has come to its finalizing stage. The final seminar was arranged in Brussels on 9-10 September with two different aspects; the first day concentrated on the technical issues and solutions while the second day was dedicated to policy directions for further integration of innovations in clean shipping. A lot has been achieved, but in the other hand the work has just begun – many operators on the maritime branch are still hoping for a longer transition period when it comes to emission restrictions, although it is clear that the new sulphur regulations will step into force in 2015.

As the project results always deserve wider publicity than just presentations in the seminar, the outputs and results are collected and published in the Pan-Baltic Manual of Best Practices on Clean Shipping and Port Operations, which UBC proudly presents. The manual includes practical guidelines for local and national authorities, ship-owners and logistics managers to make it easier for each party to make decisions that comply with the regulations but also maintain their competitiveness in the field.

The Manual is divided to five chapters with different purposes. You can find facts of Baltic maritime transport and its importance for the Baltic Sea countries and tendencies of ships’ air emissions in the region, the present and upcoming regulations, best practices and recommendations for shipping on a common level but also separately for ports and cities. The whole BSR InnoShip team has participated in the development of the contents and wish that the manual will spread good news about innovative solu-tions as widely as possible.

Download the web version of the manual

See the presentations from the BSR InnoShip final seminar.

Text and photo: Mia Hytti, project coordinator

Monday, September 16, 2013

Gulf of Finland year with an exhibition

One of the newest projects ongoing in the UBC Environment Commission is the creation of an exhibition dedicated for the Gulf of Finland year in 2014. This is the first official trilateral project between Russia, Estonia and Finland and it is hoped that the exhibition will be as visible as possible around the Gulf of Finland.
The project has started with great enthusiasm from all sides. It is fascinating to see what will the end product be like, as the starting point gives great hopes that it will be something else than a poster set. You can follow the process of creating the exhibition through exhibition blog 

Lots of materials unused

The current trend is that after a project finishes, the created materials are not used nor benefitted anymore. In many cases one can’t even find them through search engines, as they are well hidden in the files of the project owners. This is also the case of materials concerning the Gulf of Finland. There are a lot of different organizations that have created quality materials that are not known well-enough. The Gulf of Finland exhibition aims to bring some of these materials into better use by combining them into the exhibition. If you know any materials concerning the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland in particular, please, let us know about it. It is our common interest not to waste resources.

The Gulf of Finland year is coordinated by the Finnish Environment Center. All the events around the year can be found from the official Gulf of Finland site

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

QUEST project celebrated its results in the final project event

During the last 2 and a half years the QUEST project has developed a Quality Management Tool to help small and medium sized cities to further develop their sustainable mobility policies with the assistance of an external expert – the QUEST auditor.  Over the course of the project 46 cities have gone through the QUEST Audit and received tailor made Action Plans. These improvement programmes are directly linked to the current status of urban mobility policies in cities and point out the areas where improvements should be made. The aim of QUEST has been to support cities in making real progress towards a more sustainable urban transport system and help them to find solutions to achieve excellence in Sustainable mobility planning!

The QUEST Final Conference, organized on the 5th of September 2013 in Budapest, Hungary, celebrated the results of the project and gathered together, for the last time, the cities and other partners that have worked together during the past two years. 

From policies into practice


The main aim of the conference was to present the final results of the project and discuss about the future of QUEST.  The conference addressed themes such as how to turn the plans and policies into action and how to take the leap to the next level and become a more sustainable city. Michael Koucky, the Auditor for Swedish cities stated in his presentation that QUEST Audit can also provide support and a start in the sustainable urban mobility planning processes. QUEST tool was seen useful especially for smaller cities with fewer resources to achieve improvements in sustainable mobility.

The advantage of QUEST is that it recognizes that stepwise improvements are possible at all of development of sustainable mobility policy. Therefore it is suitable for both, cities with less experience in sustainable urban mobility planning and cities advanced in this field.

Five Swedish cities Borås, Gävle, Halmstad, Mölndal and Trollhättan received their QUEST certificates. 

QUEST Academy will continue the work in future


To safeguard the quality of the methodology and ensure training, a QUEST Academy has been established. The overall goal of the Academy is to continue to train auditors throughout Europe, so that the method can be expanded to further countries. It also provides a platform for discussion and exchange of experiences between QUEST auditors and cities. The Academy will therefore contribute to capacity building in the field of sustainable transport throughout Europe and provide support to new auditors.

Currently, the QUEST auditor team consists of 17 auditors making the QUEST methodology available in 20 countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

If you city is interested in the QUEST methodology, please contact us and we will find the right auditor for you! 

Cities that completed the QUEST process successfully, received Certificates which recognise their efforts in sustainable urban mobility planning.

More information about the project can be found at: or you can follow us in Twitter. You can also download the QUEST brochure in English and Swedish!

Text  and photos: Maija Rusanen, Project Coordinator at UBC EnvCom

Friday, September 06, 2013

PURE finalizes its investment in Brest

This week delegation from UBC EnvCom had a chance to witness finalization of the PURE investment in Brestvodokanal. Lead partner together with the investment coordinating partner – John Nurminen Foundation, arrived to Brest to visit the site of the reconstructed and newly equipped chemical storing and dosing station at the wastewater treatment facilities.  

Chemical storing and dosing station at Brest WWTP.

The meeting parties discussed schedule of the few finalizing tasks for the forthcoming week as well as more distant future plans that will continue the fruitful work for better wastewater treatment, and congratulated each other on the good work done for the better state of the Baltic Sea

PURE actions in Brest had been a piloting case of the EU-funded investments of this type in Belarus.

Site of Brest WWTP.
Photos by Olena Zinchuk, UBC EnvCom.

Previously, PURE has carried out technical audits at 5 more WTTPs and successfully implemented two other investments in enchanced removal of nutrients from the wastewaters of Riga and JurmalaPURE project is co-funded by the Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013.