global terminal sustainability


Committed to a sustainable future.

As a leader in the shipping industry, we are committed to making sustainability a priority — this is the foundation of our Global Commitment Program, which reflects our dedication to the environment, safety, and community and the development of best practices in ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance). The program includes protecting the environment and wildlife in the communities in which we operate. GCT continues to demonstrate our responsible stewardship through innovation, densifying our existing footprints, improving our energy efficiency, investing in more efficient equipment, and decreasing overall emissions. It also means promoting local economic growth and positive impacts in the community, supporting meaningful partnerships with Indigenous Peoples and communities, and providing a safe and equitable workplace for our employees, stakeholders, and customers.

All three of Global Container Terminals’ shareholders are signatories to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI). IFM Investors, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) are responsible and engaged shareholders with a principled approach to managing risk and opportunities. On behalf of our owners, GCT is an effective steward and a sustainable, clean, and green investment.

global terminal sustainability

A commitment you can see.

As our terminals continue to expand and increase capacity, sustainability remains a core focus in everything we do, from our operating procedures to the equipment we use. The “Global Commitment” seal is our visible pledge to a greener future and will be placed on all GCT heavy iron equipment that meets our environmentally-friendly standards. In 2017, the seal made its debut on our fleet of electric high-efficiency cranes at GCT Deltaport – eight CRMGs and two ship-to-shore Megamax cranes. It is also featured on our electric, dual cantilevered RMGs servicing GCT Bayonne ExpressRail (Greenville Yard).

global terminal sustainability

A Green Partnership

In Q4 2014, GCT Global Container Terminals Inc. joined Green Marine, a voluntary environmental certification program for the North American Marine Industry. The Green Marine certification process is rigorous and transparent: results are independently verified every two years, and each company’s results are published on Green Marine’s website. The program sets higher benchmarks for air, land, and water emissions than those set by government regulations so that as an industry, we can work toward a more sustainable future.


GCT Terminals continue to achieve the “Excellence & Leadership” level in almost every area. As we continue to upgrade our facilities and innovate our operations, we will continue to set a high standard across these criteria.

View full scores


GCT USA and GCT Canada are also Climate Smart Certified organizations. Each have created GHG inventories according to the GHG Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (GHGP), an internationally accepted standard for greenhouse gas accounting.

Climate Smart is an award-winning training program that helps small and medium businesses in every industry create a greenhouse gas inventory then devise a GHG emissions reduction plan to take action and make change.

GCT involves staff across all levels in the company in the planning and implementation of sustainability initiatives. At the end of 2021, 14 individuals at GCT have received training with Climate Smart. Climate Smart carbon emissions data management is a key aspect of GCT’s Global Commitment work.

GCT USA: 3% reduction in absolute emissions since 2015
GCT Canada: 7% reduction in absolute emissions since 2014

GCT Canada

Working together for something greater.

Our collaboration with customers, stakeholders, industry and community associations, vendors, and suppliers is what sets us apart from our peers and competitors. We don’t just implement new procedures within our own facilities, we challenge our partners to similarly improve their operations. We believe that by elevating our own policies and procedures, we can influence others in our industry to also change their behaviour for the greater good.


As GCT Canada continues to expand and increase capacity, sustainability and environmentally responsible practices will remain a core focus, both locally and globally. We are committed to supporting and protecting the communities in which we operate and have many successful initiatives in place at GCT Bayonne that are already making a difference.

Our approach goes beyond just meeting the minimum legal regulations. We are continually pushing ourselves to proactively find ways to do things better like reducing fuel consumption and emissions, using resources wisely, and reducing our environmental footprint—all while maintaining our economic competitiveness.

As part of the GCT Global Commitment Program, GCT Global Container Terminals has developed an ESG Strategy focusing the company on 10 key criteria related to Environmental, Social and Governance Best Practices.

Expanding reach without increasing impact.

With the industry trending toward customer consolidation, increased container traffic, and larger vessels, our strategy for expansion continues to focus on densification. The recent GCT Deltaport Intermodal Rail Yard Reconfiguration Project increases our rail handling capacity by over 50%, significantly decreasing emissions during the process. The state-of-the-art expansion was completed within the existing terminal footprint and includes modern, electric, low-emission equipment, streamlined procedures, and LED lighting. This innovative approach allows us to help our customers grow their businesses with minimal impact on the environment.

Learn more about the project

reduction in tractor emissions

Decreased noise & light pollution

completed on existing footprint

GCT Canada

An award-winning truck gate system.

As the pioneers of the truck reservation system in North America, our innovative program at GCT Canada has evolved to include regular weekday night gate operations. The program reduces truck idling and dwell times, and smooths traffic during peak hours, considerably decreasing emissions. The effects of the program are equivalent to removing 800 cars from the road per year and earned us recognition as one of Canada’s Clean50 Top 15 Projects for 2017.

2x truck capacity without footprint expansion

800 fewer cars on the road = the comparable result of reduced GHGs (~4,100 tCO2e)

1,200 5-gallon buckets of soot = amount of air pollutants reduced (~11,700kg/year)

global terminal sustainability

Investing in sustainable equipment.

As part of our commitment to a more sustainable future, we are continually evaluating our equipment to see where we can introduce newer, more environmentally friendly options. This includes everything from electric ship-to-shore cranes with regenerative drives to LED lighting and low-emission container handling equipment.

Here are a few of the most recent equipment upgrades at GCT Canada:


4 electric Megamax Cranes at Deltaport
2 electric Megamax Cranes at Vanterm
8 electric CRMGs
LED terminal and equipment lighting
12 Kone cranes: Tier 4f Diesel RTGs
Auto decoupling tractor trailers is reducing KM travelled and tire consumption
Vanterm Modernization Project added new technology and equipment across the terminal
Shorepower installed at GCT Deltaport

global terminal sustainability

An audible difference.

As conscientious neighbours, we are always searching for ways to minimize both the noise and light emitted from our facilities. In 2014, GCT Canada tested new audible enunciators at our facilities and in-ground lighting at the GCT Vanterm rail yard. Moving forward, we will continue looking for ways to reduce the impact on our workforce and nearby residents.


GCT Canada

Safety is our first priority.

Everything we do at GCT revolves around making sure that our staff and workforce are kept out of harm’s way. This approach to safety is what inspired many of the recent innovations at GCT Deltaport, including the design of the reconfigured intermodal rail yard. The new track layout keeps tractor trailer traffic outside the working tracks, creating a safer work environment and increasing the capacity of the railyard at the same time.

Establishing higher standards of safety.

When it comes to safety, we believe it’s our responsibility to go beyond current regulatory requirements and actively pursue new procedures, policies, and equipment—not just for the wellbeing of our workforce, but for the entire industry. With the support of the BCMEA and the ILWU, GCT Canada leads industry safety standards in the Port of Vancouver. Our implementation of Type II hardhats for all our staff and workforce is just one example of our full commitment to safety.

Our safety pledges:


We will provide a safe, secure, and healthy environment.


We will train our employees to work safely and provide them with the equipment and information necessary to do so


We will ensure that all work is performed safely, no matter how important or urgent.


We will ensure a continued and open dialogue with all business partners.


We will focus on the continuous improvement of our operations.


We will comply with all regulations and industry standards.


We will cooperate with all regulatory agencies.


We will prevent and investigate the occurrence of unsafe or illegal acts.


We will prepare and react promptly to an emergency situation.


global terminal sustainability

Building a strong community for the future.

It is our duty as responsible, corporate citizens to ensure the future of generations to come. We are committed to strengthening our local communities and enriching the lives of those who live there, many of whom are employees of GCT. In 2016, we put $24.3 million back into Delta businesses and the recent GCT Deltaport Intermodal Rail Yard Expansion will result in approximately $900 million in combined economic benefits for BC and Canada.

As an organization, and as individuals, we are continually searching for ways to reduce fuel consumption, use resources wisely, and decrease our environmental footprint—all while maintaining our economic competitiveness.

Our local involvement.

GCT Canada actively supports charitable organizations that align with our core values of sustainability and safety, including programs that support youth, education, and the environment.

Find out more about GCT’s Community Giving Initiatives

Development Society logo
KidSport Vancouver logo
Harvest Project logo

REACH Child & Youth Development Society

GCT Canada proudly supported the REACH Child & Youth Development Society in Delta with a significant donation to aid in the construction of a much-needed new child development centre.


The GCT Canada soccer team “Raining Steel” won the 2016 and 2017 Seaspan World Cup soccer tournament and donated their winnings to the local Vancouver KidSport chapter, an organization that helps local children access sports programs. GCT Canada also regularly supports the local Delta chapter of KidSport.

Annual Port Gala

Every year, GCT participates in the annual Port Gala which brings together port terminals, suppliers, and operators to help raise awareness and funds for community organizations like Harvest Project, Mission Possible, and REACH Child & Youth Development Society.

reduction in GHG absolute emissions
*since 2014

98% of operating expenditures spent in Canada in 2020

Ongoing upgrades to LED lighting on high miasts and on ship-to-shore and RMG cranes