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Case study

Neptune Terminals

    Overall Impact Since 2011

  • 3% reduction in absolute emissions
  • 21% reduction in emissions per tonne of cargo shipped
  • 27% reduction in natural gas use
  • 17% reduction in fuel use per tonne of throughput
  • 24% increase in throughput


  • Installation of VFDs (variable frequency drives) on large motor loads
  • Lighting retrofits
  • Boiler retrofit
  • Building and pipe insulation
  • Replacement of on-site pick-up trucks with utility vehicles
  • Automated electric railcar positioning equipment
  • Hybrid diesel/electric locomotive

Neptune Bulk Terminals (Canada) Ltd. (“Neptune”) has been operating since 1970. The terminal currently handles Canadian potash and steel-making coal, shipped to markets all around the world, and imported phosphate rock that is shipped to Alberta for fertilizer production. Not only do they play an integral role in the Canadian economy, moving close to 16,000,000 tonnes of bulk annually, they are active members of the community in which they operate. Located at the base of the North Shore mountains, in the thriving community of North Vancouver, Neptune has cultivated a deep-seated culture of community involvement and environmental protection.

Neptune has been working with Climate Smart since 2013, and has been tracking carbon emissions since 2011. Their commitment to continuous improvement reinforced their ongoing pursuit for opportunities to reduce their environmental footprint. As a result, since 2011, Neptune has achieved a 3% reduction in absolute emissions, and a 21% reduction in emissions per tonne of throughput, all the while increasing throughput by 24%.

Projects that have contributed to Neptune’s impressive success include:

  • Electrical equipment upgrades such as the installation of variable speed drives on large motor loads, lighting retrofits, and the expansion of the monitoring and control system (SCADA) that operates the site equipment. This led to a 10% reduction in kWh consumption since 2014;
  • Natural gas use has dropped by 27% since 2011 due to the replacement of an aging boiler with a new high efficiency model, the installation of programmable thermostats in buildings and improved building and pipe insulation; and
  • The replacement of on-site pick-up trucks with utility vehicles, the use of automated electric railcar positioning equipment, and the purchase of a hybrid electric-diesel locomotive, have reduced their fuel-related emissions per tonne of throughput by 17%.

Neptune has taken a leading role in demonstrating what the Port’s tenants are capable of achieving without sacrificing their bottom line, and what it can mean to be a sustainable marine terminal. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority relies on business partners like Neptune to achieve its goal of becoming “the most sustainable port in the world”. Ron Sander, Vice President of Major Projects & Environment for Neptune put it this way, “Over the years we have prided ourselves on our commitment to safety and environmental protection. Whether it’s managing dust, water discharge, air quality or greenhouse gas emissions, we believe in moving beyond compliance. Climate Smart’s strong local presence has helped us bring our values to the community and tell our story. Working with Climate Smart validates our efforts, both for us and for our stakeholders.”

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