global terminal sustainability

Our Global Commitment

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.

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  |  Learn more about our certification


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 sustainability practices

Working together for something greater

But we can’t do this alone. Our collaboration with customers, port authorities, 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 and customers to similarly improve their operations.

Our Environmental Policy

As GCT Bayonne 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.

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).

Reducing truck idling and dwell times

As leaders in the industry, we are working with our partners and stakeholders to find solutions that improve overall efficiency and operational safety. One of our key areas of focus is reducing truck idling and dwell times by introducing reservation systems, automated gate transactions, and night gate operations at some terminals. These initiatives not only alleviate congestion, they also help reduce noise, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollutants.

reduced idle times
gct container mover

Energy efficient innovation

It takes a considerable about of energy to move containers and as such, electrical consumption at our terminals can be high. In order to offset the effect this might have on the environment, we have invested in technology that allows us to capture and reuse some of the energy used in daily operations. This enables us to reduce fuel usage while also reducing the emission of greenhouse gases and pollutants—even while our overall volumes are increasing.

Energy-saving LED floodlights also help reduce the consumption of electricity by remaining off until they are needed.

coastal habitat

Preserving coastal habitats

Since so much of our business takes place close to delicate coastal habitats, we try to densify our operations within our existing spaces as opposed to using additional land. A key part in all of our terminal development projects is the restoration of surrounding water and land ecosystems.

During the recent GCT Bayonne expansion, we created new tidal wetlands, preserved 16 acres of adjacent land along the Hackensack River, and planted native vegetation in order to help local marsh species thrive, manage storm water, and enhance the local landscape.

Our Safety Policy

employee safety

Safety is our first priority

Everything we do at GCT revolves around safety and ensuring that anyone interacting with our facility is kept out of harm’s way. This approach has driven many of our recent innovations including the GCT Bayonne expansion, which introduced semi-automated machinery, a redesigned gate complex, and remote operations centers. It is our belief that safety is everyone’s responsibility and we count on our employees, workforce, stakeholders, and customers to help us uphold our high standards. GCT USA has been recognized by Signals Mutual as a Safety Leader across our terminals.

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.

Our Social Responsibility


A strong community means a strong future

We believe it is our responsibility—not only as a business but also as good citizens—to ensure the future of generations to come. And while we are a global company, we are committed to strengthening the local communities in which we operate and enriching the lives of those who live there—many of whom are employees of GCT. Our many initiatives include buying and hiring locally, participating in charitable events, and protecting the surrounding environment and wildlife.

Find out more about GCT’s Community Giving Initiatives

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.