Port of Québec
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Water Temperature

8.2C (46.8F)

Tides

Next Tide

Descending

Low

01:33

High

06:36


Media and public relations

#Croisière

Port of Québec Becomes First Western Hemisphere Port to Obtain Biosphere Certification

02/14/2024

Québec, February 14, 2024 – Surrounded by its first instance partner, Destination Québec cité, the Port of Québec announces having obtained the Biosphere certification, thus becoming the first port in the western hemisphere to obtain this globally recognized sustainable development certification. The Port of Québec thereby reasserts its firm commitment and vision regarding ESG development, joining the largest international community of businesses focused on these same objectives. 

Biosphere is the international sustainability management and certification system of the Responsible Tourism Institute, one of the founding organizations of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). For over 25 years, the Biosphere program has helped destinations, businesses and organizations define, organize and make visible their sustainable goals. It offers a model for developing a sustainable development plan in a personalized way, including an annual evaluation process and external audits to measure progress.

This announcement set the tone for the fifth edition of the International Cruise Forum, an event jointly organized by the Port of Québec and Destination Québec cité which brings together representatives from the tourism sector, the maritime community and citizen groups to work on the intelligent development of the cruise industry. The event included collaborative workshops that asked participants to reflect upon new ideas and courses of action for the upcoming 2024 season. 


“We are very proud to be the first Biosphere-certified port in the Americas and are pleased to be able to announce it during this Forum, which fittingly focuses on partnerships and community participation to reach sustainability objectives. Québec is already a unique model as a destination mobilized for best practices around international cruises, and this certification enables us to actively implement our sustainable tourism action plan dedicated to cruises, and to organize our efforts around the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Obtaining this certification was a priority for us, as it is perfectly in line with our 2035 Vision, for which one of the major pillars is to commit to a more sustainable world,” said Port of Québec CEO Mario Girard.

“I would like to congratulate the Port de Québec on obtaining its Biosphere certification, a major step that reflects our shared commitment to a more sustainable and responsible tourism. At Destination Québec cité, we firmly believe that long-term success depends on a collaborative approach that integrates tourism development in a balanced way that respects our environment and our community. The mobilization and collaboration of businesses at events like the Forum are therefore essential, as they enable us to develop a shared vision and work together to make the region an innovative and responsible tourist destination,” added Destination Québec cité General Manager Robert Mercure. 

“With pride, we celebrate the Port of Québec's historic feat as the first cruise port in the Americas to attain Biosphere certification. Their steadfast dedication to embracing sustainable maritime practices sets an inspiring precedent for the industry. This milestone underscores their profound commitment to environmental stewardship and responsible tourism, aligned with the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 2030 Agenda. We commend the dedicated employees whose collective efforts have been instrumental in realizing this significant achievement,” said Brent Mainprize, Executive Director of Biosphere in Canada.


Shore power 
The Port took the opportunity to reassert its will to work toward shore power. For more than a year, it has multiplied its efforts to plan shore power projects, particularly in collaboration with Hydro-Québec. The Port will submit a shore power project for cruises by the end of this month. The project’s realization will make it possible to accommodate several dozen ships as soon as 2027, and thus contribute to the positioning of the Canada-New England itinerary as one of the most advanced regions in terms of sustainable development.


Shore power is a priority for the Port of Québec, which partnered with Destination Québec cité to draft its first sustainable tourism action plan focused on cruises in 2023. The ambitious plan was inspired by the most innovative sustainable tourism practices around the world and is aligned with the Saint Lawrence Cruise Association’s sustainable development strategy.


Among the partners involved in the Forum since its early days, let us note Québec City’s administration and Major Events Office, Québec’s ministère du Tourisme, as well as citizen representatives, including the president of the Vieux-Québec–Cap-Blanc–Colline parlementaire neighbourhood council. Also participating this year was the world-renowned International City-Port Association (AIVP), whose mission is to improve relations between cities and ports by enabling dialogue and cooperation and by putting citizens front and centre.


“The Port of Québec is at the forefront in terms of intelligent and sustainable development of cruises. After having implemented a limit on the number of passengers per day in 2014 and a forum for discussions with stakeholders, the Port demonstrates its leadership by being the first to distinguish itself with the Biosphere certification,” concludes Mario Girard.


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About Port of Québec
The Québec Port Authority, a non-profit organization, manages the port of Québec which is strategically located to serve North America’s industrial and agricultural heartland. This Canadian hub for international trade for both the import and export of goods is the only port in the province of Québec with a fifteen-meter depth of water at low tide and a comprehensive intermodal infrastructure. The port facilities generate 10,000 jobs and about two billion dollars in economic activity.


About Destination Québec cité 
Destination Québec cité counts more than 825 members in Québec City, L’Ancienne-Lorette, Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, Wendake and the surrounding areas of Portneuf, Jacques-Cartier, Île d'Orléans, and Côte-de-Beaupré. It guides and leads tourism industry growth and contributes to industry prosperity through its marketing and development efforts, hospitality services for tourists, and information to the industry.

Sources and information:
Frédéric Lagacé
Communications Director – Port of Québec 
[email protected]
418 929 5031

Jessie Deschamps
Communications Advisor – Destination Québec cité
[email protected]
418 641-6654, ext. 8102