Letter from Claus Thornberg
I’m very pleased to have this opportunity to introduce myself to you, Neptune’s neighbours on the North Shore.
A few months ago, I joined both Neptune as President and the North Shore as a resident. In just a short time, the company and community have made strong first impressions.
At Neptune, it became quickly apparent that everyone who works here has a very strong commitment to being a good neighbour. Many of our people live in the local area and everyone genuinely cares about doing a good job and making positive contributions to the North Shore.
The company is also very connected. From Day 1, I’ve had so much positive feedback from Neptune’s business and community partners, peers in the waterfront industry sector, and those who have attended various functions like our summer community tours.
I absolutely love the diversity of the community. I’ve travelled to quite a few places and worked elsewhere in the world. I’m Danish with an extensive background in marine shipping throughout Europe (I also have some Canadian seasoning; I spent the last three years in Alberta working for a Canadian energy company). I can attest that the North Shore is truly unique. We are so lucky to have two strong First Nations, thriving small businesses and large companies, world-class tourist destinations and a university whose programs attract students from near and far. I recently settled in the Lower Lonsdale area and am enjoying the great mix of outdoor activities – especially the local trails – food and cultural offerings.
My goals for Neptune are simple. The terminal has operated safely and responsibly in North Vancouver for 50 years. My focus is to build on that track record and ensure our long-term prosperity for another 50 years.
The bar for environmental and safety management continues to get higher and we can’t waver from our focus on ensuring our impacts never exceed our benefit to society. To operate here we must continue to earn the community’s trust. We will do that by being open and honest in our communication and informative about our operations and the products we ship.
We will also continue to support organizations in our community that look after our more vulnerable residents and provide programs that help young people and the environment to thrive. Interestingly, private and corporate citizens in Canada are much more directly engaged in society than in Denmark. People here see it as their responsibility to contribute through volunteerism and charitable contributions, rather than exclusively relying on government to provide everything and solve all problems. This is something I hope to build on in my role because I believe each of us has something unique to offer the community.
As both president and resident, I hope to contribute to the community and to collaborate with others to find solutions to local issues that will ensure the long-term vibrancy and prosperity of the North Shore for all who live and work here – which I can now proudly say includes myself.
Reducing Underwater Noise for At-Risk Whales
Underwater noise has a number of impacts on marine life. Understanding those impacts and how to best mitigate them is essential to protecting endangered species such as southern resident killer whales.
Recent research by the Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program, an initiative led by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, shows that voluntary measures such as vessel slowdowns can greatly reduce underwater noise and benefit whales’ ability to hunt, navigate and communicate with one another.
From July 1 to October 31, Neptune Terminals participated in ECHO’s voluntary vessel slowdown in the Haro Strait. Overall, 93 per cent of bulk carriers going to or from participated in the voluntary slowdown, well above the industry average of 84 per cent.
Jeff Crawford, Neptune’s Director of Marine Logistics, says “Neptune and our Canadian shareholder companies take seriously the responsibility to deliver Canadian goods from mine to customer safely and with care for the environment. Shipping is a big piece of our supply chain, and we are proud to take part in the ECHO program.”
“Industry’s commitment to this voluntary research trial is a clear demonstration of the collective focus we have on ensuring a healthy marine environment, and we greatly appreciate our partners’ support,” said Robin Silvester, president and chief executive officer of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.
To learn more about this initiative or the many other aspects of ECHO aimed at better understanding and managing the impacts of shipping activities on at-risk whales visit www.portvancouver.com/whales.
Supporting Healthy Oceans with Pollution Tracker
Understanding the impacts of human and industrial activity on the marine environment is very important to Neptune Terminals as a marine shipping terminal.
We’ve recently partnered with Pollution Tracker, an initiative within the Coastal Ocean Research Institute at Ocean Wise. We are excited to be providing funding for a testing site immediately adjacent to our terminal, which is one of over 50 sites along the BC coast that are part of an ongoing project to collect data on ocean pollution in BC.
Pollution Tracker takes samples of mussels and sediment in order to measure and document levels of more than 400 potential contaminants including pharmaceuticals, pesticides, PCBs, metals and more. Their goal is to support a healthy coastline by shaping best practices, responses and remediation.
Pollution Tracker has been doing this work since 2015. Its continued success relies on collaboration with partners from all sectors in BC including First Nations, port authorities and related businesses like Neptune, community groups and government agencies.
Learn more about the initiative at PollutionTracker.org.
‘Gently Down the Seymour’ with the Seymour Salmonid Society
Neptune is committed to protecting and enhancing the environment. That’s why we are proud supporters of the Seymour Salmonid Society, a local non-profit organization that is responsible for running the Seymour River Fish Hatchery and Education Centre. Over the past five years, we’ve contributed $30,000 to its “Gently Down the Seymour” education program for elementary school-age students, raising awareness about the importance of salmon conservation.
Photo courtesy of the Seymour Salmonid Society
“Gently Down the Seymour” provides students in grades 2-6 a full day of fun and learning in the great outdoors with a visit to the hatchery. Students are given chest waders, microscopes and thermometers to explore the life and habitat of the Seymour River Valley. The day is jam-packed with activities like examining specimens to demonstrate the diversity of stream life, testing indicators of stream health, and searching through the shallows for evidence of salmon spawning.
If you’re interested in learning more about the work of Seymour Salmonid Society, opportunities to become a member, arrange a visit, or even donate, check out their website.
Celebrating CapU’s 50th Anniversary with President Paul Dangerfield
This year, Neptune is excited to be sharing our milestone 50th anniversary with one of our long-term partners in the community, Capilano University. We recently sat down with Capilano University President, Paul Dangerfield, to talk about our shared history and values, the future of the University and why he thinks the North Shore community is a crucial part of CapU’s identity.
“The support, guidance and opportunities that the North Shore has provided for employees and alumni has influenced us and is a big part of who we are,” said Dangerfield. “When businesses and organizations are integrated with the community, they contribute to its well-being and prosperity. That influences what we do now and what we want to do in the next 50 years.”
North Shore partnerships are “absolutely critical” to the university’s longevity, says Dangerfield. “Partnerships allow us to celebrate local success on the North Shore. We don’t have to look across the bridge – we’re a big enough community that we can support and sustain one another.”
“Being part of a sustainable community also means giving back to that community, which is why we’re excited to partner with a company like Neptune who also shares that value. Our staff and students are always looking for ways to give back. In planning for the next 10 years, we ask ‘what does the community need from us?’”
Neptune Terminals has a long history of supporting Capilano University students through both funding and learning opportunities. We are excited to continue this support and partnership as the premier sponsor of CapU’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
Donation Matching helps North Shore Mountain Bike Association Build New Accessible Trail
The North Shore Mountain Bike Association (NSMBA) is a volunteer driven non-profit organization dedicated to caring for a sustainable trail network within the community. NSMBA is currently raising funds to create a fun, inclusive mountain bike experience for individuals who use adaptive mountain bikes (aMTBs). The loop will upgrade three existing trails on North Van’s Mount Seymour: Old Buck to Bridle Path, Bridle Path to Empress Bypass, and Empress Bypass descent. In addition to making it accessible to aMTBs, the improvements will also upgrade twinned sections including building a ‘hiking only’ section.
In keeping with our focus on initiatives that create a healthy, vibrant community for all who work here, Neptune Terminals has committed to matching the first $10,000 in donations contributed by the community to NSMBA for this project. “Neptune’s matching contribution was a fantastic call to action for the community and everyone has stepped up,” says Christine Reid, NSMBA’s executive director. “I am delighted to say that we’ve already raised $11,000 from community contributions.”
As the demand for adaptive outdoor recreation opportunities continues to grow, NSMBA wants to ensure the North Shore trails are accessible for all to enjoy.
Please consider supporting the completion of the Seymour Adaptive Mountain Bike Loop by visiting nsmba.ca and making a donation.