Environmental initiatives


The choice to invest in environmental management is based on a series of initiatives, some of which are unique in France, and on the involvement of the Var Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIV), concessionaire of the ports of the harbour in the very first bay contract (2003-2009), the purpose of which is to restore the quality of the waters and aquatic environments through actions intended to protect, maintain and develop the coastal ecosystem.

While keen to contribute to the development of economic, tourist and social activities related to the sea, but being aware of the impact caused by port activity, the CCIV decided to turn its efforts into specific actions by initiating in 2011 in the Var the “Ports Propres” initiative, which aims to encourage any operation that contributes to protecting and improving the quality of its environment, with the objective of making zero impact.

>> Find out about the environnemental policy of 2021 from the ports of Toulon Bay

    1. “Ports Propres” certification

The “Ports Propres” initiative underlines the commitment to sustainable marina development. It involves adopting specific measures with a view to protecting aquatic environments and promoting the sustainable development of coastal and marine activities.

Certification is issued by AFNOR (French Association for Standardisation) for a 3-year period. All the Harbours of Toulon are committed to the “Ports Propres” initiative. 100% of the moorings managed by the Var CCI in the Harbours of Toulon are certified.

    1. Strong commitment

In France, more than 190 ports are committed to the “Ports Propres” initiative. In the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA), 90% of ports are committed to the initiative and 20% are certified. The five ports managed by the Harbours of Toulon, Toulon Darse Nord, Toulon Vieille Darse, Saint-Mandrier, La Seyne-sur-Mer and Saint Louis du Mourillon, already have this Euro-certification.

    • An initiative arranged and carried out in several stages

The objectives of this scheme are to develop economic, tourist and social activities related to the sea while enhancing and developing port activities based on respect for the environment.

  • Commitment to the “Ports Propres” charter involves carrying out five steps:

- Environmental diagnostic study: carried out by a design office independent of the port in three parts: an inventory of the existing set-up, then ranking of pollution sources and, lastly, implementation of an action programme to enhance the protection of the environment.

- Resources for tackling chronic pollution: in the form of all the liquid and solid waste produced in the port by port activities and users. The equipment installed, resulting from the action programme, includes facilities for treating drydock water, special waste and household waste, wastewater, etc.

- Establishing resources for tackling accidental pollution: for example, an oil slick can originate from the port or from outside. The port is equipped with floating barriers to close the access channel to prevent pollution from getting in or out. Absorbent barriers make it possible to absorb a limited volume of pollution. Port staff regularly receive training on how to handle the equipment used to tackle accidental pollution.

- Training port staff in environmental management: since 2004, port staff have received training every year on the "Clean Harbours" initiative in terms of both theory and practice.

- Raising the awareness of port users about environmental management: marina users are informed in different ways about the "Ports Propres" initiative undertaken by the port. The national "Ports Propres" signs, information from previously trained staff and the documents for the Écogestes Méditerranée environmental awareness campaign supplement the other awareness-raising resources.

This certification is valid for 3 years during which an audit is carried out each year by AFNOR, with the aim of showing the improvements made in terms of environmental management.

  • Initiatives

The marinas of the Harbours of Toulon have made a commitment in both the Bay Contract and the Charter for the Sustainable Development of Marinas, and comply with the quality initiatives associated with them. This constant concern for a protected environment and preserved biodiversity has also led the Harbours of Toulon to undertake the following initiatives:

  • Establishing artificial fish nurseries to promote their reproduction;
  • Setting up a “Clean-up Squad" devoted to the daily collection of waste that has washed up in the ports;
  • Acquiring a clean-up robot DPol to clean areas of water.
  1. “Ports Propres Actifs en Biodiversité” certification

With a view to going one step further with the “Ports Propres” initiative and striving for environmental excellence, the “Ports Propres Actifs en Biodiversité” certification was created. It is intended to implement specific actions promoting biodiversity with the aim of shifting ports from having zero impact to a positive impact. This certification will help bring life to our ports. All our ports are committed to this initiative. Four of them have been certified (Saint-Mandrier, La Seyne-sur-Mer and Toulon Darse Nord, Toulon Vieille Darse). Saint Louis du Mourillon will be certified in 2022.

Other actions taken in addition to the actions already implemented with the “Ports Propres” initiative include:

  • Establishing fish nurseries and identifying species via IFREMER (National Institute for Ocean Science)
  • Raising awareness among our pleasure boaters about terrestrial biodiversity thanks to a partnership with the French League for the Protection of Birds (LPO)
  • Using eco-labelled products and banning the use of pesticides
  • Raising awareness among our pleasure boaters about marine biodiversity
  1. First stage at Saint-Mandrier in 2018

The Harbours of Toulon have supported the establishment of artificial fish nurseries promoting the restoration of species living in these marine biotopes in the Saint-Mandrier Marina. A total of 32 nurseries from the company ECOCEAN have been installed and financed by Veolia as part of the ORREA project.

These fish nurseries are systems which help restore the function of ecological nurseries to the small coastal areas which have been urbanised. Juveniles (adolescent fish) find in these systems the food they need and areas where they can protect themselves from predators.

Ecological monitoring is carried out to verify their effectiveness. Artificial fish nurseries accommodate the young fish (recruits). Lastly, they support both diversity and an increase in the number of fish.

These installations earned the Port of Saint-Mandrier the “Ports Propres Actifs en Biodiversité” certification awarded by AFNOR at the end of 2019.

  • Second stage in June 2020 and May 2021

The Harbours of Toulon are continuing with this initiative in the marinas of La Seyne-sur-Mer, Toulon Darse Nord and Toulon Vieille Darse. They have had ReFISH nurseries installed, developed by the company MARINOV. The ReFISH nurseries come in the form of 1m² modules made from 30 cm long plant fibres. They are inspired by Posidonia beds.

At La Seyne-sur-Mer:

  • 6 nurseries have been installed close to the navy dock; 
  • 10 nurseries close to Quai Saturnin Fabre; 
  • 10 nurseries under landing stage B, giving 26 in total.
Installation of nurseries at La Seyne-sur-Mer port

At Toulon Darse Nord:

  • 5 nurseries have been installed at the Quai des Sous-mariniers; 
  • 18 nurseries under landing stage F;
  • 0 nurseries at Quay I, giving 33 in total.

At Toulon Vieille Darse:

  • 14 nurseries under landing stage O;
  • 14 nurseries close to landing stage P;
  • 24 nurseries under landing stage H;
  • 14 nurseries under other quays, giving 66 in total.

Information panels have been installed on the quays so that people can find out everything about how the nurseries operate.

These nurseries will be quickly colonised by local flora and fauna, allowing the post-larvae to feed and protect themselves from predators. Since summer 2020, the ports of La Seyne-sur-Mer and Toulon Darse Nord have been certified as “Clean Harbours Active in Biodiversity” by AFNOR. Ecological monitoring of the nurseries is ensured thanks to a partnership between the CCIV and IFREMER, located in La Seyne-sur-Mer.

  1. Waste management
  1. Clean-up Squad

This constant concern for a protected, pleasant environment and preserved biodiversity has also led the Harbours of Toulon to undertake original initiatives, such as setting up a “Clean-up Squad” devoted to the daily collection of waste that has washed up in the ports. Set up in April 2016, the Clean-up Squad is out doing its job every day in the Harbours of Toulon. This is a firm commitment from the CCIV to maintain cleanliness in order to improve the quality of life in the harbours.

The Clean-up Squad has recently equipped itself with a clean-up robot called "DPol". Developed by the company Francqueville, it is used for the daily collection of floating macrowaste, washed up in the marinas. A total in excess of 170,000 litres of waste has been collected since it was put into operation. It provides a simple, efficient solution for catching surface waste.

This squad can be called into action, particularly by pleasure boaters and the general public by simply calling on: 06 44 35 27 34.

  • Connected waste bin

Since 2016, the Harbours of Toulon have been using a BIG BELLY waste bin. This bin runs on solar power and compacts five times more waste than a conventional waste bin. As it is connected, it can remotely provide information about its fill level.

  • Clean Points

With the aim of offering a collection service for hazardous waste related to boat maintenance, four of our ports are equipped with mini-waste disposal facilities called Clean Points.

  1. Activities for raising awareness about good environmental practices
  1. Raising awareness among pleasure boaters

During the summer season, all pleasure boaters are given a guide informing them about the risks associated with their activity in relation to the marine environment and about the sources for saving water or electricity resources, while encouraging them to adopt good practices.

They are also given a "Boater's Kit”, which contains some biodegradable cleaning products or cosmetics, a good way for them to change their habits.

  • Raising awareness among young boaters

As part of promoting the harbours and training young boaters, about 50 children licensed with the Toulon Yacht Club participated in 2019 and 2020 in morning sessions on raising environmental awareness.

The programme included:

  • Introduction to the basic principles of ecology
  • Discovering the marine ecosystem of the Harbours
  • Finding out about how a marina is managed
  • Finding out about the actions which need to be implemented to protect the body of water, using the Port of Saint-Mandrier as an example, which is managed by the Harbours of Toulon and has a “Ports Propres” certificate.

As it is not possible to plan the development of their activities without protecting the body of water, the Harbours of Toulon have been organising since 2018 the “Journées Rade Bleue". This event lasts three days and involves raising awareness among schools and the general public about good environmental practices at sea and on shore. This is a new event included in the action programme for the Harbours of Toulon, aimed at raising awareness among boaters and port users about the environmental initiatives undertaken.

VEOLIA EAU, SITTOMAT, ECOCEAN, ARTYKA, LES ALCHIMISTES and the City of Toulon are partners in running this three-day event during which more than 400 children are welcomed every year from neighbouring schools and activity centres.

Find out about the 2020 report of our Clean Ports in Toulon Bay!

Toulon Darse Nord - Toulon Vieille Darse - La Seyne sur Mer - Saint-Mandrier - Saint-Louis du Mourillon

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