Each seaport may be considered unique in terms of its geographical, hydrographical and commercial profile. In addition, the diversity of form and function can be further compounded by considerations of ownership, politics, culture and legislation. This means that the environmental management and auditing tools need to be capable of being tailored to the special circumstances of each port. Without these flexible tools, ports may lack the evidence or structures to implement environmental management within the working practices of the port organisation, as envisioned in the goal of sustainable development. The fact that European ports themselves are seeking to develop collaborative, in-house solutions for environmental management, as an alternative to legislation-driven approaches, indicates the importance of the environmental issue to the port sector as a factor within business risk. Towards the end of the chapter, therefore, we move on to discuss models for the networking of environmental tools and methodologies evolved through port-inspired European research and

development projects. The scope of the findings concentrates on environmental practices in pioneer European ports, but lessons may be usefully applied to any ports operating within an institutional system of structured environmental management.