Green Marine develops new performance indicator

Green Marine has broadened the scope of its North American environmental certification program for the maritime industry by adding a performance indicator to assess community relations.


As explained, the new indicator is the result of two years of collaboration among the industry, environmental organizations, social science researchers and government representatives.

Green Marine already has an indicator for landside operations involving community impacts, but it primarily focuses on nuisances, such as dust, light, and noise.

“Our port members asked us to consider establishing a distinct performance indicator focused exclusively on community relations intended to foster dialogue and social acceptability,” David Bolduc, Green Marine’s executive director, noted.

“The societal aspect of sustainability thus occupies an increasingly important place in our program.”

According to Green Marine, developing this particular indicator presented a unique challenge inasmuch as it is not addressing a straightforward environmental issue as the other performance indicators do within the program — it delves into the realm of perceptions, which can vary considerably according to the social norms and priorities in different geographic regions.

This aspect influenced the development process for the indicator’s criteria which was jointly developed by two workgroups, one holding discussions in English and the other in French. This facilitated a better understanding of the different linguistic, geographical, and societal realities of community relations for Green Marine’s landside participants across North America.

“We took an in-depth look at how participants determine their relevant community stakeholders, how they relate information to them, their reception and management of various types of community feedback and concerns, as well as how they engage with these,” Véronique Trudeau, Green Marine’s program manager responsible for spearheading this process, said.

The new community relations performance indicator will be optional during the first year of assessment. It will subsequently be mandatory for ports to obtain Green Marine certification.

Green Marine voluntary environmental certification program addresses key environmental issues through its current 13 performance indicators. Participants are shipowners, ports, terminals, Seaway corporations and shipyards operating in Canada or in the United States.