Green Marine environmental program attracts more European shipowners

Green Marine Europe, a voluntary environmental certification program for the European maritime industry that celebrates its first birthday, continues to attract new sustainability-driven shipowners.

Surfrider Foundation Europe and Green Marine, founders of the program in Europe, reveal the laureates of the Green Marine Europe certification for the second consecutive year.

This year, 12 European shipowners — double the number with the label in 2020 — are committed to a sustainable ecological transition in maritime transportation and will thus be labeled.

Green Marine Europe has now awarded the label to five new laureates: Maritime Nantaise, Sogestran Shipping, Maritima, Peen ar Bed, and Ponant. And for the first time in Italy, the Garbage Group has also joined the ranks of candidates and carried out the first stages of the labeling process by completing its self-diagnosis, the shipowner will receive the label after external verification of the declared results.

These six newcomers join last year’s six laureates that had their labels renewed — Brittany Ferries, CORSICA linea, La Méridionale, Socatra, Orange Marine, and Genevir – Ifremer.

In addition to the ferry, bulk research and cable sectors, this year the cruise sector has been added with the arrival of Ponant among the laureates. The Italian ship owner Garbage Group and its port vessels attest to the Europeanization of the label.

Since 2020, the Green Marine Europe label certifies voluntary ship owners wishing to participate in continuous progress. The Green Marine Europe program covers all of the major environmental issues linked to the activities of ship owners, and thus deals with greenhouse gases emissions, biodiversity issues (underwater noise, cetacean collisions, invasive species, as well as waste management and ship dismantling conditions.

It is a result of the collaboration between the North American Green Marine environmental certification program and the Surfrider Foundation Europe NGO. The certification program allows European ship owners to monitor and promote their environmental performance that goes beyond existing legislation.

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“Witnessing the adaptation of the North American program to European standards and the expectations is a source of great pride for Green Marine. This demonstrates the relevance and the flexibility of our environmental certification program, which has proven to be well suited to tackling various environmental issues, here and elsewhere. The program’s existence in Europe represents an important milestone and creates opportunities for synergy on both sides of the Atlantic,” David Bolduc, Green Marine’s executive director, commented.

“By coordinating the Green Marine Europe program, Surfrider Foundation Europe supports the shipping companies that choose to be pioneers in getting ahead of European legislation,” Antidia Citores, Project Manager, Green Marine Europe, said.

 “Full transparency of the results can therefore inform the choices of passengers and company brands that use these services in future. Additionally, this sectorial emulation in favour of decarbonization and the reduction of impacts is beneficial to the marine environment, our blue lung.”

Beyond the partnership between Green Marine and Surfrider Foundation Europe, the label is the result of the collaborative work involving stakeholders from the maritime and port sectors shippers, governments, NGOs, and the ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency. These fed into the discussions within the advisory committee and successfully adapted the criteria for Europe.

Full lifecycle environmental performance

In additional to last year’s seven performance indicators (aquatic invasive species, greenhouse gas emissions, NOx, SOx, oily discharge, waste management and underwater noise), the laureates have also been evaluated this year on the dismantling of their vessels.

The Green Marine Europe label, therefore, covers all the major environmental issues related to the activity of ship owners, from the beginning to the end of the life of their respective fleets.