Photo: Image Courtesy: Port of Los Angeles

Green Marine: More shipowners, terminal operators and ports opt for sustainability

The number of members of the Green Marine environmental certification program has been increasing steadily, according to the program’s latest performance report.

More than 140 shipowners, port authorities, terminal operators, shipyard managers and the Seaway corporations participate now in the program.

Green Marine currently has 31 transportation-related association members and 76 supporters from environmental NGOs, scientific and government organizations to call upon in reviewing and updating the program’s criteria. The program also facilities the participants finding out about the latest emerging technologies and sustainability expertise from the 95 partners that often assist them in obtaining the program’s higher levels.

“I am delighted to see that Green Marine’s membership continues to climb steadily with more Canadian and U.S. companies and organizations recognizing the program’s value. There’s no doubt that Green Marine continues to gain recognition throughout North America and throughout the world,” Ronald W. Tursi, Chairman of Green Marine, commented.

The Green Marine environmental certification been issued for a 12th consecutive year to numerous participants throughout North America based on their documented 2019 efforts to improve sustainability in maritime transportation.

Each of these shipowners, port and Seaway authorities, terminal operators and shipyard managers voluntarily took actions beyond environmental regulations in the program’s applicable performance indicators.

Their individual results for 2019 are published online as part of Green Marine’s annual performance results report indicating these efforts on a Level 1 (monitoring of environmental regulations) to Level 5 (excellence and leadership) scale of achievement.

“We’re pleased to see that the environmental performance of our participating membership keeps improving even while the number of participants, indicators and criteria have all significantly increased,” David Bolduc, Green Marine’s executive director, said.

A total of 159 self-evaluation reports were filed for 2019 – a 10% increase over 2018 when 144 reports were received — with some participants filing separate reports for their varied divisions or activities. The program’s widening membership and scope resulted in participants individually reporting on 954 performance indicators in 2019 as compared to the only 147 initially related a decade earlier.

“Yet a full 90% of participants now report a Level 2 or higher average compared to 83% for the 2018 results – clear evidence of overall steady progress,” Bolduc noted.

Ship owners showed the greatest improvement in terms of reducing underwater noise by moving up nine levels and one participant achieving Level 5.

Terminals, ports and shipyards improved by 19 levels within the greenhouse gases (GHG) performance indicator, primarily by establishing inventories to determine and subsequently reduce GHG emissions linked to their operations.

The program’s evolution has taken it from an initial six performance indicators to more than a dozen with the newest being ship recycling, which is set for optional reporting in 2021 and mandatory thereafter. A three-year strategic plan is currently underway to determine future priorities.

Green Marine begins European adventure

Green Marine Europe was launched on April 28, 2020, with an aim to pursue the same environmental priorities as the North American framework — greenhouse gases, polluting atmospheric emissions, underwater noise, aquatic invasive species, the management of residual materials, and oily discharges.

The Green Marine secretariat in North America is working in partnership with Surfrider Foundation Europe, an NGO leading this initiative to adapt the program’s framework to the environmental specifications of European ship owners, while maintaining the same rigour, transparency and measurable accountability as the North American model.

Under a four-year licensing agreement, Green Marine will lend guidance and various support to build Green Marine Europe, after which it is expected that Green Marine Europe will become an independent organization.

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