Green Marine, the premier environmental certification program for North America’s maritime industry, noted continued improvement in the sustainability of its existing participants in 2017 as it also welcomed new members to the reporting framework.
“We’re really pleased with how well our participants have fared given the additional challenges that the organization has embraced in terms of new performance indicators, more demanding criteria for existing benchmarks, and broader participation,” says David Bolduc, Green Marine’s executive director. “The results show true determination in minimizing the environmental impacts of maritime transportation.”
From 2016 to 2017, performance criteria were added and/or strengthened, making it more difficult to achieve the same levels as in past years. For example, ship owners had to meet more demanding criteria to achieve Level 5 for the greenhouse gas performance indicator. Ports and terminals were given revised criteria for spill prevention, as well as for the community impacts performance indicator.
The greatest improvement was made for one of the newest performance indicators, specifically the criteria for ports and terminals to address waste management. The relevant participants increased their performance by a total of 16 levels for an overall average of 2.5 in 2017 on the program’s 1-to-5 scale from their 2.3 average in 2016.
Green Marine’s 2017 results mark the 10th year of reporting by the program’s founding members and the results measurably reflect their commitment to continual improvement. Long-term participants continue to increase their performance levels even though the bar has been set higher for various criteria, and new challenges have been added to the program. For example, the initial group of participants reporting in 2008 notably improved their average standing to 3.6 in 2017 from 3.4 a year earlier. Their current standing is a significant improvement from their initial 2.0 average a decade ago.
Green Marine hasn’t stopped growing since its founding. In fact, the participating membership has quadrupled since 2007. By welcoming all that comply with existing regulations and commit to continual improvement, Green Marine fulfils its primary mission of advancing the environmental excellence of the maritime industry as a whole. The framework is specifically designed to benchmark varying starting points (beyond regulatory compliance) and detail the steps for ambitious but feasible improvements.
“Green Marine is itself committed to continual improvement and introduced a number of firsts in 2017,” Bolduc adds.
These firsts included the completion of a greenhouse gas report to quantify the GHG reductions of ship owners since the program’s founding. The aggregated results indicate an average yearly decrease of 1.4% in GHG intensity. Green Marine also integrated the Port Emissions Inventory Tool (PEIT) software licensed from Transport Canada so that port and terminal participants are on the same page when it comes to benchmarking emissions and subsequent reductions.
Green Marine’s comprehensive membership was further enhanced by the first U.S. domestic ship owner and first American shipyard joining as participants in 2017, as well as the first pilotage organization to upgrade from partner to participant. The program also welcomed a first naval auxiliary vessel within its ranks.
As required for certification, all the participants agreed to have their individual results published in the annual performance report and these are listed in the report available in print and on the Green Marine website at www.green-marine.org.