Green Marine Gains Traction with Shipyards, Ship Owners, Ports, Terminals, and Seaway Corporations
Things we like: The Green Marine initiative is a program we support and one that complements our own ProComplianceWare. Yet, many organizations have never heard of the group and that should change.
There are still many marine organizations that suffer from a lack of regulatory intelligence and adequate processes to manage environmental issues. Not only are they at risk for penalties and fines that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but they are also jeopardizing the public health and safety of our environment.
The Green Marine initiative, started in 2008, is a transparent, voluntary and inclusive program addressing key environmental issues in the United States and Canada. The organization focuses on strengthening the North American marine industry’s environmental performance through a process of continuous improvement. The key participants of Green Marine (http://www.green-marine.org) make it possible for any marine company to reduce its environmental footprint. Green Marine requires its participants to adopt practices and technologies that will have a direct impact.
Participants must demonstrate year-over-year improvements in some measurable ways to maintain their Green Marine certification. This comprehensive marine environmental program offers a specific framework for maritime companies to both establish and then reduce their overall environmental footprint via undertaking measurable actions. The eleven-step process focuses on key performance indicators that are revised annually in an effort towards continuous improvement of this environmental program.
Green Marine members are required to complete a detailed annual self-evaluation. The results determine each participant’s ranking for the performance indicators on a one-to-five scale. For example, Level 1 acknowledges regulatory monitoring, while Level 5 indicates the company’s leadership and excellence. Reports are independently verified every two years to ensure the integrity of the program. This process is also transparent as results from each participant are made public every year.
To receive their certification, participants must benchmark their annual environmental performance through the program’s extensive self-evaluation guides. They must also have their results verified by an accredited external verifier, agreeing to publish their individual results. Three guides have been developed: one for ship owners, another for ports and one guide for St. Lawrence Seaway and the other for terminals and shipyards. The self-evaluation guides are updated on an annual basis to accommodate the ever-changing regulations and emerging issues.
All program participants must use their respective guides to help them complete their yearly self-evaluation reports, which must be signed by the company’s president and sent to the Green Marine Secretariat before April 1 of each year. To receive their certification, participants must benchmark their annual environmental performance.
During 2014, Green Marine received 94 evaluations. Several participants submitted more than one evaluation to report on diverse operations (e.g. tugs and shipyards). Other members decided not to submit an evaluation their first year of joining Green Marine since the organization offers new members some time to become acquainted with the program.
Since its inception, Green Marine’s credibility and relevance have been reflected through many environmental groups and government departments/agencies that have endorsed the environmental program. For detailed results, take a look at this 2014 Green Marine Performance Report.
Green Marine’s members are committed to strengthening the North American marine sector’s environmental performance through a process of continuous improvement. This helps increase overall awareness of the marine industry’s activities and environmental benefits. Most recently, Green Marine signed a nine-month contract with Transport Canada to provide insight about how underwater noise generated by shipping affects marine life, along with potential solutions. A preliminary survey on noise impacts is expected to be completed by year-end 2015, with a final report prepared by Green Marine and presented to Transport Canada by March 2016.
Green Marine will hold its next conference from May 30 to June 1, 2016, at the ninth annual Greentech at the Hilton Quebec, in Quebec City, Canada.
ProComplianceWareTM, a cost-effective Web-based compliance management system, helps companies manage compliance, reducing the risk of penalties and fines from ever-expanding government regulations for environmental, health, safety, and security. Visit www.ProComplianceWare.com.