By Manon Lanthier

This year – 2013 – is bearing witness to a diversity of Green Marine initiatives and rapidly spreading interest in its environmental program. Membership continues to steadily rise. It is a real source of pride for Green Marine and motivation for all of its members to welcome Port of Seattle, several west coast terminals and other new participants that have already made a real commitment to taking proactive measures towards sustainable development.

Green Marine’s success and continued expansion hinge on its ability to address diverse issues according to geographic region and sector activity. To effectively meet this challenge, Green Marine is devising a three-year development plan. Green Marine’s three regional advisory committees (Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, and West Coast) are playing a key role in this reflection, but all Green Marine members will be consulted and involved in the process as it moves forward. “We’re extensively referring to our participants, partners and supporters to determine what they consider essential for the environmental program’s membership and priorities,” said David Bolduc, Green Marine’s Executive Director.

Successful west coast debut

GreenTech 2013, Green Marine’s annual conference highlighting technical innovations for the marine industry, was an unprecedented success. Held for the first time on the west coast in Vancouver, B.C., it truly reflected Green Marine’s role in fostering the industry’s environmental discussions. The conference maintained a clear focus on sharing the specific actions being undertaken to reduce marine transport’s environmental footprint and address future challenges.

The event attracted a record turnout of more than 200 delegates. The program featured upwards of 30 speakers who offered varied presentations on current issues and topics of interest to representatives of all sectors of the marine ­industry.

2012 results: above and beyond good practices

Green Marine’s progress towards greater sustainability is measurable. The program has noted remarkable improvement in this fifth consecutive year of evaluating the environmental performance of its participants, namely ports, terminals, shipowners and shipyards in Canada and the U.S. In fact, many of the participating companies bettered their results in one or more areas despite the program’s expanded and heightened requirements.

The environmental performance rankings of Green Marine’s participants were presented at a certification ceremony during GreenTech 2013. After attaining a Level 3 global average (on a scale of 1 to 5) in 2011 (the initial target set when Green Marine launched in 2007), participants sent a clear signal that they were firmly committed to maintaining this standard in 2012 even though the program’s criteria had been made more demanding.

Continuous improvement – one of Green Marine’s founding principles – took full meaning in 2012 with a number of additions to the program that encourage participants to do even more to reduce their environmental footprint.

Performance indicators for shipowners were further bolstered with the adoption of additional measures within the SOx emissions performance indicator. In addition to compiling an inventory and implementing measures aimed at reducing SOx emissions, the program now includes particulate matter (PM) emissions. It requires, among other things, that participants compile an annual inventory (Level 3) and undertake sampling campaigns (Levels 4 and 5) for their PM emissions. For ports, terminals and shipyards, it is now mandatory to meet the performance indicator requirements for spill prevention that were optional in 2011.

The 2012 results clearly show that Green Marine’s environmental program effectively guides and inspires participants to significantly exceed regulatory requirements. Green Marine is now widely recognized as an effective, rigorous environmental program for the North American marine industry’s sustainability based on its steadily increasing membership, expanding scope, and the year-over-year improvement of its participants.

Green Marine will continue on this path of continuous improvement in 2013 with the planned addition of program modifications. These include changes resulting from the stricter regulation of ship air emissions within the newly designated North American Emission Control Area (ECA).

GreenTech 2014 heads east

After a very successful west coast conference, Green Marine is setting its sights eastward. Port Saint John (N.B.) was the first east coast port to join the Green Marine environmental program in June 2011 and will be the first to host Green Marine’s annual conference on North America’s east coast. The dates have been set for June 10th to 12th, 2014.

“Based on this year’s success, the bar is set high for GreenTech 2014,” said Bolduc. “Just like our participants, however, we are committed to continuous improvement and will take into account everyone’s feedback to present a program that meets and, wherever possible, surpasses expectations.”