At an initial workshop held at the port of Montreal with more than 45 participants in February 2020, the European Lean & Green certification program made its debut in Montreal. CargoM has now decided to implement the certification program starting in 2021, teaming up with its Belgian partner, Logistics in Wallonia (LiW). LiW has already implemented this green certification with more than 500 European companies since 2014. To help defray the cost of the rollout, CargoM will receive a grant from the Ministry of International Relations and La Francophonie.

Lean & Green certification

Initiated in 2008 in the Netherlands, the Lean & Green program aims to support logistics and transport companies as they cut their CO2 emissions by at least 20 per cent over no more than five years. To achieve this, a simple methodology has been developed. After conducting an assessment of emissions from transport and logistics, the participating company defines a Lean & Green action plan. The plan must cover at least 50 per cent of the participant’s emissions. It then chooses a reference unit (tonne-kilometre, floor metre, pallet, etc.) to properly calculate CO2 emissions and, most importantly, factor in how its activities develop and grow.

To assess efforts already undertaken before joining the program, the company can determine a reference year before the year it joins Lean & Green. A crucial issue for the company is to have the necessary data to anchor the action plan in day-to-day business operations. This will ensure that the final result is assessed from both an environmental and an economic point of view.

Following its launch in the Netherlands, the program was extended to Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and the Czech Republic. Fourteen countries are now participating in this certification, and more than 550 companies are involved in the development of more sustainable logistics, including shippers, trucking companies, port terminals, ports, barges, airports and cargo airlines.

To facilitate implementation, CargoM will join forces with Quebec partners such as InnovLOG – Institut d’innovation en logistique du Québec and Green Marine. CargoM also intends to work with other members of Greater Montreal’s supply chain while the pilot project is getting underway. Interested readers should express their interest by emailing CargoM at