Cleveland, OH — Green Marine, the leading environmental certification program for North America’s maritime industry, released the results of its participants’ sustainability efforts in 2018 at the organization’s annual GreenTech conference.
“I am satisfied that we are holding course with the performance levels as we continue to widen our trajectory in terms of environmental priorities, as well as toughen some of our existing standards,” David Bolduc, Green Marine’s executive director, told GreenTech 2019’s attendees at the Westin Cleveland Downtown Hotel.
The program has 133 participants – a 12% increase from last year at this time. These ship owners, port authorities, Seaway corporations, terminal operators and shipyard managers voluntarily commit to evaluating their environmental performance on a yearly basis. They rank their efforts on a 1-to-5 scale based on the detailed criteria specified for 12 performance indicators. These indicators address greenhouse gas emissions, community impacts, garbage and waste management, and other prioritized environmental issues.
A total of 144 reports were submitted for 2018 with some participants filing for more than one type of business activity or distinct locations. This 17% increase in evaluations over the previous year reflects the participants involving more aspects of their operations, which is a welcomed development.
The overall average for the 2018 reporting dipped to 2.9 from 3.1 in 2017, which was not unexpected given the influx of new participants, new indicators and more stringent criteria.
The 2018 results included the largest group of newly reporting participations since the program’s 2007 inception. New members typically start out at the program’s lower levels. They usually require some time to familiarize themselves with the program’s varied criteria, determine their current standing, and then put into the place the people, systems and technology for targeted improvement.
Port authorities and ship owners operating in salt water also had to report on new performance indicators for underwater noise. Green Marine is one of the world’s first voluntary initiatives to take measurable steps to fully understand, reduce and mitigate underwater noise impacts on marine mammals and its expertise has widely been sought.
Even with the significantly larger new membership, 82% of the overall participants reported a Level 2 or higher average, showing a combined progress of 77 improved levels. The improvements were achieved despite the criteria being made more stringent for some indicators to ensure their levels remained sufficiently challenging vis-à-vis existing or imminent regulations and the marketplace availability of new technology.
All participants agree to have their results verified every two years by an independent verifier trained by Green Marine. They also consent to having their individual levels for each indicator published and these results are posted on the Green Marine website.