Green Marine Participants Embrace New Environmental Challenges
Green Marine is marking its 10th anniversary as North America’s environmental certification program for the maritime industry by holding its annual conference at the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six until tomorrow. GreenTech 2017 opened this morning with the release of the 2016 environmental performance results of Green Marine’s more than 100 participants and a good news story to share.
Green Marine’s participants obtained an overall average of 3.1 on a 1-to-5 scale that has Level 1 requiring the monitoring of regulations and Level 5 reflecting excellence and leadership. The overall average of the participants for all performance indicators has remained quite steady over the past few years even though new indicators have been introduced and the criteria for existing indicators have been made significantly more demanding in several cases.
“We’re constantly raising the bar as new regulations come into effect, improved technologies become readily available, and new emerging issues are introduced as additional priorities,” David Bolduc, Green Marine’s executive director, said. “This explains why the average has decreased ever so slightly from 3.2 in 2015.”
Participants kept the overall average at slightly above Level 3 for 2016 even after Green Marine:
• added a new performance indicator on waste management for landside participants
• toughened the criteria on air emissions and aquatic invasive species for ship owners
• retired the high-scoring performance indicator on dry bulk cargo residues.
“The fact that the overall average has remained fairly constant even with all of these demanding changes is a testament to the serious and successful pursuit of continual improvement by our participants,” Bolduc said.
Participants are ship owners, port authorities, Seaway corporations, terminal owners and shipyard operators. A significant increase in last year’s membership further challenged the overall 2016 results with new participants tending to initially report lower performance levels. “They understandably need some time to gather the expertise and/or resources to achieve the criteria associated with the program’s higher levels,” Bolduc explained.
Green Marine currently has 110 participants compared to 34 when the program began a decade ago. Long-term participants show a generally upward trend over time despite broader and more challenging performance criteria. “Those reporting for the years 2008 through 2016 saw their global average rise from an initial 2.0 level to 3.4 now,” Bolduc noted.
To assure the program’s rigor and transparency, participants must undergo an external verification every two years, and each participant’s individual results are published yearly. The 2017 voluntary environmental program has 12 performance indicators that address environmental issues such as air polluting emissions, greenhouse gases, aquatic invasive species, waste management, community impacts and underwater noise.
The 2016 Performance Report, which relates the individual results of all of the program’s participants, is available online.
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