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Marine Shipping Industry Makes Environmental Strides

Quebec City, Canada, May 29, 2012 – The latest report card from the internationally-recognized Green Marine program shows that the overall environmental performance of ports, terminals and shipowners in Canada and the U.S. has improved for the third year in a row.

Green Marine, a North American environmental improvement program endorsed by WWF Canada, Ducks Unlimited and Transport Canada, today announced the results of its evaluation of participants’ efforts in nine key areas at the 5th annual GreenTech Conference held in Quebec City, Canada.

Participants, including major shipowners, ports and terminals from the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, scored an overall performance level of 3 out of a possible 5 for 2011, compared to 2.7 achieved in 2010. Shipowners posted the highest scores in their efforts to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions, which contribute to smog and acid rain; while ports stood out in their leadership in encouraging their tenants and users to adopt best sustainable practices. Individual company results were also revealed at the certification ceremony and can be viewed in the progress report at (See Notes below for how the scores work.)

David Bolduc, Green Marine executive director, said: “Green Marine celebrates its fifth anniversary this year with a number of significant achievements. Our program continues to significantly expand its membership, we signed a key partnership agreement with Transport Canada and our latest results show that the marine shipping industry is serious about its environmental responsibilities.”

Green Marine has added 23 new participants during the last 18 months — including the ports of Saint John, Nanaimo and Halifax, 4 American terminals owned by Ceres, six Canadian terminals owned by McAsphalt Industries, terminals owned by Neptune, and B.C.’s Seaspan Marine and Island Tug and Barge among others. Winner of the Green Shipping Initiative of the Year at Sustainable Shipping Awards 2011, Green Marine also developed additional performance indicators for the prevention of spills and leakages and garbage management.

Ray Johnston, president of Green Marine Management Corporation and of the Chamber of Marine Commerce in Ottawa, said: “Marine is the most environmentally friendly mode of transport by virtue of its fuel efficiency and huge carrying capacity. Through Green Marine, shipowners, ports and terminals are challenging themselves to continuously raise the bar higher.”

Green Marine Evaluation Process
Results are based on a scale of 1 to 5 evaluated against performance indicators in nine key areas.

  • Level 1 Regulatory compliance
  • Level 2 Participants have surpassed their regulatory obligations and introduced systematic use of defined best practices, for example, shipowners take preventive measures to reduce the risk of discharging oily waters at sea or take measures to reduce fuel consumption, such as reducing speed, optimizing loading of ships and adapting voyage routes to weather conditions and tidal currents.
  • Level 3 Participants quantified their company’s environmental impacts and integrated best practices into a formal management plan, for example, shipowners have completed an annual inventory of the company’s air emissions, such as GHG, SOX and/or NOX emissions. Ports, terminals and shipyards carry out actions to reduce dust, noise, excessive light and implement formal procedures for preventing water and land pollution as well as for handling community complaints.
  • Level 4 Participants have introduced/trialled new technologies, for example, to reduce air emissions or the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species. Ports, terminals and shipyards install storm water treatment devices.
  • Level 5 Participants have shown excellence by achieving defined reduction targets or systemic use of technologies, for example, shipowners allocate 75 % of annual fuel consumption to fuel with a sulphur content equal to or less than 1.5 %; which is significantly lower than the 2011 international standard of 4.5%.

Green Marine Overview

Green Marine’s environmental program targets a number of issues including greenhouse gases, cargo waste management, community impacts (noise, dust, odors, and light), water and land pollution prevention and environmental leadership. While Green Marine is a voluntary initiative, participants agree to undergo a rigorous external audit every two years, which is performed by Lloyds Registry Quality Assurance. Green Marine’s membership has doubled to 161 members made up of 67 participants, 54 partners and 40 supporters — from coast to coast, in Canada and the United States.

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