May 23, 2011

GVHA joins Green Marine

Quebec City, Quebec (May19, 2011) – Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) has joined the Green Marine environmental improvement program as part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and the port’s operational impact on adjacent communities.

Established in 2008, Green Marine aims to improve the marine industry’s environmental performance beyond regulatory compliance by encouraging participants to set reduction targets. The program also encourages participants to introduce new best practices and technologies in areas such as air emissions and greenhouse gases, port conflicts of use (reducing the levels of noise, dust, odours and light) and environmental leadership.

GVHA operates four port facilities with a vast mix of activities from cruise terminals and commercial ships to recreational boating and tourist attractions. The organization determined the Green Marine program was in step with its commitment to operate its deep-sea and marina facilities in a sustainable way.

Sonterra Ross, acting Chief Executive Officer of GVHA, said: “The Green Marine program appealed to us because of its focus on greenhouse gas reductions, conflicts of use and environmental leadership themes. These are areas we are invested in improving.’’

Taking part in the Green Marine voluntary program is a way of adding accountability to the efforts GHVA has already taken toward sustainability, added David Bolduc, Green Marine’s executive director. ”All results are independently verified by a third party and shared publicly. This underlines the seriousness of the commitment our participants have made.”

Beyond showcasing the initiatives they already have under way, GVHA will set new targets to further reduce its environmental footprint. Ross explained, ”We hope to learn from other ports and terminals about the methods that have helped them achieve the program goals.” Additionally, the participation of GVHA will help Green Marine reach new members from marine centres dedicated to the transportation of people.

Bolduc said : ”We’re pleased to welcome them. They’ve been very proactive to this day, and the Green Marine program gains in credibility with such a participant within its ranks. After Seaspan Marine Corporation’s shipyard in Victoria, it’s the first port member within the boundaries of Vancouver Island, and they’ll both pave the way for further expansion on the West Coast.”

Initially founded by Canadian and U.S. companies in the Great Lakes region, Green Marine has been rapidly expanding into various regions of North America, including British Columbia and Atlantic Canada. Prince Rupert Port Authority, Island Tug and Barge, Seaspan Marine Corporation, and SMIT Canada are recent West Coast additions to the program.

Shipowners, port authorities, terminal operators, and shipyards participating in the program evaluate their performance each year against a set of criteria on a one-to-five scale from regulatory compliance to achieving excellence. More than 50 shipowners, port authorities and terminal operators from coast to coast, in Canada and the USA, are currently part of the program.

About Greater Victoria Harbour Authority

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA), a not-for-profit society, owns and operates deep water, marina and upland holdings throughout Victoria’s harbour. These include the large vessel Ogden Point port facility, Victoria’s renowned Fisherman’s Wharf and the inner harbour’s luxury yacht and marine tourism facility at Ship Point. GVHA’s vision is a harbour where people live, learn, work and play; a spectacular gateway into Victoria’s past and into its future, monumental in look and feel, linking communities and all people together. GVHA began operating its four port facilities in April 2002 when they were divested from Transport Canada. GVHA is governed by a board of directors representing key stakeholders and the community at large.

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