Green Marine’s uniqueness lies in the composition of its advisory committees: they bring together the key representatives of industry stakeholders, governmental regulators, scientific research community, and environmental organizations. Twice a year, these representatives are invited by one of Green Marine’s program managers to the same (real or virtual) table. Their input on different aspects of the program’s development is keenly sought. These advisory committees are a big part of Green Marine’s collaborative success!
Regional input has been a core aspect of the Green Marine program from the very start. The program launched with two regional advisory committees, representing the St. Lawrence region and the Great Lakes. There are now four advisory committees representing the St. Lawrence region, the Great Lakes, the North Atlantic, and the West Coast.
The advisory committees facilitate additional opportunities for members to raise environmental issues of particular concern to their region and to explore some possible solutions through collaboration. They also discuss how proposed overall changes to the program might particularly affect their region before any new criteria is adopted.
Under Green Marine’s framework, a regional advisory committee can be formed when a region’s membership becomes sufficiently large to have a full committee of relevant stakeholders at meetings – at least 50% of them being Green Marine participants (ship owners, port authorities, terminal operators and/or shipyard managers), and at least 25% of them representing Green Marine supporting members (environmental organizations, government departments/agencies, and scientific/academic institutions).
The St. Lawrence advisory committee brings together the stakeholders from the St. Lawrence and Saguenay riversides: between the Seaway’s entrance and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This is the only committee working exclusively in French. Green Marine’s St. Lawrence program manager, Véronique Trudeau, facilitates this committee.
The Great Lakes advisory committee works as a binational entity since the very beginning. It brings together stakeholders from all types of maritime activities on both sides of the Canada and United States border in the Great Lakes region. Thomas Grégoire, Green Marine’s Great Lakes & East Coast program manager, is responsible for this committee.
In 2013, the West Coast advisory committee was the first additional group to be formed once the critical mass of members was reached within the region. It encompasses participants between Prince Rupert to San Diego along the U.S. and Canadian West Coast. Green Marine opened its membership to maritime companies outside the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence regions in 2010 by welcoming the Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia. The West Coast advisory committed is coordinated by Green Marine’s senior program manager, Eleanor Kirtley who is based in Seattle, Washington.
Created in 2021, the North Atlantic advisory committee is the newest addition to Green Marine’s collaborative approach and gives members in the Atlantic provinces and Northeastern United States a greater opportunity to have a say about the future of the environmental certification program. The committee membership spans from Newfoundland’s easternmost tip westward to Belledune, New Brunswick, and north and south between Newfoundland to Norfolk, Virginia. These are the same boundaries used by the North Atlantic Ports Association and defined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the North Atlantic. The committee is coordinated by Green Marine East Coast and Great Lakes program manager, Thomas Grégoire, who is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.