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Green Marine and Surfrider Foundation Europe join forces to launch Green Marine Europe

April 28, 2020

Paris and Quebec City, Tuesday, April 28, 2020 – Green Marine and Surfrider Foundation Europe are proud to announce that the Green Marine Europe environmental program is now available to European ship owners.

The Green Marine Europe label is based on the Green Marine environmental certification program, a voluntary initiative by the maritime industry in Canada and the United States that aims to improve the environmental performance of maritime transport beyond regulatory requirements.

The Green Marine Europe label will function according to the same model of rigour and transparency as the North American program. It will require the participating candidates to complete a self-evaluation, an external verification and the publication of their results.

It also targets the same environmental priorities as the North American program, namely: greenhouse gases, polluting atmospheric emissions, underwater noise, aquatic invasive species, the management of residual materials, and oily discharges.

“Surfrider Foundation Europe is delighted to announce the launch of the Green Marine Europe label to create an environmental emulation in marine sector of passenger and freight transportation,” said Antidia Citores, spokesperson for Surfrider Foundation Europe. Citores oversees the implementation and development of the Green Marine Europe label. “It will provide transparent information on the environmental performance of companies thanks to the numerous criteria that go far beyond international legal obligations. This unprecedented initiative in Europe is based on an independent evaluation.”

Since last autumn, the Surfrider Foundation Europe team and that of Green Marine have been working in partnership to adapt the North American certification program’s criteria for ship owners to European standards. True to Green Marine’s collaborative model, an advisory committee that brings together members of the maritime industry, government and environmental groups has been set up to complete this exercise.

“It’s with great enthusiasm that we envision this long-term partnership between Surfrider Foundation Europe and European ship owners to replicate in Europe the approach that has proven itself in North America,” said David Bolduc, Green Marine’s executive director. “We firmly believe that an open and transparent dialogue among the industry, its governmental partners and civilian society is the most effective way to define an environmental improvement approach that is both ambitious and achievable for the maritime transportation sector.”

The active participation of ship owners in the development of the label’s criteria represents another pillar of the model. “The resulting sense of involvement and ownership ensures a better mobilization of the sector,” Bolduc added.

Initial evaluations will begin shortly and the results of the first laureates will be published this autumn. Some ship owners are already at the starting line! For the first year, the membership is being offered free of charge to ship owners that wish to obtain the label.

Thereafter, the business model will follow that of the North American program which is funded by membership fees. Ship owners wishing to apply for the Green Marine Europe label can do so by completing the membership form available online (link).

“I am delighted with the commitment of ship owners in France to reduce the environmental footprint of maritime transportation beyond regulatory requirements,” said Arnaud Leroy, the chair and CEO of l’Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie (ADEME), the agency for ecological transition that is supporting the process. “The Green Marine Europe label will recognize their actions and will be a powerful mobilization tool to support all European ship owners in the ecological transition of the maritime sector.”

Green Marine overview

Founded in 2007, the Green Marine environmental certification program is the result of a voluntary initiative by the maritime industry to go beyond regulations. To date, more than 140 ship owners, port authorities, terminal operators and shipyard managers throughout Canada and the United States, are participating in the program. The certification process is rigorous and transparent, the results verified in an independent manner every two years, and the individual performance of each enterprise made public annually. The unique character of the Green Marine program is based on the active participation of environmental, scientific and governmental organizations in its development.

Surfrider Foundation Europe

Surfrider Foundation Europe is an NGO for the protection of the ocean, aquatic environments and their users. With 30 years of working expertise in the field, the organization has become a reference on environmental issues related to its work themes: aquatic waste, water quality and user health, coastal development and climate change.

Surfrider Foundation Europe works on a daily basis with key stakeholders aiming to defend this common good to ignite real changes at the heart of our societies. To do so, the organization relies on three complementary levers of action: education and awareness-raising, scientific and legal expertise, as well as political advocacy in order to introduce in-depth and lasting changes for the ocean’s preservation.

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