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Marine Shipping Industry Makes Environmental Strides

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 http://www.green-marine.org.

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.”