The Green Marine Environmental Program: A General Overview

Marine pollution has lately become a major concern regarding the fact that ocean contamination and defilement is affecting the environment as a whole. Hence it was necessary to step forward and take requisite actions to ensure healthy nature and lives.

The marine industry, as a response to the increasing global focus on environmental issues and responsibilities, has established a bi-national, voluntary program named Green Marine that aims to improve participants’ environmental performance beyond regulatory compliance.

The Program

Green marine is a partnership environmental program for a sustainable future promised to be accomplished by the St. Lawrence – Great Lakes maritime industry designed specially to drive a process of continuous improvement and actions to strengthen the marine transportation industry’s environmental performance such as greenhouse gas emission, cargo residues management, sensitivities at ports (noise, dust, odours, and light) etc.

green marine

Four basic steps constitute the program, which are:

1. Evaluation Process:

Adaptation of prescribed practices and required technologies to help progress which is again evaluated with the help of performance indicators based on the following criteria:




Conformity with applicable regulations and adherence to Green Marine’s precepts


Well planned use of a defined number of best practices


incorporating best practices into an adopted management plan and quantitative
anticipation of environmental effects


Introduction of new technologies


Excellence and leadership

2External Verification:

Green Marine Environmental Program requires its participants have their results independently verified by an independent third party every two years before publishing in order to ascertain the credibility and transparency of the program.

3. Publication of Results:

Individual results of the participants and the global results as a whole attained by the industry are published once in every year in Green Marine’s annual report. Individual results could be found here.

4. Certificate:

Participants are awarded a Green Marine’s logo during their first year in the program, indicating their ‘work in progress’, which can also be used in publicizing the company. Tenure of more than a year in the program can earn them a certified Green Marine’s logo, which is presented at the certification ceremony during the annual conference.

 Aims and Priorities

The Green Marine Environmental Program addresses seven major environmental issues identified by the marine industry, which are:

  1. Aquatic Invasive Species – cut down the risk of acquainting and propagating aquatic organisms and pathogens via ships’ ballast water.
  2. Pollutant Air Emissions – reduce emissions of Sulphur Oxide (SOx) and of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx).
  3. Greenhouse Gases – reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) which causes global warming from engines.
  4. Cargo Residues – sweepings and cleaning operations and reduce discharges of cargo wastes.
  5. Oily Waters – minimize the risk of discharging oily waters and prevent pollution from ships.
  6. Conflicts concerning Ports and Terminals – trim down the levels of noise, dust, and odours and light to which people living close to port installations are exposed.
  7. Environmental Leadership – encourage port administrations to play a leadership role with respect to their tenants and users in the adoption of best environmental practices.



The published results by Green Marine confirm its accomplishment at continuous improvement since 2008, for which it has already received conventional support from groups like World Wildlife Fund and Ducks Unlimited as well as endorsements from government agencies.

For its credibility, relevance, marine environment concerns and the Green Shipping Initiative, Green Marine Environmental Program has received the prestigious Sustainable Shipping Award in the year of 2011.


More than 120 companies and organizations including participants, partners and supporters incorporate Green Marine Environmental Program’s members’ list. Shipping companies, port authorities, terminal facilities, governments, municipalities and environmental groups supporting and endorsing have made the program widely known and esteemed around the world.

Recently SMIT Marine Canada Inc., which provides harbour towage services for six major ports in British Columbia and also Seaspan Marine Corporation, joined the program as the first major west coast ship owner.

If you are interested in joining the Green Marine Environmental Program, or to know more about it, contact the concerned personnel here.

You may also like to read-What is Green Ship Recycling?

References: green-marine, bcshippingnews.


Image Credits: georgianc, bcshippingnews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *