Green Marine is a voluntary environmental certification program for the maritime industry which is endorsed by a wide range of environmental groups and governments, including the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Environmental Defense Fund. Program participants such as shipowners, ports, terminals, Seaway corporations, and shipyards benchmark their annual environmental performance through exhaustive self-evaluation guides, which cover 12 performance indicators. Participants must have their results verified by an accredited external auditor and agree to the publication of their individual results.

Green Marine publishes an annual report listing the scores for each criterion relevant to each participant. Scores range from 1 to 5, where 1 represents monitoring and compliance with existing regulations, and 5 represents excellence and leadership in environmental engagement. A score of 2 or above represents environmental engagement and stewardship beyond what is legally required, with higher scores reflecting greater levels of effort.

Two metrics based on Green Marine participation and performance have been created as a means of tracking the environmental engagement and stewardship of maritime firms doing business within the Maritime Transportation System (MTS).

  • System participation reflects the number of MTS-participating firms that have achieved Green Marine certification and illustrates an increasing level of engagement across the MTS.
  • Levels of achievement in the Green Marine environmental certification program reflect the number of MTS-participating firms achieving each level in at least one area of evaluation. This demonstrates MTS-participating firms’ overall level of achievement in the Green Marine program has been increasing over time.

When reviewing Green Marine results, there are two aspects of the Green Marine environmental certification program that should be considered when interpreting the metrics:

  1. Green Marine seeks to ensure that participants demonstrate continual improvement. Since its creation, Green Marine has added new criteria and strengthened existing criteria. That means that a specific Level in 2019 is generally more difficult to achieve than the same Level in 2010. Individual levels can sometimes decline following the introduction of more challenging or new requirements. Within this context of strengthening and broadening criteria, the continued improvement in MTS-participating firms’ suggests that their environmental engagement is higher than results alone indicate.
  2. Note that all criteria within the program at level 2 and above represent actions that exceed regulatory compliance thus demonstrating deeper environmental engagement and stewardship than is required by law. Levels 3 and beyond then truly begin to represent excellence and leadership as companies voluntarily make investments to fulfill program criteria such as the adoption of management plans, set quantitative reduction targets and introduce advanced technologies to reduce their footprint. Finally, given the program’s level of difficulty increases annually due to regulatory updates and/or new technological advances, it should be recognized that even remaining at the same level year over year represents an improvement.

Together, the increasing enrollment and increasing results of MTS-relevant firms indicate that environmental engagement and stewardship have increased throughout the past decade.

The data for this metric came from Green Marine's annual reports.

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