21st Century ShippingAvoiding a collision course to save whales
The Surfrider Europe Foundation and the Green Alliance today launched the Green Marine Europe Label, a voluntary environmental certification program aimed at encouraging European passenger and freight shipping companies to adopt a more sustainable model.
This rigorous and transparent initiative encourages its participants to reduce their environmental footprint by adopting, on a voluntary basis, concrete and measurable measures going well beyond international and European legal obligations thanks to 13 performance indicators relating to environmental issues such as pollution of air, soil and water.
IFAW is delighted to see such an initiative materialize in Europe, given the major impact of the maritime industry on the ocean and its inhabitants. We worked on the advisory committee for this label to provide our expertise for the development of some of the criteria relating to the reduction of underwater noise.
How does the label work?
Each year, candidates must measure the environmental performance of their fleet using the self-assessment guides of the environmental program: they are responsible for assigning themselves a score out of 5 according to the progress of their environmental policy (level 1 : regulatory monitoring, level 5: level of excellence). Their results are then subject to an external audit by an independent auditor accredited by Green Marine Europe.
Shipowners must for example control their greenhouse gas emissions, the recycling of their ship, their oily discharges or the underwater noise produced by ships, so as to reduce the impact on marine mammals.
The underwater noise performance indicators are available on the Alliance Verte website. Their goal is to minimize the noise generated by a ship thanks to best management practices, new equipment and/or new technologies.
This label is a tremendous environmental advance for European maritime transport and for the preservation of the ocean, which will make it possible to clearly indicate to passengers and consumers the responsible approach of the company.
The application to obtain the label is now open for European shipowners. The first winners of the Green Marine Europe label will be announced in autumn 2020.