Green Marine Europe: first recipients of the 2020 label certification announced


The Green Marine Europe certification program was born out of a collaboration between Surfrider Europe and the North American Green Marine team. As the first voluntary environmental initiative for the European maritime industry, Green Marine Europe aims to guide this sector through a green transition by encouraging the adoption more sustainable shipping practices. The first six Laureates of the certification were announced on October 8th, 2020.  

Towards a more sustainable maritime transportation industry 

 The objective of Green Marine Europe is to create a concrete and measurable improvement in the maritime industry’s environmental performance. Today, 90% of the world’s goods are transported by sea. Though this mode of transportation produces 3% of total greenhouse gas emissions currently, if no improvement is made emission rates could reach 17% by 2050 and have disastrous consequences on marine biodiversity and global warming.   

To address this issue, Surfrider Foundation Europe and Green Marine collaborated on the adaptation of the North American program to suit the needs and interests of the European industry. Green Marine Europe certification reaches beyond the current maritime guidelines and encourages shipowners to challenge their notions of responsible shipping. 

To become Green Marine Europe certified, candidates must adhere first to 6 guiding principles: 

- Demonstrate corporate leadership in the search for best environmental practices in accordance with a sustainable development approach 

- Facilitate operations in a responsible manner with a view on minimizing environmental impact 

- Aim for continuous improvement of environmental performance 

- Develop and promote voluntary protection measures 

- Integrate sustainable development practices that are technically and economically achievable 

- Collaborate with governments and citizen groups on the progressive implementation of the action plans arising from the Green Marine Europe environmental program.

These guiding principles aim to involve shipowners in every step of the process and avoid positioning the label as an assessor of their performances. 

A rigorous and transparent process  

Before taking actions steps to reduce their impact, shipowners must first benchmark their annual environmental performance through an exhaustive self-evaluation guide. This guide is based on 7 key performance indicators: underwater noise, pollutant air emission NOx (nitrogen oxides), pollutant air emissions SOX (sulfur oxides) and PM (particulate matters), aquatic invasive species, waste management and oily discharge. An eight criterion on ship recycling will be including in the guide starting at the end of 2020. 

Once completed, the company must submit the self-evaluation report, signed by the company’s CEO, to the Green Marine Secretariat. It is then subjected to the discretion of an accredited verifier substantiated by the organization, as part of a thorough and transparent certification process. Laureates must submit their results to third party verification every two years to maintain accreditation. Indeed, certified ship-owners will have to demonstrate their annual improvement in measurable ways to maintain their Green Marine Europe certification. 

First laureate’s announcement 

After months of preparation and deliberation, Green Marine Europe announced the names of the first certified shipowners, whom can now demonstrate and communicate on their involvement in environmental matters. The 2020 Laureates are:  

- Brittany Ferries
- La Méridionale
- Corsica Linea
- Genavir
- Orange Marine
- Socatra

In the future, Green Marine Europe wishes to broaden its scope beyond shipowners and, like its North American counterpart, reach diverse maritime transportation actors (ports, seaways, terminals, shipyards, etc.). Their goal is to create a strong community engaged in a green transition to reduce the environmental impact of their activities. 

For more information, please visit Green Marine Europe dedicated page on Green Marine website. 

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