Green Marine adds responsible recycling indicator
Green Marine is broadening the scope of its North American environmental certification program by adding a performance indicator for responsible ship recycling.
By wading into this emerging issue, Green Marine is again proving its vision and proactive approach in improving the industry’s environmental performance, according to its executive director, David Bolduc. “Ship recycling remains one of the most dangerous industries and is increasingly being recognised by national and international agencies as essential to improve,” he said. “It is important to underline that ship owners certified by Green Marine have voluntarily accepted to adopt the ship recycling criteria, as no regulations oblige them to do so.”
“By developing an indicator for ship recycling, Green Marine is helping to improve practice and performance,” said Andrew Stephens, executive director of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI). SSI hosts the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative (SRTI), a multi-stakeholder initiative using transparency to accelerate a voluntary market-driven approach to responsible ship recycling and ultimately an industry-wide level playing field. “Leading and like-minded industry stakeholders – ranging from investors and lenders to insurance companies and shippers – all have a role to play in holding ship owners’ to account. By calling for transparency, they’re helping to raise the bar on responsible ship recycling.”
The new indicator is the result of 18 months of collaboration among the industry, environmental organizations, the scientific community and government representatives.
“The new indicator is divided into two parts,” explained Thomas Grégoire, the Green Marine program manager in charge of developing the indicator. “The first set of criteria calls upon Green Marine’s participating vessel owners to create an inventory of hazardous materials (IHM), while the second set applies to owners actually dismantling/recycling one or more vessels in any given year.”
Paul Topping, director of Regulatory and Environmental Affairs at the Chamber of Marine Commerce, which is one of Green Marine’s association members, says it makes sense to plan ahead with an IHM for the safe and responsible end-of-life handling of a vessel.
“Green Marine’s new performance indicator provides vessel owners with a step-by-step approach and will give these participants recognition for efforts made,” said Topping, who previously represented the Government of Canada at the International Maritime Organization in discussions that resulted in a new global agreement being finalized in 2009. The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships is still awaiting ratification by member states. Once the Hong Kong Convention goes into effect, only member states can be used for dismantling/recycling purposes. “But that’s not likely for a few years yet,” Topping noted. “It’s good that Green Marine is showing leadership here.”
As usual, the new Level 1 criteria requires monitoring of current regulations. Level 2 calls for the development of a policy to govern a vessel’s recycling. “Level 2 also requires all newly constructed vessels to be delivered with an IHM so that when the vessel is eventually dismantled, the recyclers know exactly the types of hazardous materials, their quantity and their onboard location,” Grégoire added.
Given that many existing vessels do not have an IHM, Level 3 builds on the Level 2 plan by requiring the vessel owner to establish an IHM for at least one of its existing vessels. At Level 4, the IHM must be available for 50% of a fleet, while at Level 5, all of the vessels must have an IHM.
The new ship recycling performance indicator will be optional during the first year of assessment (for 2020), as is always the case when new indicators are added to the program. They will subsequently be mandatory to obtain Green Marine certification.