An environmental branding movement for shipping has been opened in Europe after 13 years of operating in North America with the launch of the Green Marine Europe label.
Environmentalist organisation, Surfrider Europe has partnered with Green Marine to launch the Green Marine Europe label, a certification program that will help maritime companies identify and reduce their environmental footprint, while informing consumers of the impact of their goods.
Spearheaded by Surfrider Europe Vice-President, Jacques Beall, the organisation has been working since 2017 to develop and promote a sustainable shipping label that would encourage maritime transparency. The Green Marine Europe label will indicate the environmental performance of companies by calculating several criteria that reach well beyond European and international legal obligations. The label is defined by environmental performance indicators relating to air, soil and water pollution.
During the European Voice for the Ocean consultation, 98% of participants answered that a label on eco-friendly transport would influence purchasing habits. With the launch of the Green Marine Europe label, Surfrider Europe is proud to provide consumers with this new opportunity to make informed buying choices. European shipowners can now apply for the new label which will help to indicate to passengers and consumers the company’s responsible approach.
In a statement, Surfrider Europe said ‘The launch of the Green Marine Europe label signifies a major step forward for European shipping and progress towards reducing the pollution caused by maritime transport. Currently, the industry accounts for 3% of greenhouse gas emissions, but studies show that if no changes are made, this figure could rise to 17% by 2050.
The Green Alliance is an environmental certification program that has been active in North America and Canada since its founding in 2007. It is a voluntary approach aimed at improving the environmental performance of marine transportation beyond regulatory requirements. This model is based on a fundamental pillar: the active participation of shipowners in the development of labelling criteria. This allows for an open and transparent dialogue between industry, government partners and civil society, which is the most effective way to define an environmental improvement approach.
In concrete terms, to be awarded with the label shipowners must control their underwater disturbances, greenhouse gas emissions and consider a sustainable approach to the recycling of ships. To date, more than 140 shipowners, port authorities, terminals and shipyards in Canada and the United States are participating in the program. Through its partnership with Green Alliance and the launch of the Green Marine Europe shipping label, Surfrider Europe aims to reduce these forms of pollution and foster an environment of accountability and conscious behaviour throughout the maritime industry.