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Green Marine in the Great Lakes

The marine industry has established a bi-national, voluntary program called Green Marine that aims to improve participants’ environmental performance beyond regulatory compliance.  Participants – who represent nearly half of the marine activity in the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway region – are taking concrete actions through Green Marine to improve their record in nine key environmental areas. Their results are independently verified by a third party and shared publicly to demonstrate their environmental commitment.

Improving Environmental Performance

Although marine transportation is already the most environmentally friendly means of shipping goods, the Great Lakes- St. Lawrence Seaway marine industry is taking steps to make it even better.

Green Marine program participants – shipowners, port authorities, terminal operators, and shipyards – evaluate their performance on a five-level scale that ranges from regulatory compliance to achieving excellence with the aim of improving their record in seven priority environmental areas.

Established in 2007, Green Marine has recently expanded into the Maritimes, Canada’s West Coast and Eastern and Southern U.S.  The Green Marine program won an international Sustainable Shipping Award in 2011 and has received formal support from environmental groups like World Wildlife Fund and Ducks Unlimited as well as endorsements from government agencies.

Over 200 Committed Members

Green Marine’s membership surpassed 200 members in May 2014.  The program includes three classes of membership:

  • Participants
  • Partners
  • Supporters

    Green Marine Priorities

    The priority environmental issues addressed by the Green Marine program are:

    1. Aquatic Invasive Species - reduce the risk of introducing and propagating aquatic organisms and pathogens via ships’ ballast water
    2. Air Emissions - reduce emissions of sulphur oxide (SOx) and of nitrogen oxide (NOx)
    3. Greenhouse Gases - reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs)
    4. Cargo Residues - reduce discharges of cargo residues
    5. Oily Waters - reduce the risk of discharging oily waters
    6. Conflicts of Use for Ports and Terminals - reduce the levels of noise, dust, odors and light to which individuals residing close to port installations are exposed
    7. Environmental Leadership - encourage port administrations to play a leadership role with respect to their tenants and users in the adoption of best environmental practices
    8. Water and Land Pollution Prevention
    9. Prevention of Spills and Leakages

      Verified and Transparent Results

      The Green Marine program requires all participants to have their results verified by an independent third party every two years. The external verification process includes on-site visits by auditors to validate the systems, processes and accuracy of data used in reporting their results under the Green Marine program.  Participants also agree to publicly report their individual performance indicators.  This underscores the seriousness of the environmental commitment that Participants have made.

      For the latest results of the Green Marine program and a list of its members, visit