218 219 ing and reviewing its environmental program. Recently, Business View Magazine spoke with Green Marine’s Executive Director, David Bolduc, who talked about the program, how it came to be, what it does, and what its value is to North America’s maritime industry. The following is an edited transcript of that conversation: BVM: David, can you begin by recounting the genesis of Green Marine? What prompted its founding? And how has it evolved since then? Bolduc: “Maybe you’ve heard about the zebra mussels in the Great Lakes – the invasive spe- cies that was introduced through ballast water? This prompted a media crisis for the marine industry in the Great Lakes back in the early 2000s. Suddenly you would see, in the main- stream media, calls to close the St. Lawrence Seaway. So, the social license of the maritime industry was at risk and there was a group of CEOs who got together and realized that they needed to be more proactive in making every- body know what the industry was doing with regard to the environment. “That prompted the creation of this program, and I think it was a good call because, instead of taking the decision to establish a commu- nications campaign, which could have been accused of ‘greenwashing,’ they decided, instead, to create this long-term, sustainability program, where there would be specific goals and ac- GREEN MARINE tions that would be evaluated and rated, so that it would be possible to demonstrate that the industry was serious about improving its envi- ronmental performance. “And one of the things that distinguishes Green Marine is that it’s a partnership. It was created in collaboration with environmental groups, governments, and scientists. So, I think it’s pretty unique as far as similar environmen- tal initiatives go for the maritime industry. Also, it was meant to be non-sector specific; the goal was to cover the entire industry. That’s why, in this program, you have shipping companies, ports and terminals, even shipyards. “Initially, it was only intended for the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence region, because that’s where it was created and where the inva- sive species was a really huge issue and one of the most important that we addressed immedi- ately after the program was launched. But there were other environmental issues addressed in the program, as well – air emissions, cargo residues, oily water. “At first, the approach was very regional, even though it was bi-national right from the start – Canada and the United States. After a few years, the program proved to be extremely successful; it was vetted by environmental groups who thought that this was a serious program which they could support publicly and formally - the same with the governments. And so, in 2010, we started seeing companies and ports from out- side the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence wanting to have the certification, as well.