Protecting the marine environment
Protecting the environment and the preservation of natural resources is at the forefront of Thenamaris’ operations, and the company has worked uncompromisingly over many years to achieve world-class environmental credentials.
The company’s philosophy is to be a frontrunner in setting very high standards for the industry and aim for continuous improvement on all matters related to health, safety, security, quality, energy and the environment.
Thenamaris was accredited in 1999 with ISO 9001 Quality Certification and ISO 14001 Environmental Certification being one of the first shipping companies worldwide to implement seamlessly Safety Quality and Environmental Management Systems. In 2013 the company also obtained accreditation for ISO 50001. Such advanced energy and environmental credentials are evidence that Thenamaris is fully committed to being a top quality operator.
Global environmental program involvement
As part of its focus on protecting the environment and minimizing pollution, the company has proactively sought assessment by organizations which manage some of the industry’s leading environmental programs.
This approach has reaped a number of tangible results. Thenamaris is proud to have Green Award certification, a mark of the highest safety and environmental standards in shipping. It was also the first European company to comply with the Voluntary Best Achievable Protection (VBAP) standards and subsequent to that with the even stricter Exceptional Compliance Program (ECOPRO) standards, both part of Washington State’s voluntary compliance program which aims to control and mitigate risks of marine pollution in the State’s waters.
Thenamaris’ vessels fly the Green Award flag
Thenamaris has been a firm supporter of the Green Award since the Bureau Green Award was established in 1994, instigated by Rotterdam Municipal Port Management and the Dutch Ministry of Transport. The driving force behind the Green Award was to acknowledge the importance of high safety and environmental standards in shipping by identifying the extra clean, extra safe seagoing vessels that use the port of Rotterdam and other associated Ports.
“These awards aim to create a market preference for high quality operations, resulting in fewer incidents and accidents that can jeopardize the marine environment,” says Jan Fransen, Managing Director of Bureau Green Award, the awarding organization. “We wanted to recognize the good performers among ship owners and managers, and encourage others to raise their standards.”
The Green Award Foundation is now completely independent, and currently certifies over 230 vessels managed by more than 40 companies based in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Russia and Canada. Two years ago Green Award also implemented a similar kind of program for European inland shipping which addresses ‘“greening the maritime chain”. This way the Green Award along with its partners addresses an industry-wide Corporate Social Responsibility program with the participating ports as a central point.
In order to achieve certification, Bureau Green Award carries out a competent assessment of a vessel’s crew, and a range of operational, environmental and managerial standards. If the audit results meet the stringent requirements, the vessel receives a Green Award certificate, which is valid for three years and is updated on a yearly basis.
An incentive to invest in technology
The Green Award is globally recognized within the oil and shipping sectors and Green Award certified ships are identified in safety-promoting organizations such as Equasis, Rightship and the Lloyds Ship Index.
“Companies with vessels enrolled in the Green Award benefit from an enhanced image in the eyes of charterers and other stakeholders in the shipping industry,” says Jan. “Recent studies have shown that certified ships perform better in inspections than those that are not enrolled in the program. Companies in the scheme are also incentivized to be innovative and invest in technology in order to improve their performance and stay ahead of the game.”
At 38 ports worldwide, Green Award vessels receive a considerable reduction in port dues, and 64 service providing companies from various sectors of the marine Industry offer incentives, an added benefit of being a good performer. A number of marine service suppliers, such as ship chandlers, also reduce their prices for companies that have achieved Green Award status.
Today, 19 of Thenamaris’ vessels under management fly the Green Award flag and the company is currently in the process of having more vessels audited for admission into the program.
Personal and professional commitment
Jan recalls his reaction when Thenamaris enrolled its first ship in the Green Award scheme in 1997. “I was impressed that a representative from the Safety & Quality department of Thenamaris back then was present during every single audit. This demonstrated Thenamaris’ commitment to improving the performance of the vessels it managed.”
Since that first audit, Jan comments that: “Thenamaris has made great improvements in its operating systems, its organizational structure, roles and responsibilities, and its on board policies and procedures.”
“Overall, Thenamaris scores better than the average ship management company,” he continues. “Its ships are eligible for intermediate audits, so are audited every 18 months, instead of every year. This is a policy that Bureau Green Award has introduced for top performers – and applies to only 20% of all vessels enrolled.”
Doing the right thing in Washington State waters
Thenamaris is equally proud to be the first European and only the second non-US company to receive ECOPRO accreditation from the State of Washington.
ECOPRO is a voluntary compliance program controlled by the Department of Ecology in Washington State that helps mitigate the risk of pollution in the state’s territorial waters. The program, with its 31 separate standards, certifies that a company or ship has implemented additional controls and safety measures to help protect the environment and reduce the risk of pollution.
ECOPRO is an exceptionally strict compliance program, more advanced than the minimum federal requirement to trade in ports in the area. By complying with ECOPRO, Thenamaris demonstrates that the company is actively involved in pursuing and achieving high environmental standards.
Several companies have also reported that the ECOPRO certificate has been a factor in obtaining lower insurance rates.
“Innovative and forward-thinking”
When Washington State sent out invitations to tanker companies to take part in ECOPRO, Thenamaris was one of the first companies to rise to the challenge although Washington’s State ports were not frequently visited by Thenamaris managed vessels. The commitment to participate and contribute to a green initiative was very strong though. The accreditation was successfully obtained in 2001.
Lori Crews, Vessel Inspector for Ecology and the lead plan reviewer for the state, comments: “Reviewing ECOPRO plans gives Washington State ideas and insights into what truly innovative and forward-leaning companies are doing in the arena of environmental excellence.”
She places Thenamaris in this category, and has particular praise for the Thenamaris Fleet Instruction Manual, which is designed to control any activity that may affect safety and quality on board.
Helping to raise standards
ECOPRO developed their original standards in 2000 together with tanker companies who had an interest in highlighting their exceptional environmental and safety standards.
In 2009 the Department of Ecology again met with representatives from oil companies and ship operators to revise these standards. Thenamaris was delighted that a company representative was asked to contribute ideas on how to enhance safe navigation in Washington State waters.
A leading light in the marine environment
The final word goes to Lori Crews. “Washington State ranks Thenamaris very highly in its commitment and on-the-ground implementation of safety and environmental excellence. It is always a pleasure to work with them. Thenamaris stands as a light by which other tanker companies can navigate the changing tides of environmental standards.”