As part of Trans Mountain’s commitment to environmental protection, we work in collaboration with Green Marine – a voluntary environmental performance program that includes both self-assessments and independent third-party verification for members of the North American marine industry. Since 2013, Trans Mountain has participated in the Green Marine program, committing to benchmark and continuously improve environmental performance at our Westridge Marine Terminal.

We spoke with Brooke Coburn, Environmental Specialist for Trans Mountain and facilitator of our participation in the Green Marine program to learn more about Trans Mountain’s involvement with the program and what our plans are for 2021.

How does Green Marine assess environmental performance?

Green Marine assesses participants’ performance across 14 indicators, which may vary depending on the type of participant in the program. In addition to terminals, such as Trans Mountain’s Westridge Marine Terminal, Green Marine also has participants who are ship owners, ports and seaways or shipyards. As a terminal, we are specifically focused on performance indicators such as Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions, Spill Prevention and Stormwater Discharge, Community Impacts, Environmental Leadership and Waste Management. However, other types of participants may be involved in others such as Aquatic Invasive Species, Underwater Noise or Oily Discharge.

How is Trans Mountain doing against these indicators?

We have maintained an overall level three in the program, with a level four in Environmental Leadership. This means we have gone beyond best practices and have environmental management plans in place to minimize our level of impact. Level one is in line with monitoring regulations and level five is categorized as environmental excellence and leadership. Maintaining a consistent level within this environmental program is not as simple as sticking with operational status quo. Each year Green Marine re-evaluates and revises its existing program to encourage continuous improvement.

What types of activities or programs does Trans Mountain take part in to fulfill Green Marine requirements?

As part of Trans Mountain’s operation, we participate and integrate many of the Green Marine criteria into the way we do business. Annually, we quantify our GHG emissions and maintain an inventory of those emissions. We have preventative maintenance procedures in place to minimize releases and a robust emergency management program in the event of a release. Our relationships with our surrounding communities are also very important to us ­– in addition to procedures on responding to environmental complaints from our surrounding communities, we are actively involved in local organizations and events, as well as giving back to these communities through our Community Investment Program.

What are our plans going forward in 2021?

There is a new performance indicator for 2021 called Community Relations. As a new indicator, it will be optional in the first year, but will become a requirement in 2022. This year we will review that indicator in more detail with the objective of building on our commitments to our surrounding communities. We will also revisit the other performance indicators with the objective of identifying areas for continued improvement from last year.