British Marine is the membership organisation for the leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry in the United Kingdom. A sector that in total adds around 3 billion GBP to the British economy. And in cooperation with the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), British Marine operates the Green Blue joint environmental awareness program which was launched in 2005 at the Southampton Boat Show.
At the beginning of January this year, they announced the launch of a new initiative intended to raise awareness of environmental good practice amongst the staff, and customers of their members. In this blog we will give a brief summary of a very comprehensive 41-page pdf called ‘The Green Guide for Marinas’
Aiming at the heart of the boating community
The headline document for the campaign ‘The Green Guide for Marinas,’ which is sub headed: ‘Making the environment second nature’ points out that sailing and boating are activities which rely heavily on a clean and healthy natural environment, so it’s in all of our interests to do what we can to minimise our impact on the environment. And, by adopting good practice across the marine leisure industry, we can safeguard the waters we enjoy boating in, and depend upon for our livelihoods.
The guide sets out clearly what the key benefits are to ‘greening your marina’. These include:
Cost savings - through improved management of energy, water and waste.
Customer expectations - Mirroring the greener lifestyle that most people are adopting at home.
Competitive advantage - Getting the edge on other marinas that are not so green.
Legislative compliance - Keeping your marina on the right side of the law.
Future proofing - Including risk management against climate change events, and preparing for stricter environmental legislation going forward.
The contents of the guide include sections on Waste Management, Pollution Control, Energy Use and Generation, Water use, Biodiversity, Non-Native Invasive Species, and Supply Chain Specifics. Each section gives practical advice and best practice guidance, including legal requirements under Environmental, Waste Handling, Hazardous Materials, and Port Control Regulations.
Motivational real-life examples
Also included are several case studies which highlight where some marinas have derived tangible benefits as a result of following similar guidelines.
For instance, Fambridge Marina in Essex upgraded their entire waste handling process with the help of the Green Blue team, and a Green Recycling contractor. In doing so they actually achieved an annual cost saving of £8,000.
Previously they had not separated or pretreated their waste, and it was all taken to landfill by a waste removal contractor costing them about £1,000 per month, including landfill taxes.
By installing recycling bins for various materials and investing in some second-hand compactors, they have now managed to avoid landfill completely, and even receive an income from scrap metals and old batteries etc. They expect the capital cost for the compactors to be recouped in 4 to 5 years.
Other marinas have been persuaded to invest in things like black and grey water pump-out facilities, oil spill response facilities, or special collection systems for capturing and filtering toxic run-off from high pressure cleaning of boat hulls. These have resulted in improved water quality in the harbour, return of biodiversity and wildlife, savings on water usage… and generally happier boaters!
Colourful high impact messaging
The campaign has been well thought out in terms of visual appeal, and comes with a very complete package of support materials. This includes a number of posters and stickers with clear themes and strong unambiguous text, such as: How Green is your Yacht? How Green is your RIB? How Green is your Dinghy? These clearly highlight best environmental practice in all areas of boat operation, from hull deck and engine room, through to galley and heads. They also include eco-tips on such things as mooring, anchoring, refueling, and waste/effluent control.
There is also a really useful pdf called, The Green Wildlife Guide for Boaters. This is a separate 5 page illustrated guide which sets out clearly and graphically how boaters should see, anticipate and act, in the case of sighting a host of creatures such as seabirds, whales, dolphins, seals, sharks and turtles, whilst out on the oceans and waterways.
There are also some excellent video clips about wildlife and non-native invasive species.
All in all, an excellent campaign package, which deserves every success in improving environmental awareness amongst boaters, and the industry that serves them.
More details: www.thegreenblue.org.uk