September 24, 2020
BC Ferries celebrates World Maritime DayVICTORIA – The International Maritime Organization’s World Maritime Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, with BC Ferries embracing this year’s theme, "Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet," through a number of sustainability initiatives.
Earlier this year, BC Ferries introduced two new Island Class vessels, the first in a series of six hybrid-electric ships designed for future full electric operation. The ships are fitted with hybrid technology that bridges the gap until shore charging infrastructure and funding become available. Construction is also well underway on a fourth Salish Class vessel which uses natural gas as the primary fuel. This reduces CO2 emissions by 15 to 25 per cent, reduces nitrogen oxides by over 80 per cent and nearly eliminates particulate matter. The design of the Island Class and Salish Class vessels reduces underwater radiated noise, lowers emissions and improves customer service.
“BC Ferries is on a mission to be a leader in the transition to a more sustainable future,” said Corrine Storey, BC Ferries’ Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. “We employ our resources, services and relationships in recognition of our responsibility to continuously reduce our impact on the natural environment. We strive to be one of the most sustainable large-scale ferry operators in the world.”
Over the summer, three organizations recognized BC Ferries for its continued environmental leadership: a Blue Circle Award from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, a Green Wave Award from the Prince Rupert Port Authority for the second year in a row and Green Marine certification for the sixth consecutive year.
The Blue Circle Award recognizes industry partners that excel in environmental stewardship and attain the highest level of participation in the port authority’s EcoAction Program and Energy Action Initiative. The Green Wave Award acknowledges BC Ferries’ outstanding participation in the Green Wave environmental incentive program. BC Ferries received the Green Marine certification by exceeding regulatory compliance and industry standard in a number of areas, including underwater noise, greenhouse gases, spill prevention and environmental leadership.
“As an operator in coastal British Columbia, BC Ferries recognizes the responsibility to share our waters safely with cetaceans and other marine life,” said Storey. In 2020, Ocean Wise and the BC Cetacean Sightings Network recognized BC Ferries as a ‘top reporter’ via the WhaleReport. BC Ferries’ Captains and bridge teams reported nearly 700 sightings in 2019, providing scientists and conservationists with valuable data to protect at-risk species. Recently, BC Ferries also joined the Whale Trail, a series of shore-based locations to view marine mammals along the Pacific Coast.
The company installed interpretive signs at three of its terminals where whales may be seen. Signs are now in place at Tsawwassen terminal in Metro Vancouver, Little River terminal in Comox and Langdale terminal on the Sunshine Coast.
To learn more about BC Ferries’ long-term environmental strategies, see our Clean Futures Plan and our Long Term Underwater Noise Management Plan.
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