Articles, published in Lloyd's List

"Iran and NZ tanker firms join Green Award's elite
By Michael Grey
Tuesday December 02 2003

Tanker companies from Iran and New Zealand have joined the exclusive group of shipping companies and their ships that have qualified for the Green Award, and thus are able to gain valuable discounts at a range of contracting ports.

The National Iranian Tanker Co, which operates a mostly modern tanker fleet has qualified two of its 158,000 dwt vessels Iran Sarvestan and Iran Susangird for the award and New Zealand-based Silver Fern Shipping Ltd, which operates the 46,724 dwt Kakariki and the 33,374dwt Taiko, have joined the list of ships that have qualified for the award.

New ports that are now listed by the Green Award Foundation as offering discounts for qualified tankers are Klaipeda in Lithuania and Amsterdam. In addition to offering discounts for Green Award tankers, Amsterdam is also offering the same concessions for qualified bulk carriers.

The Green Award board of experts, which provides technical expertise on the suitability of the award criteria have, according to the annual report of the Green Award Foundation, been working on a methodology for applying the award to dry bulk carriers, although this class of ship has a higher loss ratio than tankers. Chairman of the board of experts Julian Parker notes that there has been major discussion on the quality of the Green Award standard. This, Mr Parker suggests, was necessary to "clarify in our own minds" the approach adopted by the award scheme as compared with other quality criteria such as the ISO Quality standards, ISM Code and ship vetting inspections. The group concluded that the Green Award should retain its "absolute" insistence that ship and company must obtain a pass mark to qualify.

Incentives for qualifying ships include discounts for the users of certain pilotage services, training courses and seminars and port services, in addition to premium rates for qualified ships in a growing number of ports".

"Absolutely green
Established as an eminently respectable standard of quality, the Green Award Scheme continues to attract owners of the very best ships, who much appreciate a quality discount in their disbursements at a growing number of participating ports. The Green Award has also established its global credentials, with new participating owners from as far afield as Iran and New Zealand. New ports include that of Klaipeda and, of some considerable significance, the Port of Amsterdam.
The Green Award has been attacked on occasion for its "exclusiveness", it being fashionable to target any form of elitism these days. Why could it not be more "inclusive" and take in ships which clearly pass all sorts of demanding criteria from classification societies, charterers' vetting inspections, and never have any trouble from port state control?
The Board of Experts which has been appointed by the Green Award, for their part, have firmly set their face against any form of dilution. Green to them is an absolute, and does not permit any form of dilution to "greenish". There is a strict rating schedule, and a transparent marking process which can be seen against ship and company. Both must reach a certain "pass mark", like an old-fashioned examination, to qualify for this coveted award. There is also a Green Award standard for dry bulk carriers, so operators of this type of ship have something to aim at.
In the vastness of the world tanker fleet, a couple of hundred ships which are able to boast of a quality standard that is quite special ought to be an encouragement to all, even if most may not qualify."

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