IMPA joins forces with GBB to bring the shipping industry its much-coveted Supplier Evaluation Programme for Sustainable Practice

When the industry asks, we listen! It has been a long time coming, but it is now finally around the corner: the first Sustainability Programme, Framework, and Certification for the global maritime industry. Work to green your business, get rewarded, become recognised!

The short read

  • Due to launch this summer, the IMPA Green Business Programme will enable suppliers to verifiably demonstrate their sustainability and stand out among their peers.
  • Full integration with the new and improved IMPA Members’ Directory means purchasers will be able to identify outstanding sustainability-focused suppliers while browsing.
  • Keep an eye on the IMPA BLOG for further developments or get in touch with the IMPA Sustainability team

We are absolutely delighted to announce a long-awaited partnership with Green Business Bureau (GBB) in order to bring the GBB Sustainability Programme, Framework, and Certification to the global maritime industry. In a nutshell, this initiative will enable companies in the maritime supply and manufacturing sector to use a custom-made and industry-specific online EcoPlanner to understand, prioritise, implement, and certify their green initiatives, while being recognised in the IMPA Members’ Directory for their efforts.

“Our readers know that our Association has, for a long time now, wanted to develop a standard for supplier evaluation of sustainability credentials, and seeing this programme finally take shape is a dream come true. On the one hand, we will be giving purchaser members an easy way of identifying good suppliers whose practices focus on sustainability and reducing associated risks in the supply chain, while on the other, we will be enabling suppliers to verifiably demonstrate their sustainability to employees, customers, and partners. It’s a win-win and something that I personally believe will gain a lot of traction very quickly.” (Susan Koefoed, IMPA Chair and CEO)

WHAT is the IMPA GBB Green Business EcoAssessment and EcoProfile?

GBB will provide members with an online application for the GBB EcoAssessment™ and a library of initiatives and plans in the EcoPlanner™ tools to understand, prioritise, implement and certify their green initiatives. The EcoPlanner™, featuring a list of industry-specific and continually-expanding initiatives as a result of research and development conducted by IMPA, will enable members to get credit for the sustainability actions they have already taken for their industries, including recycling, efficient lighting, solar, green energy, plastic elimination, waste management and carbon offsetting. Individual initiatives will be rated on environmental impact, implementation cost and effort, and will be worth 1 to 40 EcoPoints™. Businesses reaching the gold and platinum levels will then be verified by the Green Business Bureau.

“We’re excited to provide our sustainability management and certification solution to the Maritime Industry and IMPA members. The Green Business Bureau seal is well known and trusted, enabling green businesses to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. Businesses committed to green business will get the credit they’ve earned and deserve.” (Tom Permatteo, CEO/Founder, Green Business Bureau)

WHY should IMPA supplier members participate in the IMPA Green Business Programme?

Sustainability certification for business is more than just a stamp of approval. It is a commitment to making business changes that really make an impact. These green programmes and social initiatives are not just one-off tactics. They can build upon each other and help to ensure eco-friendly and socially responsible programmes are ingrained into each part of a business. Businesses join GBB and become more sustainable to:

  1. Contribute to fighting climate change and protecting the environment.
  2. Create a more socially responsible corporate culture.
  3. Become more efficient, reduce energy costs, and minimise waste.
  4. Demonstrate their commitment to employees and job applicants who want to work for sustainable companies.
  5. Elevate their brand and reputation and promote their sustainable business to customers who want to buy from sustainable companies!

Important! IMPA ACT and the IMPA Green Business Programme will be complementary, not interchangeable!

You may also wonder if the IMPA Green Business Programme will differ from our state-of-the-art IMPA ACT responsible supply chain management system for the global shipping industry, and the simple answer is YES. IMPA ACT helps companies align their business practice with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines, that is establish systems and processes for regularly documenting and mitigating their adverse impacts on human rights, environmental and anti-corruption principles, as well as extend these requirements to their business relationships. The IMPA Green Business Programme is concerned with environmental initiatives that your business can undertake to lessen your footprint on this planet. Companies wanting a comprehensive CSR programme that accounts for people, planet and profit should engage in both!

HOW will the IMPA Green Business Programme work once launched?

Leveraging the GBB Sustainability programme will be all online and easy. Here is how it will work:

  1. Companies will sign up for membership at for immediate access to GBB’s library of green initiatives and online EcoPlanner tool that includes maritime-specific initiatives.
  2. Next, they will complete the GBB EcoAssessment to earn EcoPoints for the green initiatives already completed and to create a baseline EcoScore.
  3. Once a business completes the GBB prerequisites, it will be able to earn different levels of the Green Business Bureau status seals (with GBB verification) and share their official EcoProfile publicly, as well as have the seal included in their listing in the IMPA Members’ Directory.
  4. Companies will be encouraged to use the EcoPlanner regularly to find and implement new green initiatives and become an even greener business.
  5. Businesses will be able to earn the Gold- and Platinum-level GBB seals by completing more initiatives and earning the required number of EcoPoints for each level.

WHO should keep an eye on the IMPA Green Business Programme launch?

All companies working in the manufacturing or supply of goods and/or services to the maritime sector should be ready to jump onboard and go through the assessment as soon as the programme launches. Whether you are already doing a great deal for the environment and have sustainability embedded in your company’s ethos or you are only now looking to really begin your CSR journey, you cannot miss out! In a similar vein, professionals working in the ship-owning, ship-operating or ship-management sector should also be aware of this launch, as soon they will be able to look up suppliers in the IMPA Members’ Directory and see where they are in their sustainability journeys.

WHEN will the IMPA Green Business Programme launch?

We are already in the late development phase and are looking at launching this summer. Keep an eye on the early stages of the launch, as we will be offering plenty of incentives to those companies who want to be among the first to jump onboard the IMPA Green Business Programme.