Brittany Ferries has become one of the first companies accredited by a new ‘green label’ initiative in Europe.

The French ferry company was audited in August and awarded its first accreditation certificate at a ceremony in Paris on Thursday.

It believes the Green Marine standard will become a benchmark, raising standards throughout the shipping industry.

The environmental priorities cover greenhouse gases, polluting atmospheric emissions, underwater noise, aquatic invasive species, waste management and oily discharges. Each criteria goes beyond international legal obligations.

Results will be published in a way that makes comparisons easy. Each company will be awarded a mark on a scale of 1 to 5 for each of the green label’s seven criteria.

Every accredited company will be subject to inspection to ensure that data used is accurate and complete.

The green label will encourage staff to play their part across a range of eco-criteria, enabling the business to track progress year-on-year, pushing it to achieve higher standards more quickly, according to Brittany Ferries.

Chief executive Christophe Mathieu said: “It is important for Brittany Ferries to highlight the work it continues to do to improve sustainability, but also to drive industry best practice.

“For us, eco-responsibility and fleet renewal go hand in hand.

“We have three new ships on the horizon, two of which will be powered by cleaner liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“A more sustainable future is central to our post-Covid recovery and that’s why I am delighted to put the weight of our company behind this important project.”

The Green Marine label has been driven by Surfrider, an NGO with a mission to protect, safeguard and enhance the oceans.

It partnered with Green Marine, a North American industry-led accreditation scheme which has been running for more than a decade.

Brittany Ferries will support the adoption of Green Marine beyond France and will encourage others to sign up, when accreditation applications open again in March 2021.