Why “Clean Harbours” ?

Unique in Europe, since 2011 the European “Clean Harbours” certification has been a sign of environmental excellence in terms of environmental management of marinas.

It reflects a strong desire on the part of the marina managers to make concrete commitments to fight for the preservation of aquatic environments and the sustainable development of coastal and marine activities.

The process was initially started upon the observation that several thousand tons of toxic waste resulting from port activity (batteries, accumulators and accumulating batteries, waste oil, solvents, paint, paint cans, resins) as well as wastewater from careening, sewage and rainwater) were discharged into ports.

The Clean Harbours approach in 5 steps, prior to obtaining certification, is THE solution for ensuring the appropriate management of these areas, using methods and tools that meet these environmental challenges. It enables the managers of marinas to control chronic and accidental pollution, and toxic waste from the activity of the port, in accordance with the regulations in force.

The commitment of the managers of marinas in the Clean Harbours approach is voluntary. They are convinced of the need to be exemplary in terms of environment.

In order for their commitments to be acknowledged, the marinas that have used the Clean Harbours approach have their practices certified by an independent third party, such as AFNOR Certification, according to a benchmark of 17 criteria established at European level by the CWA 16987 Agreement, Certification Européenne Ports Propres (Clean Harbours Guidelines). This guarantees a total independence in decision making and a real impartiality in the award of the certification.

Since 2018, the harbours certified as Clean Harbours have been able to climb an additional step by acting in favour of biodiversity and obtain the certification “Ports Propres actif en biodiversité” ( active in biodiversity ).

Clean Harbours is the inseparable foundation of the ports of tomorrow, sustainable and exemplary ports


With the purpose of assisting marina managers in their environmental management, the “Clean Harbours Guidelines” website will guide you through the different stages and successful history of this innovative approach.

A guide and its appendices to support port and marina managers in Clean Harbours, from the 5 stages of the process to certification, is to be found in the DOCUMENTS section of the site.

A section will also be dedicated to saving water and energy.