‘Perfect’ GCCM Sets Standards for Sustainability

By George Bains

Gold Coast City Marina (GCCM) has been awarded a perfect 100% score by the Marina Industries Association in a recent Clean Marina audit, a testament to the marina’s longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability.

As the largest refit and repair facility in the Southern Hemisphere, GCCM embodies the very best of the Australian industry and forms an integral part of the Queensland government’s plan to transform the state into a superyacht hub by 2023.

Not too long ago you may have been forgiven for finding the terms ‘shipyard’ and ‘sustainable’ to be nothing short of an oxymoron. However, an impetus towards sustainable yachting has arisen in all corners of the industry, leading to a consolidated determination to reduce the footprint left by yachting. As a leading shipyard in the South Pacific region, GCCM is at the forefront of this revolution.

An industry peak body, the International Clean Marina Program sets a standard for marina industry operators to protect inland and coastal waterways through the achievement of rigorous environmental management systems. Colin Bansgrove, CEO of MIA, was full of praise for the Australian marina.

MIA congratulates GCCM on attaining for the second time a perfect 100% score,” said Bansgrove. “These audits are completed by independent auditors assessing facilities to the highest environmental industry standards worldwide. With marinas such as GCCM working as hard as they do, we will continue to see marinas, shipyards and marine facilities contributing to the health of our waterways and playing an integral role in supporting waterway management plans and their regional economies.”

So, what merits a perfect Clean Marina score? GCCM has taken a very much proactive approach in the design and development of its facility, which includes the world’s largest marina solar farm; rainwater harvesting; treatment and recycling of boat washdown water; bio retention gardens; and the construction of a comprehensive recycling and refuse station accessible to staff, tenants and clients. Such industry-wide recognition has been preceded by years of investment and innovation to ensure that the facility operates well above best practice, and this isn’t the only way in which GCCM has contributed to sustainability.

GCCM’s owners have recently pledged to remove single use plastics from the facility by 2025, whilst they have also re-attained their Fish Friendly Marina accreditation. The team at GCCM has partnered with the Seabin Foundation, a non-profit organisation aiming to provide tangible solutions to reduce plastics in the ocean, to install the first Seabin device in a marina on the Gold Coast.

“Our onsite businesses including the café and restaurant have been extremely receptive to removing all single use plastics from use at GCCM,” says Luke McCaul, GCCM’s General Manager of Customer Experience and Facilities. “Yet we felt that didn’t go far enough in addressing the global problem of reducing the amount of plastics in our waterways. So Seabin Foundation, with the support of GCCM and Suez, were able to install the first one of their devices in a Gold Coast marina.  This innovative collaboration has allowed GCCM to look at waste recovery on both the land and water giving us the best opportunity to support the health of our local waterways.”

GCCM is celebrating 20 years in operation since its launch in 2020, a period during which it has already become a favoured resting place for many gems of the South Pacific superyacht fleet, including 73m Dragonfly and 63m SuRi. Trenton Gay, CEO of GCCM, revealed that environmental concerns have always been central to the marina’s planning. “When we conceived, designed, built and opened GCCM,” explains Gay, “we knew we wanted to set the standard instead of simply meeting it.  This result reaffirms our goal of excellence in environmental management, customer service and delivering quality outcomes for our customers by bringing together the best of the best in the Australian marine industry.

With a $100m development soon to be given the green light, we can only expect that GCCM will continue to lead the way not only as a shipyard, but as an environmentally conscious business.

"When we conceived, designed, built and opened GCCM, we knew we wanted to set the standard instead of simply meeting it. "

Trenton Gay, CEO GCCM

"When we conceived, designed, built and opened GCCM, we knew we wanted to set the standard instead of simply meeting it. "

Trenton Gay, CEO GCCM
By George Bains
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