22 Apr 2016
By Rory Jackson
For the 46th consecutive year 22 April is being celebrated as Earth Day. What started in 1970 as a movement that aimed to channel the shared voice of humanity towards key environmental issues has continued to grow gather traction. The superyacht industry has not traditionally been famed for its environmental responsibility, but recent years have seen a step change in environmental sentiment.
The fight to become green, or greener, is often far more complex than the media gives it credit for. To take an example, in 2015 Feadship began trialling a cleaner fuel called gas-to-liquid (GTL) synthetic diesel. On the surface the initial results seemed promising; sea trials displayed a 30 per cent reduction in soot and unburnt fuel levels and around a 10 per cent reduction in NOx and C02, as well as a complete avoidance of sulphur.
However, at the 2015 Global Superyacht Forum a representative from Shell, the producer of the fuel, revealed that while GTL is less damaging to the environment during its use, throughout its lifecycle, from production to its eventual combustion, its carbon footprint was equivalent to that of standard marine diesel. This highlights the fact the perception of environmental responsibility doesn’t always guarantee its validity, although, in defence of Feadship, GTL boasted a whole host of other redeeming qualities.
That being said, large companies, including superyachts, which run and are owned as such, are becoming increasingly aware of environmental considerations and noticeable measures are being taken to limit the superyacht market’s carbon scar on the planet.
Whether it be through regulations, such as MARPOL Annex VI, or through personal moral obligation, corporate social responsibility has begun to come to the fore in the superyacht industry. Through the wishes of environmentally conscious owners, regulations on emissions, technologies to recycle and reduce waste, as well as research and development into sustainable energy, as an industry we are moving in the right direction.
Becoming greener does not only relate to a reduced reliance on fossil fuels and the hopeful advent disruptive technologies, being greener can be managed through a variety of systems. Perhaps the most important of these systems, to businesses, is the ability to be green through the effective management of operational efficiency. Wasteful processes of any sort waste global resources, create waste, waste time and waste money. By reducing wastage, be it a suboptimal genset or the dispelling of useful material, businesses are able to be greener and profit as a result. Its a win, win.
Only environmental romanticists are under the illusion that change will come overnight, the world simply does not work in that way, especially when vast amounts of money are at stake. However, by continuing to regulate, develop new technologies and educate the owners of the future there is no reason that one day the superyacht cannot shake its reputation of old.
Add a comment
Other Business News
After an extraordinary turn of events the Superyacht Owner’s VIP lounge returns to its traditional home. Make sure your name is on the guest list More
As concepts arrive on our desk in the run up to Monaco, we look at the line between inspiration and PR More
Thus far 2016 has seen eight serious incidents that have resulted in the loss of superyachts, nearly five more than the average numbers of yacht fires between 2010 and 2015. More
We delivered €60,000 of prizes to the crew of motoryacht Secret, the winner of The Crew Report's Superyacht Golden Ticket survey. More
Integrated Navigation Systems based on state-of-the-art technology and decades of experience in the superyacht industry. Ultimate knowledge and flexibility in system integration. Dedicated customer care throughout the whole project and beyond.
ATLAS MARINE SYSTEMS
Atlas Marine Systems, the world leader in the design of marine electrical power systems, offers a full range of engineering services necessary to define the onboard electrical distribution system or simply the application of the Atlas power conversion products.
ASEA POWER SYSTEMS
ASEA POWER SYSTEMS is the Marine Industry Leader for Shore Power Conversion equipment ranging in power from 8kVA - 1000kVa.
Marlink offers seasonal, flexible contracts to match regional sailing requirements. Through our dedicated account managers & customer services, we develop personal relationships with customers & drive innovations to develop digital solutions & smart applications that take you beyond just connectivity.
Jets Vacuum AS
Jets Vacuum has for over 30 years been the leading innovator in vacuum sanitation technology. With over 11,000 Jets systems in operation on all types of ships, Jets are known for high quality, flexible cost efficient solutions backed up by first class world wide service
Superyacht Tenders & Toys
Superyacht Tenders & Toys have a high level of expertise in providing new build and custom tenders, chase boats, RIBs & all popular yacht toys. With an unrivalled global service network, maintaining a personal & bespoke service, wherever you are in the world, Superyacht Tenders & Toys can help.
WREDE Consulting is an independent paint consultant and paint surveyor company who has worked for most of the 200 largest yachts worldwide in coating, paintwork and equipment areas. WREDE Consulting engages in quality management and objective quality assessment for the coating of mega- and superyachts. www.wrede-consulting.com
ABB Marine and Ports
ABB is a leading supplier of electrical power and propulsion systems for ships. We provide innovative, safe and environmentally-friendly solutions and qualified services worldwide. Our AzipodÂ® propulsion has proven its efficiency and reliability on yacht vessels with its ultimate silent and ecological solution.