De Voogt Naval Architects’ Bram Jongepier used The Superyacht Design Forum to formally present the Yacht Environmental Transparency Index (YETI) to the industry. The initiative, which is still in its nascent stages, aims to establish a certification process for new builds that quantifies the project’s environmental impact, and thus, provides each one with a YETI rating.
 
Speaking to attendees at luxury fabrics specialist, Colefax & Fowler, Jongpier, who classed himself as “a frustrated nerd”, explained that the vast majority of current ‘green’ vessels were blurring the lines of what constitute green credentials. While there have been plenty of innovations that have bolstered comfort and efficiency, the ‘green’ card is currently being overplayed.
 
“Who’s the greenest? You can’t tell”, Jongepier said. “There is no way of comparing these yachts.”
 
This has led Jongepier on a one-man crusade to develop an objective rating system that awards yachts a score based on a variety of cumulative metrics. And, since he conceived the concept in November 2018, his work has gathered traction, to the point that there are now 25 stakeholders due to convene on 3rd July to begin affirming the parameters that rate the vessels.
 
Unlike the IMO’s rating system for ships, which rates CO2 output against the vessel’s utility, YETI focuses on the idiosyncrasies of superyacht operation – namely the fact that their utility is providing their owners with enjoyment. This has to be quantified, as one of four key metrics:
 
·      The annual operational profile that defines a ‘yacht’ and a means of quantifying these terms of operation.
·      The depth of measurement for each project’s environmental impact i.e. how far back into the supply chain should one go to consider the impact of material usage and procurement.
·      The process for participants submitting data for assessment, to ensure consistency, integrity and transparency.  
·      How to finally quantify all of the above into a manageable indexing system.
 
In his presentation, Jongepier’s stroke of genius was laid bare – to quantify ‘enjoyment’ using the reliable metric of interior cubic meterage, which in this writer’s opinion, is a very savvy way of quantifying the intangible.
 
“If we don’t do this”, Jongepier warned, “IMO will wake up one day and say, ‘it’s been long enough; you haven’t done enough, and you now comply with [the IMO’s rating system].’”
 
The first meeting, in March, attracted stakeholder’s representing 40 per cent of the industry’s gross tonnage, and has now led to a Joint Industry Project that will be spearheaded by the Water Revolution foundation.  
 
Jongepier and his peers will not be bound by a firm timeline, as they want to create a robust index that will be adopted across the industry, and not just by a select group of builders. Thus, the consultative process will be somewhat fluid in nature, but the plan is to present the progress of the project to the industry at The Superyacht Forum, taking place in Amsterdam, 18-20 November.
 

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