To quote the BBC journalist, Emmy-award-winning narrator and natural historian, Sir David Attenborough, at the start of his recent Netflix documentary; “The true tragedy of our time is still unfolding. Across the globe, barely noticeable from day-to-day. I’m talking about the loss of our planet’s wild places – its biodiversity.”
Anyone who has watched ‘David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet’, will (hopefully) have now taken on board this final warning for the way we are using our planet’s resources and the ways in which the planet is reacting to indicate it is at breaking point.
Education and inspiration are in abundance during the documentary, and these are two key components when it comes to making real changes. The superyacht industry is by no means green, but the options to make more sustainable choices from sketch to sea are there, thanks to ongoing research and innovative design. New methods of propulsion and power, for example, are being created and put into practice so that owners of the future can be inspired and enticed by a guilt-free cruising experience, and ultimately so that they still have a healthy ocean to sail on. And, frankly, that is the entire reason for yachting and the existence of our industry.
There are also courses to educate entire sectors of the superyacht industry about changes that can truly make a difference. This is not greenwashing, but encouragement to openly talk about the industry’s faults when it comes to sustainability, and the solutions available.
Earlier this year, I participated in the Water Revolution Foundation’s online course, ‘Sustainability Training for the Superyacht Industry’. The workshop objectives are vast, but straightforward; from understanding the various definitions of sustainability, to identifying the UN Sustainable Development Goals related to your business, and how to use effective communication combined with avoidance of greenwashing to discuss sustainability, both internally and externally.
As I learned on the course, corporate social responsibility (CSR), must be approached from an economic (profit), social (people) and environmental perspective, as these three aspects will all see equal benefits from a business’ positive approach to sustainability. The course explains in full how to approach these three aspects, but more importantly, asks attendees to debate and discuss them with each other.
Sharing ideas, educating one another and working as one industry rather than individual companies will be the key to securing a sustainable future. “If we can change the way we live on earth, an alternative future comes to view,” concludes Attenborough. This notion can be applied to our industry if we are willing to change the most environmentally damaging parts of the lifecycle of superyachts for our own long-term survival and relevance.
To engage in debates with fellow industry members and learn about the tools and frameworks that are readily available for us to be implemented, click here to secure your spot for the next 5-hour course, divided in 2.5 hours on 19 & 20 November 2020.
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