MB92 aims to be as close as possible to 100% sustainable by 2030
MB92 releases first report looking at challenges for the superyacht industry to become sustainable…
MB92’s first sustainability report has arrived, publicly unveiling their own five-year sustainability plan, which pledges their commitment to assuming a leading role in an urgent industry transformation. The plan consists of six pillars, five of them focusing on environmental issues and one on social wellbeing, with an equal amount of action allocated to each pillar every year to ensure no area is left behind. The data-driven analysis of the current state of the market is a welcome example of a major industry body taking an honest and holistic approach to the climate crisis. The solutions suggested are rousing yet conceptual and are further proof that action needn’t be incremental or financially incentivised.
The report highlights first and foremost that there is a long journey ahead and that industries, in general, have been slow to respond, none more so than the maritime sector, which is responsible for about 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. “I hope that in the next 20 years we will see a complete transformation of our industry.” Pepe Garcia-Aubert, CEO of MB92 states, “We can see that owners are more and more ready to invest in new yachts with new propulsion systems. If we don’t do this in the next 25 years, the world will probably say: ‘Sorry, but you cannot use these boats anymore because we are in real danger of losing the oceans.’”
With little industry guidance available to him, Marc Hervás, Sustainability Coordinator for MB92, took inspiration from other sectors as he put the plan together. “When you’re starting something like this virtually from scratch with few references to use as guidance, you need to process a lot of new information.” Hervás continues, “We have already seen a number of projects implemented in conjunction with providers which is certainly encouraging. Furthermore, they are seeing the benefits of more sustainable solutions through cost savings and the awarding of more work. Our aim is to see this approach being adopted throughout the supply chain.”
Albert Willemsen, environment advisor to the International Council of Marine Industry Associations, who also advises MB92 suggests that, “Most of the attention in sustainability for the superyacht industry has been focused on the construction side - on reducing operational impact when the boat is occupied and in motion. But there’s just as much, or even more, that can be done to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint during the maintenance process. A refit or rebuild project still needs a shipyard and that should be sustainable as well.”
One pillar of the five year plan is to reduce airborne emissions, and a key measure undertaken by MB92 at its Barcelona shipyard has been to secure onshore power from renewable energy sources so that yachts that dock there don’t need to use diesel generators. MB92 has an agreement with a power company to supply electricity only from renewable sources. The group claims that its shipyards are amongst a handful in the world that can offer all boats the possibility to plug into onshore power, eliminating the need for the use of a boat’s diesel engines during the refitting process.
The group also highlighted that they are investing 45M€ in a 4,300-tonne shiplift in La Ciotat, giving clients an environmentally conscious dry-docking option. The building of the lift will include the construction of the largest port-based artificial fish nursery in the world. There will also be certified electricity transformers that take into account their impact during their entire lifecycle and water treatment plants that prevent pollutants from returning to the sea using a filter system of drains.
The report claims that in the future MB92 plans to help yacht owners transform their yachts to become greener. Moreover, the group is working with the local government and universities in Barcelona to convert the Mediterranean city into a hub for the blue economy, harnessing ocean resources in a sustainable way to promote economic growth. MB92 CEO Pepe García-Aubert explained that, “The medium-term plan is to be as close as possible to 100% sustainable by 2030. Our end goal is to be net zero in our footprint. We need to work hard on this because the years pass quickly and it’s just around the corner.”
Reports such as these are sobering and satisfying for stakeholders. In an industry where greenwashing is becoming increasingly rampant, it is important that big industry players step up to the mark and proceed with cautious transparency. An honest display of deep-rooted rationale and real passion for tackling the climate crisis is one thing, and bold commitments are certainly a step in the right direction. However, it will be even more interesting to see how many targets are actually realised, and how reports such as these will subsequently infect and inspire the rest of the market.
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