The importance of sustainability training for the land-based yachting industry
Nikos Avlonas, Centre for Sustainability & Excellence and Elisabetta Zerazion, Water Revolution Foundation, co-author this article on education…
For the path towards increased sustainability, perhaps the most important step for success is to provide awareness and make clear to corporate executives and managers what the business case is. To achieve this, Corporate Responsibility training is strongly advised, through specialised content courses that will clearly clarify the concept, recognise the importance of setting goals and emphasise the importance of corporate sustainability for the future of the yachting industry.
Through training, the appropriate knowledge will be acquired and the necessary skills for the development of a corporate sustainability strategy will be strengthened. This knowledge covers the understanding of Sustainable Development in its entirety, the accurate identification of stakeholders and essential issues, the adoption of the most valid and demanding standards and information on legislation and upcoming sustainability trends. Following a recognised certification programme and joining an international network of sustainability leaders helps organisations to apply the right strategies.
“When it comes to the yachting industry topics such as sustainability reporting, the integration of the circular economy and the restriction of the use of plastics inside materials are among the top essential issues on which the industry will focus in the next coming years," explains Avlonas.
Parallel to the need to know the mechanisms of corporate social responsibility, there is the need to understand how sustainability can be measured. Unlike the CSR concept outlined by Nikos, which is more oriented towards managerial management, the second has a more technical character. The panorama of methodologies to be able to assess environmental impacts presents various opportunities, among which the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) stands out. LCA is the most used methodology by the world of industries on a global scale covering many sectors, e.g. the transportation industries (cars, trains, planes), as well as construction and energy production. This broad spectrum of use is given by the holistic approach of the LCA and by the opportunity it offers in considering the lifecycle of the product being studied.
“One of the crucial features of this methodology is the possibility of avoiding problem shifting from one stage in the lifecycle to another from one sort of environmental issue to another and from one location to another. This taking also into consideration a wide variety of pressures and impacts on the environment caused along the life cycle of the studied case”, explains Zerazion.
Until now, the use of the LCA methodology was not common in the yachting industry. Consequently, there is a need for more technical experts (LCA analysts) with specific experience of applying the LCA.
The development of LCA awareness and skills is recommended for the technical areas of superyacht companies that want to understand better what the assessment of environmental performance is based on, and how this can provide them with a concrete strategy for future design, build and refit of superyachts.
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