No industry will escape the inevitable regulations that accompany the global climate crisis. Some industries will be more intimidated by these regulations than others, particularly those in the luxury sector such as ours, who are often perceived to have a large carbon footprint, even if it is not the case. But on this basis, we must begin to develop sustainable solutions now, in order to avoid difficulties with compliance in the future.
Water Revolution Foundation, the first independent, international, science-driven, non-profit organisation started from within the superyacht industry, is now the driving force developing these necessary sustainable solutions.
At The Superyacht Forum 2019, Water Revolution Foundation launched its Yacht Assessment Tool, created through collaboration and to neutralise our industry’s ecological footprint and preserve the ocean. As the members of Water Revolution Foundation work within the industry, they have the industry’s best interests at heart, but equally, they are ambitious about where we need to be and why they are leading the movement forward.
“The Superyacht Forum in 2018 was an opportunity for [Water Revolution Foundation] to get started and put us on the map. Since then we have had several board meetings to identify our goals and the projects we want to work on, and we have received great support from leading companies in the industry wishing to join the journey,” began Robert Van Tol, Co-founder and Executive Director of Water Revolution Foundation, during this year’s workshop, ‘Taking an Important Measure'.
The Yacht Assessment Tool (previously ‘Yachting 4.0’) is a software tool based on ‘computational sustainability’ – an interdisciplinary field combining the techniques of computer science, information science, operations research, applied mathematics and statistics for balancing environmental, economic, and societal needs for sustainable development within the superyacht industry.
“This is a very complex tool, and we want to show how complex it is, but we also want to demonstrate the simplicity, and user-friendliness of it,” continued Van Tol, “We want to show how it can help you and how it can help our industry do the right thing in order to future-proof ourselves. The launch of a yacht is always a great moment for both the client and shipyard, and then the sea trials take place. The Water Revolution Foundation’s new tool is now at the point of sea trials, with a simple call to action: work with us and go on sea trials with the newly developed tool.”
"We need to future-proof the superyacht sector but for the very near future – for tomorrow" - Vienna Eleuteri, Initiator and Vice-President - Water Revolution Foundation
“We need to future-proof the superyacht sector but for the very near future – for tomorrow,” said Vienna Eleuteri, Initiator and Vice-President at Water Revolution Foundation. “The strategic direction from the new regulatory framework [from the IMO] will be based upon the sustainable development goals, and the agenda 2030, so there is already a need. We would like, together with you, to lead this path in order to understand how this need can become an opportunity, and take advantage of our strategic position,” she continued, explaining to delegates that this tool has the potential to become a hub for innovation.
In order for the Yacht Assessment Tool to truly benefit the industry, we need to follow various steps identified by Water Revolution Foundation. “We need to begin by adopting new technologies,” said Eleuteri. “In many fields in other industries, they already use new ICT (Information and Communications Technology), in order to advance their research and understand which solution is better than the other – known as the eco-design.” Thus, any material we are using, and any product that is made available to us must now be seen from the ecological point of view.
The newly launched tool not only analyses the eco-design of a vessel, but also provides lifecycle assessment. Water Revolution Foundation has leveraged new computer science technologies to place the user at the centre of the software tool, resulting in computational sustainability, meaning that the Yacht Assessment Tool user makes better decisions with the aim of reducing the vessel’s environmental impact. The online tool analyses the impact of every component of the vessel in a matter of seconds, resulting in a user-friendly, Microsoft Excel interface.
“From the design to the building and construction of a vessel, we connect these and look at them from a specific lifecycle perspective. The tool assesses the environmental footprint of the materials used, and the impact of the activities that accompany the design and build,” Eleuteri added. “We are not going to tell you what you should do, the choices are yours, we just need to look at the strategic direction together. It’s better to set up our own agenda, instead of being forced from the outside.
“As a sustainability scientist I am more or less a living link between the activities in any industry, and their ecological cost,” Eleuteri continued. As we begin to welcome a generation of eco-conscious consumers, Eleuteri’s insight and the Yacht Assessment Tool will prove to be indispensable. “This is a tool for the superyacht industry that one day should be applied to other industries too,” Eleuteri concluded.
It is fair to say the reception to this new tool was rapturous, and it is hugely encouraging for our collective future that the Water Revolution Foundation has taken such an innovative step forward on such an important topic, just a year after its inception.
Tomorrow, The Superyacht Marketing Forum begins, and we will be discussing how our industry can continue to communicate its great work and initiatives, beyond superyacht construction. Last few tickets available here.
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