Boating industry comes together to develop Environmental Footprint Standard

Group picture - KOM Amsterdam

A group of 16 leading recreational boat manufacturers and eight marine industry associations is coming together to develop the first-ever environmental footprint methodology for recreational boats under 24 metres.

The methodology, conducted under the umbrella of the European Boating Industry (EBI), which represents the recreational boating industry in Europe, will be backed up by a database and assessment tool to allow small and large manufacturers to access the green transition.

The threshold of 24 metres has been chosen to align with EU regulations. EBI says it will be based on a coherent Life Cycle Assessment approach following the stringent EU Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules.

In a statement, EBI says: “Tackling climate change and reducing environmental impact is a major challenge, and the boating industry is committed to addressing emissions across the entire life cycle. However, this is only possible with a common approach that the entire industry has agreed to.”

EBI says the project will be conducted in two phases, first focusing on developing a science-based and transparent environmental footprint methodology to harmonise calculation rules. In the second phase, the focus will be on implementing this with a comprehensive materials database and user-friendly calculation tool.

This allows manufacturers to conduct eco-conscious design and reduce environmental impact. They can also communicate their environmental footprint to consumers, stakeholders, and regulators. EBI says it will go beyond carbon emissions and include other critical environmental indicators.

This effort will also allow the industry to comply with the latest EU environmental legislation and be ahead of the regulatory curve. EBI says the project has already been presented to the EU Commission and received its strong support.

Robert Marx
Robert Marx

The project is led by EBI and is industry-financed. The environmental sustainability consultancy Quantis has been chosen as technical partner. ICOMIA, the International Council of Marine Industry Associations, is a strategic partner of the project to ensure global alignment. It builds on the ‘Pathways to Propulsion Decarbonisation for the Recreational Marine Industry’ study published in November 2023.

“This is a unique and highly welcome cooperation. For the first time, competing manufacturers are committed to jointly addressing the sustainability challenge,” says Robert Marx, president of EBI. “Its outcomes will allow companies of all sizes to access the green transition without greenwashing, reduce environmental impact and proactively shape the regulatory approach in Europe and globally.

“We need a proactive and pragmatic approach to sustainability, and this project will develop the tools that industry needs.”

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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