Superyacht community urged to join new environmental index

Water Revolution Foundation, the non-profit which aims to drive sustainability in the superyacht industry, has revealed further details of its Yacht Environmental Transparency Index (Yeti). The new tool is a product of three years of research between several shipyards, naval architects and research institutes, and is used to compare yachts based on their environmental credentials when in operation.

Water Revolution Foundation unveiled Yeti 1.0 at the recent Superyacht Forum and METSTRADE in Amsterdam, and has now put out a call to action for the superyacht industry to get involved in the first iteration of the index.

“The tool will enable client and project teams to make more informed decisions for new build projects as well as for upgrading existing yachts, and as such will help drive our industry as a whole towards a cleaner future,” the foundation says.

The drive to create the index began in 2018, when Feadship De Voogt naval architect Bram Jongepier approached a group of international peers with the suggestion they develop a tool that enables the comparison of yachts and can showcase environmentally friendly designs. 

“The initial tool calculates the efficiency and the emissions of superyachts, and by being able to calculate these one can also identify the actual environmental impact,” says Giedo Loeff, naval architect at Feadship De Voogt.

“A lot of companies answered our requests for collaboration and it was a lot of fun to talk about the various subjects. It’s not something we should want to compete over – it’s about knowledge, and really understanding how to reduce the impact we’re creating.” 

From the owners’ point of view, De Vries highlighted the change that Feadship witnessed in the attitudes of yacht clients over the past five years, from where alternative fuels and power solutions were considered too risky by most clients and to where sustainability is a key factor.

Dr Vienna Eleuteri adds: “The real need coming out of COP26 in Glasgow is that it is the private sector that will make the difference and which will change the world in a very practical and efficient way. We are a really passionate group of people working for the same strategic goal.” 

Yeti aims to be inclusive for the many different types of yachts that are built, and Water Revolution Foundation says it is therefore critical to have a diverse array represented in the fleet review. It should be noted that no vessels will be rated at first, as the calculator first needs to be tested for its robustness by a representative fleet.

While Yeti 1.0 is the first step, the organisation says the whole industry now needs to come together.

“The Yeti score is something that we want to extend because the more data that we have, the better we can raise individual yachts,” adds Loeff. “This is what could be in the future. But there needs to be more data, and there needs to be more participation. Now we are calling for participation.” 

Henk de Vries, chairman of the foundation, concludes: “If we do nothing and we just build the boats that we currently build, then we will be history. There is a solution, and it’s not complicated.” 

In June, Water Revolution Foundation launched a crowdfunding campaign for its first endorsed ocean conservation project, the Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMA) programme. The programme aims to identify the most important marine habitats for marine mammals and prioritise them for conservation actions.

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