The superyacht industry has been lacking an objective way to judge if and how some yachts and new concepts are indeed better than others when it comes to environmental credentials. Since March 2019 a joint industry project group existing of major shipyards, naval architects and knowledge institutes have been collaborating through Water revolution Foundation to develop the Yacht Environmental Transparency Index (YETI).
Project chair & initiator Bram Jongepier:
“I’m very proud of the level of cooperation and sharing of knowledge within the YETI group. This collective effort will lead to a better understanding of how to decrease energy demand, raise system efficiency and ultimately stimulate reducing environmental impact.”
The YETI project group now wishes to share its progress with the yachting community. While YETI is still under development, we inform about our approach, scope, research conducted and decisions made. We welcome and encourage peer-reviewing. Only together and through a pro-active approach we can accelerate sustainability in yachting and future-proof the busines.
Approach & scope
YETI is based on Life Cycle Approach. The current scope of YETI is focusing on the operational profile of the yachts, and in particular the energy it uses. This mainly exists of energy for propulsion and hotel. An average operational profile has been compiled that is applicable to all yacht types, from fast motor yachts to sailing yachts. By combining all yachts in one scope, we can truly compare yachts with one another on their environmental credentials.
The YETI test fleet existed of 130 yachts submitted by the participating shipyards. From these yachts a total of 297 years of AIS data was purchased to analyse the yachts’ real behaviour on a yearly basis. Combining this information with the yacht specific data, we determined the average energy used for propulsion, including the correction for the use of sails.
Besides the propulsion, an important part of the yachts’ energy use goes into the hotel function. This is however tough nut to crack, as electric load balances are often theoretical calculations and there is very little monitoring data from real hotel loads available. The YETI group is comparing load balances to see what the commonalities are and where there are differences. These variable categories is where bonus points can be gained. Hotel energy can come from generators or shore power, both are incorporated. To determine shore power, a marina survey on availability, a captains’ survey on common practice, and an environmental study into the energy grids of most popular yachting regions have been conducted, to know the amount of shore power used and the environmental impact.
After having determined the average operational profile of the yacht, the emissions can be calculated, and as such the environmental impacts. These impacts are accumulated into a single score: ecopoints.
After calculating the ecopoints, and in order to make the comparison between the yachts, it needs a denominator. A verifiable functional unit of luxury is needed, currently the consideration is to select Gross Tonnage, yet other options are being reviewed. Ultimately, the challenge is to provide the same experience to clients, by using less resources. Efforts for using less resources are rewarded in the YETI score.
Call to action
More data is needed to re-confirm the determined operational profile. Especially additional data on fast and sailing yachts is welcome increase accuracy. A peer-review group will be compiled to test and verify the developed calculation method.
Learn more about YETI.
The foundation is asking captains and marinas to share insight into shore power availability and usage
We are undertaking a research project to understand the availability and usage of shore power in superyacht marinas and help assess the current and future environmental impact of the sector.
To collect data on the topic, two surveys have been created; one to ask captains about their shore power usage and experience, and the other to ask marinas about shore power availability and demand.
“Based on this, we will be able to determine the shore power usage of yachts in our standardised operational profile for our Yacht Assessment Tool and Yacht Environmental Transparency Index (YETI),” explains Robert van Tol, executive director.
“In addition to efforts to reduce the amount of energy needed for on board operations, we also need to look at the source of energy to understand the footprint. Among multiple factors, also the energy mix of local grids plays a role. As a spin-off from our projects, we might be able to inform yacht operators on the geographical differences of grids at common yacht destinations to indicate where it is cleaner to plug into shore power and where it is better to use generators.”
Water Revolution is asking for captains and marina representatives to help with this valuable research and participate in the surveys. To take the captains’ survey, please click here. And to take the marinas’ survey, please click here.
We are working hard on preparing our ocean conservation activities, a programme which will soon be launched under the name Ocean Assist. While this is under development, we have already received support for this new platform. We’re thrilled to share that SOS Yachting is supporting Water Revolution Foundation in the development phase of this new and highly-anticipated activity for the superyacht industry.
“We are very pleased to support the Ocean Assist project. Our choice has not only been driven by the goal behind the development of this platform but also by the fact that Water Revolution Foundation is working hard to make a difference and to educate the industry we are a part of.”
– SOS Yachting Team
Learn more about our vision for ocean conservation here.
Bill Tripp, naval architect and designer, states that we need to push for innovation and embrace what is already available and that Water Revolution’s Database of Sustainable Solutions is aimed to facilitate exactly that. For the long-term health of our industry and planet, we must innovate and lessen the impact that running a yacht has on our environment. When building boats, we can adapt technology to many ends, and one of those ends must be to exist more in harmony with the oceans and our atmosphere, for it is exactly in this intersection where boats live.
Read more in the new issue of The Superyacht Report.
“Greatly improving our sustainability credentials has become a key part to our future success, as many of our clients want a light footprint. The means for significant improvement already exist and very disruptive change is coming.”
Read Bill’s full column here.
The launch of our Database of Sustainable Solutions has not gone unnoticed. BNP Paribas has offered its support to Water Revolution Foundation, as project partner, to kick-start the database and call on suppliers to register and submit their solutions for verification. BNP Paribas supports this positive step and concrete action to drive and accelerate sustainability in the superyacht industry.
“We support initiatives like this because how we respond to the challenges of the coming years will be key to the success and longevity of the superyacht industry. We believe that yachting can make important improvements in efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gases through design and technology. When thinking of the infrastructure required to replace fossil fuels with alternative green energy, it is clear that yachting will be reliant on adopting new technologies, not only for energy efficiency, but also for other environmental impacts such as paints, noise pollution and end of life. There is an urgency to build and enjoy yachting differently for the new generations.”
– Olivier Blanchet, Head of Jet and Yacht Finance
BNP’s support is confirmation that development of sustainable solutions is the way forward and is gaining support in all kinds of ways. Water Revolution Foundation is working on a growing list of benefits which suppliers of verified solutions are eligible for. We thank BNP Paribas for their support.
We’re excited to launch our Database of Sustainable Solutions today. This database is an instrumental part of our objective to accelerate change in the superyacht industry through innovation, collaboration and knowledge sharing. It is envisioned to become the main reference point for the superyacht industry to find verified sustainable solutions.
We now call upon suppliers to register and submit their solutions for verification and inclusion in the database for promotion among key decision makers.