Version 1 of the Environmental Crew Guidelines has officially been launched, marking a pivotal moment in steering the yachting fleet toward more sustainable practices. This comprehensive guide, highlighting best practices written for-and-by crew, offers information and inspiration for eco-friendlier behaviour onboard yachts.

As a collaborative effort between Water Revolution Foundation, initiator MB92, and creator Danella Hopkins (formerly of S/Y Black Pearl), this free and open-source tool offers 24 distinct sections providing crews with a detailed, holistic overview of how to adopt more conscious practices into their daily routines. Contributions from industry experts and crew members alike have ensured that a diverse range of perspectives and experiences are included. As a first version, the aim is to collect feedback and additional best practices from crew to expand on the content and launch a Version 2 in the future.

Powered by industry leaders

To ensure the widespread adoption of these guidelines and enable a united, coordinated action, industry trailblazers MB92, Burgess, Damen Yachting, Divergent Yachting, Feadship, Fraser Yachts, Heesen Yachts, Lürssen, Oceanco, Safe Harbor Marinas, Sanlorenzo, The Crew Network, The OM, Virtual Pursers, Y.CO, and YPI Crew have pledged their commitment as official supporting companies. S/Y Black Pearl and MY Savannah have also come onboard as ambassadors within the fleet. The dedication of these organisations distinguishes them as true change agents, guiding the way forward for a more eco-friendly yachting sector.

”These clear guidelines are applicable to every size and type of yacht operation and by sharing them with our crews as part of our fleetwide sustainability efforts, we hope to provide a strong foundation for better onboard environmental practices and show that any yacht, regardless of its size or build, can make a big difference in little ways,” shares yacht management company Y.CO.

Addressing yachting’s environmental impact

While many technical and digital solutions have already been introduced to drive the superyacht industry’s energy transition, these developments address only one facet of the challenge. A transition in onboard practices is also crucial:  “There are immediate actions that crew can take on board to introduce more environmentally-friendly practices, which can significantly reduce emissions (by up to 30%), whether by optimising temperature settings, making slight adjustments to cruising speeds or employing effective resource management,” says MB92.

Therefore, this initiative will provide crew with an extensive knowledge base and practical tools in order to foster a concrete shift toward sustainable superyacht operations.

Inside the guidelines

Organised under three overarching themes – ‘Onboarding Guidelines,’ ‘General Guidelines,’ and ‘Departmental Guidelines’ – this document caters to crew at every level. The onboarding guidelines emphasise ways in which crew can cultivate an environmental mindset and commit to improved operational practices. Fundamental principles and standards applicable to all crew members in their daily tasks are outlined in the general guidelines, while the departmental guidelines delve deeper, addressing the unique needs and individual responsibilities of each department. “We understand that environmental sustainability can be challenging to accomplish onboard and there is no one-size-fits-all approach,” states Executive Director of Water Revolution Foundation, Robert van Tol. “By working together with crew, we hope to inspire and facilitate this powerful group to minimise their yacht’s daily footprint where possible.”

To ensure proper enforcement onboard, the guidelines introduce the nomination of an “Eco-Sustainability Ambassador” (ESA). This dedicated crew member will collaborate with Heads of Departments (HODs) to streamline processes and drive the implementation of initiatives by supporting crew, monitoring progress, and reporting achievements.

“Our industry can collectively create lasting change in its outlook and operations by working together, and these guidelines will help yacht crews and shoreside management teams reduce their environmental impact through improved efficiency and better practices,” states Burgess. “When passionate individuals are given the chance to do the work they believe in, good things can happen, and in this way, we are committed to building a more environmentally aware and responsible industry.”

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In the spirit of collaboration and unity, we invite you to join the movement aimed at achieving a substantial accumulated reduction in the environmental impact of the 5,500 30m+ fleet through behavioural shifts and the sharing of best practices. To maximise positive impact among crews and vessels across the globe, you are encouraged to read, implement, and distribute the Environmental Crew Guidelines.

The continued support of companies in the yachting industry is essential to foster industry-wide adoption of the guidelines and establish a minimum standard. Those who come onboard will gain recognition, obtain individual chapters upon request, receive a Supporter Stamp to signify commitment, and have the opportunity to share feedback and additional best practices, actively contributing to the ongoing development of the document. Get in touch with us at ecocrew@waterrevolutionfoundation.org to express your interest.

Access the guidelines.