Monaco, September 22, 2020
As part of the Planetary Health Week organized from 21st to 27th September, by the Foundation Prince Albert II, and under the aegis of the Monaco Capital of Yachting Experience initiated by and held at the Yacht Club de Monaco, YCM and Credit Suisse announce the launch of the Superyacht Eco Association (SEA) Index to measure the environmental impact of yacht design and use. Supported by famed explorer Mike Horn, a direct witness of the terrible state of our oceans, the aspiration of the SEA Index is to evolve over time into a global industry standard providing a transparent ecological rating for all large yachts.
“The next decade will be a decisive one for the future of our planet. Climate change is one of our biggest challenges. In line with the United Nations sustainable development goals for 2030, the next ten years must focus on ocean science to underpin our scientific knowledge, encourage technical innovation and promote the emergence of new solutions to reverse – we hope – the cycle of decline in ocean health,” explains HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II.
It has been a Monegasque tradition to back initiatives to protect the ocean and its biodiversity for future generations. From the late 19th century, Prince Albert I was a pioneer undertaking no fewer than 28 oceanographic campaigns. A commitment carried on today by HSH Prince Albert II through his Foundation.
Today’s situation is of great concern to those involved in the Monegasque yachting sector, led by the Yacht Club de Monaco which unites over 800 owners of superyachts, including 37 of the world’s 100 largest yachts, under its flag.
Bernard d’Alessandri, YCM General Secretary and President of Cluster Yachting Monaco, explains: “The climate emergency is a reality. Our industry knows it has to reinvent itself as the automobile sector has done. If we aspire to position ourselves as a centre of excellence, it is up to us to take the initiative and lead by example. I would like to thank all those players in Monaco, federated by the Cluster Yachting Monaco, who have joined forces with us on this project with such enthusiasm. It is only by acting together that we will succeed in making our contribution to a more climate-friendly yachting sector that will do everything in its power to reduce the effects of air and sea pollution on health and the climate, and will encourage good practices across the board, ashore as well as on board.”
As part of the YCM-initiated ‘Monaco Capital of Yachting’ project to make the Principality a centre of excellence and innovation for the luxury yacht sector, the SEA Index was initiated together with Credit Suisse, in the absence of a global standard on emissions for superyachts, and to encourage the yachting industry to research and put forward solutions to reduce the environmental impact of superyacht designs — because only things that can be measured can be improved. It was developed in collaboration with Nobiskrug and has already received strong support from leading industry players.
The initiative is also a response to growing demand from owners, keen to be able to calculate their impact and support the industry as it moves towards a climate-friendlier future.
Efficiency is key
The SEA Index is a customized tool designed to assess and improve the environmental performance of yachts, and meet environmental objectives for lowering carbon emissions. It is first aimed at displacement and semi-displacement superyachts and takes into account the CO2 emissions occurring when transporting one passenger and GT (Gross Tonnage, a measurement for yacht volume) over one nautical mile, whether the yacht is used or not.
The SEA Index is based on the initial IMO EEDI methodology but is amended to make sense for superyachts. It was created to provide an objective assessment, taking into account the specific use of superyachts, and primarily focusses on the levels of CO2 emissions whilst in operation. It does not actually measure those emissions, but is using benchmark data based on yacht design specs to assess whether yachts entering the Index calculation process are doing better than average or not.
The SEA Index is a collaborative effort which has involved a number of industry players, from shipyards to operators, and all yacht owners who accepted to share their data so as to help establish the benchmarks. These were generated out of data provided by 130 yachts, of sizes ranging from 40-140 metres, for which every data point of the assessment has been collected and validated by the SEA experts. It is also « work in progress » as more data can be compiled to refine calculations and adjust the benchmarks of existing situations across the various size and user segments. The SEA Index shall be available online for owners, captains and other professionals to carry out their own “no obligation” assessment.
As a non-profit organisation, the Superyacht Eco Association (SEA) hopes not only to increase awareness but also to drive more owners and shipyards to continue to explore solutions that make a difference and reduce all levels of pollution and environmental impact. It is the Association’s expectation that industry players will help collect the information. From yards to Owners, yacht management companies and brokers, even insurance companies and other equipment or service providers, everyone involved can contribute data, which will remain confidential. The objective of the SEA Index is also to recognize good practices, and those that do better than average will be rewarded with up to five stars attributed, like in the hotel industry.
Michel Buffat, Head Aviation & Yacht Finance at Credit Suisse commented: “It is a pleasure for us to partner with so many key international boating organizations to develop a first of its kind index to measure and rate the ecological efficiency of international yacht design. There has been strong demand from owners, keen to be able to contribute to the sustainability of the industry as it moves towards a climate-friendlier future. More and more owners are adopting a sustainable approach as they align their enthusiasm for the oceans with their passion for yachting. As an organization which puts sustainability centrally to its operations, it was a natural step for us to partner with the YCM on this very important initiative in the interest of our clients.”
Its ultimate goal is to become the leading air pollution rating system, which can also be extended to other areas and thus lead to a multi-faceted sustainability Index, covering as well propulsion systems, energy recovery, chemicals, waste and water.
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