Act now, or wave goodbye
“Our business is pure leisure, it’s not essential, and it’s therefore expected to be as sustainable as possible. Either we manage to do it or this won’t exist in 50 years’ time,” MB92, president, Pepe Garcia-Aubert recently said of superyachting.
It’s a stark warning, we are existing in unprecedented times, and similarly to private aviation, the sector is a visible representation of wealth that has become synonymous with consumption.
Water Revolution Foundation, initiator and vice-chairperson, Dr Vienna Eleuteri agrees wholeheartedly. “I totally agree with Pepe’s statement. That’s exactly the way we should think. We must work now to be fit for the future.”
“It is becoming increasingly clear that something substantial is changing and I see the right interest and focus on sustainability issues,” she told SYI.
Dr Eleuteri believes the industry needs to showcase it is making a paradigm shift to sustainable operation across the board – from builders to brokers and anyone in between. To assist this process, the Water Revolution Foundation has been creating and promoting the adoption of the tools needed for “credible sustainability” assessments.
“Sustainability content from both a strategic approach and a technological perspective must be properly assessed and monitored,” said Eleuteri.
“Our community as a whole needs to take action in a proactive way and demonstrate results. This is only possible if we act together, share the same values and engage in discourse about our impact through scientific methodologies.”
The future of the industry is still in our hands according to Dr Eleuteri, but responsibility must be taken now. One way positive impact should be made is through the support of strategic ocean conservation programmes.
“We can take responsibility of our impact and demonstrate integration of sustainability knowledge in our behaviour and code of conduct,” said Dr Eleuteri.
“Our ecological footprint responsibility and investment in ocean conservation to neutralise our impacts. Those are the two most important pillars for a sustainable super yachting industry leading the way to a regenerative economy for the health of our business, ourselves and the planet!”
The EU directive about sustainable finance and taxonomy states very clearly what is required of industries and the superyachting sector is no exception. However, instead of simply following the rules Eleuteri believes: “Our sector could lead the way also from this point of view. We could demonstrate that we can act beyond sustainability practices and become the example for a regenerative economy.”
“It’s a now or never commitment. The opportunity to make the difference is now. We have less than a decade to act and do it right. Let’s not miss this exciting opportunity to be drivers of a unique transformative revolution and to turn the challenge of our time into an extraordinary chance for regenerative development,” she concluded.