Superyacht Eco Association Index launched

Monaco, September 22, 2020

As part of Planetary Health Week, held September 21-27, 2020, and organized by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation – under the aegis of the Monaco, Capital of Yachting Experience, initiated by the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM) – YCM and Credit Suisse announced 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 first-hand witness of the terrible state of our oceans, the SEA Index aspires to evolve into a global industry standard to provide a transparent ecological rating system 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,” said HSH Prince Albert II.

It has been a Monegasque tradition to back initiatives that protect the ocean and its biodiversity for future generations. Starting in the late 19th century, Prince Albert I was a pioneer in this area, 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. The club 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 center 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.

The SEA Index, established with Credit Suisse, is part of the YCM-initiated Monaco Capital of Yachting project, which aims to make the principality a center of excellence and innovation for the luxury yacht sector. In the absence of a global emissions standard for superyachts, the goal of the SEA Index is to encourage the yachting industry to research and put forward solutions that will reduce the environmental impact of superyacht designs. The index was developed in collaboration with Nobiskrug and has already received strong support from other industry leaders.

The initiative is also a response to growing demand from owners, who are keen to be able to calculate their environmental 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 the objectives for lowering carbon emissions. It is first aimed at displacement and semi-displacement superyachts, taking into account the CO2 emissions occurring in the transport of 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 has been amended for superyachts. It was created to provide an objective assessment, given the specific use of superyachts, and primarily focuses on the levels of CO2 emissions while in operation. It does not actually measure those emissions, but instead uses benchmark data based on yacht design specifications to assess how yachts entering the index calculation process perform against the average.

The SEA Index is a collaborative effort which has involved key industry players, from shipyards and operators to all the yacht owners who agreed to share their data to help establish the benchmarks. These benchmarks were generated from data provided by 130 yachts, ranging from 40-140 meters in size, with every data point of the assessment collected and validated by the SEA experts. Of note, this is considered a work in progress as more data can be compiled to refine the technical calculations and adjust the benchmarks of the baseline. The SEA Index will be available online for owners, captains and other professionals wishing to carry out their own “no obligation” assessment.


Beyond CO2

As a non-profit organization, 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 will make a difference by reducing the pollution levels and environmental impact. It is the Association’s expectation that industry players will help collect the information. From yards and owners to yacht management companies and brokers – and even insurance companies and other equipment or service providers — everyone involved can contribute data, which will remain confidential. Another objective of the SEA Index is to recognize good practices, with those performing above average awarded up to five stars, as 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 ocean with their passion for yachting. As an organization which puts sustainability in the center of our operations, it was a natural step for us to partner with the YCM on this very important initiative, in the interest of our clients.

The ultimate goal of the SEA Index is to become the leading air pollution rating system, which can be extended to other areas to lead to a multifaceted sustainability index, also covering propulsion systems, energy recovery, chemicals, waste and water.

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