The Yacht Environmental Transparency Index 1.0 Launched at METS

15 February 2023 By Lauren Beck
A superyacht anchored offshore.

Lauren Beck is the former editor of Dockwalk and was with the publication from 2006 to 2023. At 13, she left South Africa aboard a 34-foot sailing boat with her family and ended up in St. Maarten for six years. Before college, she worked as crew for a year, and then cut her journalistic teeth at Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal online. She loves traveling, reading, tennis, and rooting for the Boston Red Sox.

The Water Revolution Foundation (WRF), in conjunction with many of the industry’s leading yacht builders, launched the first version of their Yacht Environmental Transparency Index (YETI) at the 2022 METSTRADE show in Amsterdam. “YETI offers a reliable assessment to learn a yacht’s environmental credentials and how those compare to other yachts,” says Sustainable Design Specialist Hanna Dąbrowska of WRF. YETI 1.0 considers a yacht’s operational phase, which they say is the most “impactful part of a yacht’s lifecycle.”

The goal is to “to score and compare” yachts on their green credentials by benchmarking them against an average operational profile, a YETI press release states. The tool determines a yacht’s YETI score by expressing its calculated emissions in EcoPoints, which are then divided by the yacht’s gross tonnage to get its score relative within its class — vessels < 500, vessels 500–3,000GT, and vessels > 3,000GT.

“This comparison provides a targeted and informed approach to reduce EcoPoints within each size group, define the best in class, and learn from their optimization,” the press release says.

WRF also plans to organize sessions for the industry to attend a “live YETI score calculation” to better understand the process, but captains can now submit their vessel’s data to get their YETI score, which will provide detailed feedback about the yacht as compared to the rest of the fleet.

Since launching the program in November 2022, the YETI group have started collaborating with yacht management companies and refit yards with the goal of handling entire fleets and developing upgrades. They’re also working with the five main classification societies to review and adopt the YETI tool. “Furthermore, our team has engaged in a number of discussion panels regarding Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology and the supply chain, as we aim to provide alternative solutions for yachts to improve on their YETI scores,” Dąbrowska says.

Dąbrowska points out that the tool can be useful for crew, giving them the opportunity to learn and be aware of the vessel’s operational efficiency and design. “With YETI, crewmembers can become ambassadors by assessing their vessel’s impact and making decisions about how to improve these credentials at the next refit stage,” Dąbrowska says. With eco awareness on the rise, Dąbrowska hopes the YETI score could also serve as a reference for crew when they’re deciding on a new job.

“YETI 1.0 has a focus on installed systems, and crew can really make a difference in how the yacht is run on a daily basis to optimize for efficiency,” Dąbrowska says. She shares that they intend to create guidelines and develop a platform for crew to share their best practices and learn from other crewmembers.

Currently, WRF is encouraging the yachting industry to participate and share data as they work toward YETI 2.0, which will expand the tool’s scope beyond operational efficiency. “This presents an opportunity for captains, engineers, shipyards, naval architects, and management companies to complement the group and be involved in the yachting sector’s journey toward sustainability,” the press release says.


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