Calling eco-rebels for the superyacht revolution.

By Robert Wielaard

AMSTERDAM – The superyacht industry is not easily associated with uprisings. Yet it is igniting a revolution to slash the sector’s ecological footprint and protect the world’s oceans.

The non-profit, Amsterdam-based Water Revolution Foundation (WRF) is an initiative of 9 superyacht industry leaders. It was quietly founded a year ago and has set the bar high. A marquee undertaking is establishing an eco-label for superyachts. Like the ones for your fridge and washing machine.

YETI (for Environmental Transparency Index) began as an idea of one industry actor and has by now been endorsed by shipyards, naval architects and knowledge and research institutes – 21 companies in all.

The goal is to craft a general superyacht profile so yachts can be compared, and their environmental footprint benchmarked. “We’re busy developing an assessment tool that can measure the impact of design and build choices along with the footprint of existing yachts and effectiveness of technical solutions,” says WRF Executive Director Robert van Tol. The idea is to nudge architects, designers, builders and suppliers into making sustainable choices.

His foundation is also developing a sustainable solutions database for the benefit of designers, builders and refitters. “This leadership is exactly what the superyacht industry urgently needs to accelerate sustainability efforts,” says Van Tol. “Reducing our footprint is a collective challenge and requires real cooperation. I call on other companies to join this revolution too.”

At the heart of the Water Revolution Foundation are 9 “anchor partners”: Dutch superyacht makers Amels/Damen, Feadship and Heesen; German builders Luerssen and Abeking&Rasmussen, German coatings maker Alexseal, Italian builder Benetti, MB92, the Barcelona-based refit giant and the West Palm Beach, Fla. superyacht marina of Rybovich.

These companies have pledged multi-annual financial contributions to the foundation. To encourage superyacht sector players, active in new sustainable technologies, the WRF has different partnership levels. It believes collaboration of the design sector is crucial as the entire superyacht supply chain depends on choices made in the design process.

You’ll see the foundation in action at the 2019 METSTRADE, the world’s largest B2B leisure marine and superyacht equipment show.