As the population is becoming more environmentally aware, most people seek to work and stay on an eco-friendly yacht. That said, the entire yachting industry has recently shown immeasurable growth in working towards protecting our oceans and marine environments for future generations to come. From implementing innovative technologies designed to clean our oceans to introducing green initiatives on board, yacht builders and brokers are incorporating a range of innovative new measures into the latest sustainable yachts.

Discover how water management and other sustainable solutions can help reduce a yacht’s ecological footprint.

How the yachting industry is protecting the oceans

Hydrogen-powered engines

Although electric power remains a popular option for larger vessels, many yacht builders are placing a greater focus on hydrogen propulsion systems that will require less or no fossil fuels at all. In one proposed sustainable yacht design, electricity from the yacht’s solar panels can be stored in small lithium batteries for immediate use onboard, while surplus electricity is used to transform seawater into green hydrogen. Hydrogen propulsion systems are not only emission-free but also silent, reducing noise pollution for the marine environment.

Other eco-friendly yacht developments include new hybrid propulsion engines, which combine battery and fuel to ensure clean exhausts, lower fuel consumption and fewer emissions.

Besides propulsions, engineers are also trying to develop more eco-responsible and resource-efficient designs. Dynamic, streamlined hull shapes, steep angles and superstructures that seamlessly carve through the water are also rising in popularity.

Eco-friendly methods of waste management

There are few industries in the world with more of a direct impact on our oceans, which are now under serious threat from plastic pollution. According to recent estimates, by 2050, the weight of plastic dumped in the sea will exceed the weight of the fish in the sea and will kill over one million seabirds each year. As a result, many sustainable yachts have begun implementing eco-friendly waste management methods.

The environmental impact of each product and its packaging must be considered and accounted for before being brought on board. This often means a ban on single-use plastic onboard an eco-friendly yacht, opting for products in glass or cardboard.

Purchasing biodegradable and natural detergents, soaps, and other daily-use chemicals is also an essential solution for many, as they may come in contact with delicate marine environments.

Elimination of single-use plastics

Subtle shifts in the products consumed by guests and crew can also result in significant environmental impacts. One small yet highly effective change in ocean protection includes installing a water filtration system on board to dispense chilled and boiling water. This significantly decreases plastic bottles and ensures less time is spent buying, transporting, and storing plastic-packaged bottled water.

Crew amenities and toiletries such as reef-safe sunscreen, shampoos, toothbrushes, mouthwash and razors can also be made with zero-plastic waste.

Other ways the yachting industry is becoming sustainable

Increase in plant-based meals and local produce

While all guests and crew provide food lists based on food preferences, onboard chefs have noticed an upward trend toward vegetarian and vegan menus. Although meat, dairy and seafood will always remain an option on yacht charter menus, a decrease in the consumption of these food groups can lead to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and water waste.

Sustainable yachts are also now carefully planning meals to minimise waste, as well as sourcing produce from the yacht’s local destination to ensure it has been locally and organically grown. While this further minimises the yacht’s environmental impact, guests are treated to a varied and ever-changing menu of culinary delights that reflect the local delicacies of the yacht’s destination.

In addition, many sustainable yachts now boast onboard gardens where the culinary team grow herbs, spices, and fresh produce, creating an onboard farm-to-fork dining experience.

Environmentally friendly materials

The yachting industry has become innovative in using recycled and repurposed materials to create sustainable yachts that are just as aesthetically pleasing and luxurious. Ethical crew uniforms are just one way the industry is working towards becoming more environmentally friendly, utilising ethically-made, fair trade products made from 100% organic cotton and recycled materials. The crew wear is also made from organic cotton and free of pesticides, fertiliser or harsh chemicals that can run off into the oceans.

Yacht designers are also reconsidering how they can make a change, opting for natural materials, such as reclaimed wood or artificial teak, that do not sacrifice nature. Wall coverings made from banana plant trunks and mushroom fibres are also a superb alternative to leather.

Other notable eco-friendly yacht solutions include repurposing recycled water toys and turning them into beach bags, makeup bags, and toiletry bags.

If you’re looking to work on yacht with the latest sustainable yachting features, contact a trusted yacht crew agency today.