In 2005, in collaboration with Camper & Nicholsons, the Mo­naco Yacht Show decided to become Carbon Neutral. The Carbon Neutral Company provides expertise to help companies reduce the impact their activities have on the environment, both by identifying direct ways of CO2 reduction and through offset schemes.

Last year, the Monaco Yacht Show committed to taking part in three offset projects: The Te Apiti Wind Farm, in New Zealand; The Coal Methane Capture, in the USA and The Forestry Project, in France. To ‘neutralise’ its emissions, in 2005, Camper & Nicholson supported a forestry project in Scotland and a small hydro project in Bulgaria and has now also signed up to the New Zealand wind farm project.

The way offset works is that for every 1 tonne of CO2 you cannot reduce, you pay for 1 tonne to be reduced somewhere else in the world. It’s better than nothing, but there is still a perception that it is a way for companies and individuals to buy their way out of making a real effort to make real changes.

The large yacht industry is not the greenest of industries. Few yachts career out of Monaco, Antibes, or Antigua leaving black smoke in their wake, but a number envelope the quays in blue smoke when they start their engines; something that – in many cases – better maintenance could prevent.

Then there’s the build process; there are directives governing styrene emissions and many companies meet or improve on the limits imposed, many do not though. Visit a region with a number of boatyards and you are sure to recognise the unmistakeable smell of the potential carcinogen outside one of them.

The use of anti-fouling containing tributyl tin (TBT) has been banned on Europe’s smaller yachts (under 25 metres), because the consequences of concentrations in marinas presented an unacceptable risk to sea life, especially molluscs. Yet this substance is still a constituent of the bottom paint of many large yachts. One of the effects of TBT is to cause female molluscs to develop male sexual organs, something to think about before ordering shellfish on the Côte d’Azur!

Tropical hardwoods are something else that the superyacht industry consumes in abundance; how many owners and builders take care to ensure that a yacht’s interior is not furnished with products of illegal logging, which is not only destroying forests that absorb CO2, but causing serious hardship to native populations.

There are owners and builders who do care: the late Claus Kusch recommended Siberian larch decking, instead of teak, for White Rose of Drachs (top left); Ice, formerly Air (left), was commissioned to have as little environmental impact as possible and Le Grand Bleu (right) was built to Lloyd’s “Environmental Protection” classification. Some owners have gone even further and shown that being green can mean saving on running costs, read on ……

BYM Home    Back to Top    Next Story   Previous Story   Download magazine as pdf (6.06 MB)