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License to Sail: Net Zero and the Risks for Yachting

“If your yacht doesn’t participate in the Yacht Zero project, it’ll be heading towards stranded asset status.”

That’s the stirring message from superyacht captain turned tech entrepreneur and environmental activist Nigel Marrison. He warned that if superyacht owners fail to start taking responsibility for their yacht’s emissions and environmental impact, they’ll soon face the very real prospect of losing access to finance and insurance for their yachts and losing their license to operate at all.

The yachting industry is living on borrowed time

Captain Marrison is the founder of Blue ESG, a groundbreaking yacht-specific ESG reporting tool.

Blue ESG adopts a framework based on corporate ESG practices, with a methodology specifically designed for superyachts. It is extremely cutting-edge and even includes an opportunity for yachts to align their decarbonisation efforts with IMO ‘Net Zero’ standards and expectations. This includes compliance with the IMO’s Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (known as SEEMP Part III) and Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) regulations which came into effect for merchant ships as of January 2023.

According to Captain Marrison, the yachting industry is facing an existential threat due to a combination of climate change versus the own industry’s lack of action in that regard, and major negative shifts in societal acceptance of the industry.

He emphasised that the industry’s next move will be key to whether it survives or dies. “Do we just wait for the inevitable regulations that are no doubt coming? Or do we take a proactive approach?” he asked. “Regulation adherence is currently not mandatory for yachts, but there’s no doubt that we’re being too slow; We can’t just leave it up to the regulators. The yachting industry has to see this as a call to action to be accountable and responsible and to do our part for the environment and for ourselves because, without this, the industry faces a real threat to its very existence.”

Captain Nigel Marrison, founder of Blue ESG with crew

Net Zero and the evolving regulatory environment

While the yachting industry is largely taking a wait-and-see approach to emissions regulations, the banking and insurance sectors are moving quickly with ambitious, strict net zero rules, and yacht owners will soon begin to feel the bite of the requirements that will follow from the net zero programs in those sectors. And the dire consequences of not complying.Blue ESG is a ground-breaking new company offering an ESG reporting tool that, for the first time, offers a yachting-specific ESG framework. The company was founded by industry veteran Captain Nigel Marrison, after he became disillusioned with the blind eye that the yachting industry seemed to have turned to the environmental catastrophe unfolding around it. He decided that something had to be done.

The term ESG is an acronym for Environmental, Social, and Governance, which refers to a set of non-financial factors that investors and other stakeholders use to evaluate a company's environmental sustainability and societal impact.


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