Superyacht Eco Association (SEA) Index launched in Monaco


Developed by Yacht Club de Monaco and partners, the SEA Index has been created to promote eco-responsible yachting.


The Superyacht Eco Association was announced at Yacht Club de Monaco

Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM) and Credit Suisse have launched the Superyacht Eco Association (SEA) Index, a voluntary assessment to measure the environmental impact of yacht design and use.

The SEA Index – which ranks yachts from one to five stars – shall be available online for owners, captains and other professionals to carry out their own assessment. Over time, YCM hopes it will evolve into a global industry standard, providing a transparent ecological rating for all large yachts.

In the absence of a global standard on emissions for superyachts, the SEA Index was created as part of the YCM-initiated ‘Monaco Capital of Yachting’ project to make the Principality a centre of excellence and innovation for the luxury yacht sector. The club unites over 800 owners of superyachts, including 37 of the world’s 100 largest yachts, under its flag.

Also developed in collaboration with Nobiskrug, the SEA Index is designed to encourage the yachting industry to research and put forward solutions to reduce the environmental impact of superyacht designs.

Feedback during the announcement suggested there may be cooperation with the Water Revolution Foundation, which has also developed a system to measure the environmental impact of superyachts.

Bernard d’Alessandri, YCM General Secretary and President of Cluster Yachting Monaco, said: “The climate emergency is a reality. Our industry knows it has to reinvent itself as the automobile sector has done. If we aspire to position ourselves as a centre of excellence, it is up to us to take the initiative and lead by example.

Bernard d’Alessandri watches as explorer Mike Horn speaks at the announcement

“It is only by acting together that we will succeed in making our contribution to a more climate-friendly yachting sector that will do everything in its power to reduce the effects of air and sea pollution on health and the climate, and will encourage good practices.”

YCM and Credit Suisse said the SEA Index was also a response to growing demand from owners who are keen to be able to calculate their superyacht’s impact.

Michel Buffat, Head of Aviation and Yacht Finance at Credit Suisse, said: “There has been strong demand from owners, keen to be able to contribute to the sustainability of the industry as it moves towards a climate-friendlier future.

“More and more owners are adopting a sustainable approach as they align their enthusiasm for the oceans with their passion for yachting. As an organisation which puts sustainability centrally to its operations, it was a natural step for us to partner with the YCM on this very important initiative in the interest of our clients.”

Efficiency is key
The SEA Index is a customised tool designed to assess and improve the environmental performance of yachts and meet environmental objectives for lowering carbon emissions.

First aimed at displacement and semi-displacement superyachts, it considers the CO2 emissions occurring when transporting one passenger as well as GT (Gross Tonnage, a measurement for yacht volume) over 1nm.

Monaco is a hub for superyachts, as seen here at the 2018 Monaco Yacht Show © MC-Clic

The SEA Index is based on the initial IMO EEDI methodology, but has been amended for superyachts. It has been created to provide an objective assessment and primarily focuses on the levels of CO2 emissions while in operation.

It does not actually measure those emissions but uses benchmark data based on yacht design specs to assess whether yachts entering the Index calculation process are doing better than average or not.

The SEA Index is a collaborative effort that has involved industry sectors from shipyards to operators, and yacht owners willing to share their data to help establish the benchmarks. The benchmarks were generated out of data provided by 130 yachts ranging from 40-140m, for which every data point of the assessment has been collected and validated by the SEA experts.

The system is also a ‘work in progress’ as more data can be compiled to refine calculations and adjust the benchmarks of existing situations across the various size and user segments.

Beyond CO2
As a non-profit organisation, the SEA hopes to drive more owners and shipyards to explore solutions that reduce all levels of pollution and environmental impact.

The Association also encouraged industry players – including yards, owners, yacht management companies, brokers, insurance companies, equipment and service providers – to help contribute data, which will remain confidential.

HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II, President of Yacht Club de Monaco, with Mike Horn

The objective of the SEA Index is also to recognise good practices, and those that do better than average will be rewarded with up to five stars, like in the hotel industry.

Its ultimate goal is to become the yacht industry’s leading air-pollution rating system, which can also be extended to other areas and lead to a multi-faceted sustainability Index, covering the likes of propulsion systems, energy recovery, chemicals, waste and water.

HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II, President of Yacht Club de Monaco, said: “The next decade will be a decisive one for the future of our planet. Climate change is one of our biggest challenges.

“In line with the United Nations sustainable development goals for 2030, the next 10 years must focus on ocean science to underpin our scientific knowledge, encourage technical innovation and promote the emergence of new solutions to reverse – we hope – the cycle of decline in ocean health.”