Superyacht stakeholders should be ready to embrace green yachting and prepare for a world without diesel.SHOW FULLSCREENS/Y Fortein has begun her green transformation. Photo credit Royal HuismanAccording to the heads of the world’s largest superyacht builders reducing a yacht’s carbon footprint can be achieved in a number of ways.This could be as simple as replacing diesel with a bio-fuel, changing generators to better fit the vessel’s actual usage, switching to LED lighting or reducing air conditioning which uses a lot of energy.”And while hydrogen fuel cells are seen as the ideal long-term alternative, although some consider the technology not mature enough, there exist intermediary solutions like methanol fuel cells,” says Jamie Edmiston, chief executive at Edmiston.“In addition, speed remains a major obstacle to decarbonising the luxury yacht sector. Well-designed yachts cruising at a decent speed of 12 knots are less polluting than many modern superyachts whose power requirements are exponential, as fuel consumption gains a few knots.”“The question is also knowing how to design a yacht that will still be usable in five or ten years’ time,” adds Farouk Nefz chief of marketing at Feadship. ”What will be the value of a yacht still running on diesel and no longer able to sail in certain very popular areas?”At Oceanco, explains Paris Baloumis, marketing manager at Oceanco, they no longer accept newbuilds that are powered solely by diesel.And Oscar Romani at Benetti points out: “It is easier to be born eco-responsible than become it.“Recycling a yacht will be a key to the future.”Large scale renovationIn 2021, 668 new superyachts are believed to have joined the ranks of an already large fleet, an increase of more than 3% on the 2020. But it’s an ageing fleet, with the average age of a superyacht now 23 years old.With age comes the opportunity for green renovation. Some yachts have already begun their green transformation incuding S/Y Juliet (43m) and Foftein (30m), which have both switched their engines to hybrid propulsion at the Royal Huisman shipyard in the Netherlands.Aside from propulsion, low energy eco-friendly systems can be retrofitted, for example non-discharge water treatment installations, the use of low impact products for careening, such as low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints or non-biocidal anti-fouling products.Efforts undertaken must continue if pollutants are to be reduced said Michel Buffat, head of aviation and yacht finance, Credit Suisse. It is also essential not to focus solely on new yachts as “deliveries represent only a small part of the total fleet and the emission reduction effect on the overall fleet is minimal. We must integrate the idea that it’s the masses that make a difference.”Industry players agree that action is needed now, a change that involves the whole supply chain in the sector, not just yacht construction.