Five years ago, Feadship invited a group of industry representatives to the De Voogt offices to discuss an idea called the Yacht Environmental Transparency Index, or YETI for short. It led to a Joint Industry Project (JIP) and the initiative has now entered the process of being translated into an ISO standard and is close to finalisation of a rating scale.

The JIP was conducted under the umbrella of the then just formed Water Revolution Foundation. Based on an idea by Bram Jongepier, Feadship senior specialist design, YETI is a science-based, data-driven method that scores and compares yachts based on their environmental credentials by using average operational profile based on fleet AIS data.

YETI 1.0

‘Sustainability is essential,’ says Jan-Bart Verkuyl, Feadship director/CEO of Royal Van Lent Shipyard. ‘If we don’t do it, we become complacent. There is pressure from our clients, there is pressure from ourselves, there is pressure from our workers, there is pressure from our children. It needs to be done.’

Also read: Feadship presents new concept with fuel cells running on green methanol

‘Zero doesn’t exist’

The work of the YETI-JIP was officially presented at METSTRADE in 2022. YETI 2.0 was unveiled at the same industry event one year later. This version provided an improved protocol by reviewing factors such as a fleet review showing the size-related effects of environmental impact and creating a standardised “load balance” to tackle hotel load and facilitate a unified approach to reduce its energy consumption.

‘We are eager to learn as much as we can and act on what we learn,’ says Jongepier. ‘The essential thing to realise is that “zero” doesn’t exist. This may shock some people, but zero impact is impossible. You cannot walk on the grass without some degree of impact, but you can do it sustainably if you give the grass time to recover. And that is how we should treat our oceans.’

Also read: AiP for Feadship’s multi-fuel system for yachts

Net-zero targets

The Feadship roadmap and strategy for 2020-2030 aims for net-zero CO2 emission and minimal local pollution impact, going far beyond regulatory compliance. The 84.20-metre Obsidian, with full diesel electric architecture running on HVO, already achieved the net-zero CO2 target in 2023. Using the YETI calculation method, Feadship concept design Dunes presented in Monaco last year has been shown to be able to reduce the environmental impact by 95 per cent compared to current minimal regulatory compliance by using fuel cells running on methanol. Designs based on Dunes and its predecessor Pure (2021) are currently being contracted and engineered.

Dunes Concept 2023

‘If we want to secure a future for ourselves as builders of large yachts, we not only have to appeal to the customers building them now, but also to their children, their spouses and the people who are asking the uncomfortable questions,’ says Henk de Vries, Feadship director/CEO of Koninklijke De Vries Scheepsbouw.

Also read: What Feadship’s new concept Dunes looks like in detail

Close to a rating scale

‘Thanks to the voluntary cooperation of all those industry experts sharing knowledge and data, the YETI grew into its current form which resembles very well the vision and ideas I had five years ago,’ says Jongepier. ‘We’re very close to the finalisation of a rating scale similar to what you’d expect for your car or your fridge. The method is being consolidated and unwanted complexity removed. I’m extremely proud and happy with the work of the YETI industry group and would like to express my thanks to all the passionate peers that this group is made up of.’

Picture (top): Feadship’s Obsidian, with full diesel electric architecture running on HVO, already achieved the net-zero CO2 target in 2023 (all pictures by Feadship).

Also read: How Feadship plans to power yachts ready for future fuels