News & Features
A GREENER CHARTER WITH OCEAN INDEPENDENCE
There’s nothing that can match the feelings of anticipation and excitement which go hand in hand with booking a yacht charter. Now a deep sense of satisfaction can be added to the mix with the knowledge that you have offset the carbon emissions from your charter and supported life-changing environmental projects in the process.
Our new partnership with ClimatePartner, a pioneering solution provider for corporate climate action, enables our clients to make mindful, climate-conscious decisions and make a positive impact on the environment when booking their yacht charters.
A vital part of our broader Environmental Social Governance programme, our carbon offsetting initiative has been in the planning since 2018. “We developed it before Covid but realised our clients and charter guests were probably not focussed on it during the pandemic,” says Daniel Küpfer, Managing Director of Ocean Independence. “We believe the time is right for it now.”
Selecting the right company to partner with was an exacting process, and ClimatePartner stood out. Founded in Munich in 2006, the company now has more than 5000 clients around the world and offices in 13 countries. “During the selection process we had many meetings with various companies and ClimatePartner came across as really passionate about what they were doing at both a personal and company level,” says Thomas Carey, DPA and Project Manager at Ocean Independence, and instrumental in implementing our partnership with ClimatePartner.
ClimatePartner is independently verified by TÜV Austria, an international specialist in environmental matters, “so the whole process with them is very transparent – both for us and for the Client, so we know the money will be used correctly,” he adds.
“Trust is essential and we are confident we have found a trustworthy partner because we don’t want to participate in greenwashing,” says Küpfer. “We recognise the vulnerability of the environment and our responsibilities and as a company we want to shape the future of yachting – the entire industry needs to develop in that direction. Offsetting carbon emissions from our charters should really have an impact, and it is just the beginning of a much wider environmental programme for Ocean Independence.”
Another part of the appeal of ClimatePartner was the water-based projects the carbon offsetting programme supports. We have selected four projects to support, all of which are sustainable and have far-reaching benefits both to local communities and the wider environment.
So how does it work? All you need to do is simply decide whether to offset your charter’s emissions and we’ll take care of the rest. Our easy to use offsetting calculator, developed in house, uses complex technical data to show exactly how the emissions will be offset and where the money will be invested. “From A to Z there is full transparency so our clients can have full confidence and feel affiliated with the causes they are supporting,” says Küpfer. After the charter is completed, ClimatePartner will issue a certificate so our clients can see exactly what they’ve invested in and where the carbon emissions have been offset.
Offsetting the carbon emissions from our yacht charters is just the beginning of our company-wide commitment to making Ocean Independence more environmentally friendly. ClimatePartner has been working with us to calculate our corporate carbon footprint and supporting us to make greener choices. “We are planning to have a fully implemented ESG programme, and we have introduced initiatives such as offsetting business travel, recycling, reusing of materials, avoiding single-use plastic and organising team events such as participating in the World Cleanup Day,” says Küpfer.
“On board our managed yachts, we are avoiding single use plastic and working closer with the crew so the food and beverage is purchased locally and not flown in. We think it’s rewarding because there is awareness amongst our staff in the office and amongst the crew, and there is also a lot of awareness amongst our charter guests,” he says. “Our obligation is to come up with the solutions.”
The yachting industry as a whole is evolving to address climate change,” says Carey. “We already see at the shipyards that clients often ask for hybrid propulsion concepts for their new builds,” says Küpfer. “More and more we see the use of solar cells, and there is a lot going on in terms of research into alternative fuels and a general reduction of emissions to meet the target of the International Maritime Organization.” (The IMO is aiming for each vessel to have reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared with 2008.)
There is also a shift in the way owners are buying and using their yachts altogether. “We are seeing that there is a slowly increasing demand for a shared ownership of a yacht, so the footprint of creating it remains the same but it’s more cleverly shared between different owners,” says Küpfer. “For future generations, property becomes maybe less important and people are more willing to share when they are aware that this is a good use of their impact on the environment. This is just the beginning.”