Princess Yachts – On board with sustainability

As a manufacturer like all other yacht manufacturers the world over, Princess inherently produces waste and uses a range of chemicals in the process of building yachts.

However, as a responsible company that is driven to set industry benchmarks in sustainability, there is a target to cut waste to an absolute minimum in order to both drive manufacturing efficiencies and significantly reduce the environmental impact.

As the UK’s largest yacht manufacturer, the company places sustainability at the heart of its business, and recently joined MarineShift360, partnering a rigorous programme of life cycle analysis of materials and manufacturing processes, investigating alternatives to traditional materials and innovating where possible to develop new ones. Throughout the company there is a culture of exploring more sustainable manufacturing techniques, be it in the materials used, the processes they are applied to or the methods of recycling.

Princess Yachts was the first manufacturer in the yacht building industry to achieve ISO 14001, which maps out an effective Environmental Management System (EMS), a set of processes and practices that enables Princess to reduce its environmental impacts. Driven by innovations such as Princess’s vacuum-formed hull manufacturing processes that release far fewer odours and toxins into the atmosphere than is typical in the industry, Princess Yachts is passionate about sourcing and using the most sustainable materials available for furniture making and design. A good example is the Esthec® synthetic teak deck found on the R35 high performance sports yacht. It comprises of 25 per cent recycled materials along with natural resins, fibres, minerals and colour pigments.

Princess was the first yachting company to ever support the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the UK’s leading marine environment, not-for-profit organisation. The MCS works for the increased protection of the seas around the United Kingdom via the creation of marine protection areas.

Princess raises money for the British charity through a number of initiatives targeted to engage Princess’s customers and their children, including a unique partnership with Seabob, the zeroemissions water toy, and Hummingbird, the world’s lightest foldable bicycle manufacturer, both who donate a percentage of every Princess liveried item sold, to the charity. Princess have also written and published a children’s story book about environmental matters, Enid & Her Magic Yacht, of which all proceeds go to the MCS.

Further inspiration on environmental issues to future generations is provided with Princess contributing to the Plymouth-based National Marine Aquarium’s Kids Afloat STEM educational programmes. These are designed to give 7- to 14-year-old visitors to the summer events the opportunity to get hands on with the science, technology, engineering and mathematics of boat building.

Across the Atlantic, Princess has supported the funding and logistics of a turtle tagging programme in the Turks and Caicos Islands and helped support research on delicate habitats and populations in the British Overseas Territory.

Closer to home, Princess Yachts is the custodian of Eddystone Reef in the Plymouth Sound and has supported a local environmental campaign by funding the installation of the first seagrass bed eco-moorings to be piloted off the coast of the south west of England. These unique moorings prevent damage to the sensitive seagrass beds from moored boats. They are screwed deep into the seafloor with minimal disturbance and the mooring chains are held off the seagrass beds by buoys, protecting the delicate ecosystems that thrive in the Plymouth Sound.

Princess Yachts also extends its environmental targets to its marketing events, having banned single-use plastics since 2017 and only serving sustainably caught seafood at all of its international events.

Princess is applying its environmental ethos to the design of its luxury yachts. The Deep V hulls that Princess is renowned for, and a new wave piercing bow being developed for new flagship models, along with Princess active ride control, will see Princess’s marine architects design ever more efficient hull shapes that deliver up to 30% fuel savings whilst being incredibly stable throughout the speed range aiding efficiency.

Princess Yachts’ Chief Marketing Officer, Kiran Haslam is also the Board Member for Environment with the remit to advise on policy and champion the delivery of sustainable campaigns that have an impact on reducing waste, increasing recycling and cutting the company’s environmental footprint.

“As a manufacturer of up to 300 luxury yachts a year, we obviously have very little direct impact on global environmental issues. However, as the leading yacht manufacturer in the world, we are a standard-bearer for good practice that then influences the marine industry from boat owners, to suppliers, shipyards and large-scale marine logistics and networks.

“With our high-profile links to many of the world’s leading marine conservation organisations, our motivation and ability to innovate in our manufacturing technologies and processes, and our ambitious target focused on reducing CO2 emissions by over 20% in the next 24 months across the business may set an example to the industry. Our practices and principles drive forward technological innovation that will hopefully be adopted by yacht builders and marine suppliers in future years.”