Waterevolution: an integrated approach to maritime cluster sustainability

VSY
Published: 27 October 2015
Last edited: 05 July 2019
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Summary

The Waterevolution model develops strategic partnerships between maritime cluster companies and marine conservation. It is based on computational sustainability and allows a substantial reduction of the environmental and energy footprint of the industry through an optimization of the production process. The implementation of this model translates also into significant cost savings, a part of which is reinvested into marine conservation programs, e.g. marine protected area planning and financing.

Classifications

Region
West and South Europe
Scale of implementation
Subnational
Ecosystem
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Seagrass
Seamount / Ocean ridge
Theme
Ecosystem services
Mitigation
Renewable energies
Science and research
Transport
Other theme
Resource Mobilization/Sustainable financing,Sustainable Resource Management
Challenges
Inefficient management of financial resources
Lack of access to long-term funding

Location

Italy

Challenges

Implementing innovative partnerships, conservation financing, reducing industry footprint Historically, the shipbuilding industry has suffered from the absence of global rules, thus delaying the confrontation of the sector with environmental challenges, but yachting operations have a large environmental footprint. Funding for marine conservation is insufficient; e.g. the Pelagos Sanctuary (largest MPA in the Mediterranean) does not receive enough funding to ensure its effective management

Beneficiaries

  • Marine conservation organisations
  • Maritime cluster industries
  • Local communities

How do the building blocks interact?

Waterevolution is a comprehensive, evidence-based model that involves a sustainable corporate management approach to reduce environmental footprint, which generates structural funding to support marine science and conservation projects and facilitates industry commitment to ocean responsibility. The model was developed by Eulabor Institute in partnership with the University of Bologna and was then tested within the Italian super yacht shipyard VSY. The production process of VSY was optimised through the implementation of the computational sustainability tool. The optimisation process translated into a significant reduction of the environmental footprint of the shipyard and, at the same time, was able to generate financial savings. A percentage of these saving were invested to support marine conservation projects by several organisations including: the Tethys Research Institute research on the Pelagos Sanctuary; the IUCN WCPA-Marine Marine Mammal Task Force strategic planning work on the Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs); as well as several marine conservation and awareness activities, communication campaigns for ocean sustainability and a capacity building initiative for Italian MPAs.

Impacts

The implementation of the Waterevolution model translated into a significant reduction of the environmental footprint of the shipyard including reduction by 20% of energy consumption and CO2 emissions - this reduction rises up to 30% when dismantling (removal of toxic and hazardous materials) and recycling are considered. Substantial reduction of water pollution and seabed degradation and at least a 10% costs reduction thanks to the process optimisation. Consequent reinvestment into long-term marine conservation projects including the Tethys Research Institute’s research on the Pelagos Sanctuary, the IUCN WCPA-Marine Marine Mammal Task Force strategic planning work on the Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) and several community-based marine conservation initiatives, conferences, awareness activities and communication campaigns for ocean sustainability and a capacity building initiative for Italian MPAs.

Story

The Waterevolution solution represents a practical example that nature conservation and human progress are not mutually exclusive. It is a credible and accessible technological model, based on Computational Sustainability, that can promote general welfare in ways that support and even enhance our planet’s natural assets. The model links together industry-focused and scientific-based computational sustainability with marine conservation and is able to provide a win-win situation. It allows a substantial reduction of the environmental and energy footprint of the industry through an optimisation of the production process that is able to generate significant cost savings, a part of which is reinvested into marine conservation programs In the pilot project the savings were reinvested into various marine conservation projects including the strategic planning of the IUCN Joint SSC-WCPA Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force (started in February 2015) to develop Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs). Thanks to this financial support, the Criteria for IMMA identification (currently undergoing public scrutiny) were drafted and broad consensus and full support on IMMAs were gained within the relevant IUCN Commissions and Sub-Committees. The funding allowed participation of the two main researchers as experts to EBSA Workshops organised by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (Sri Lanka and Dubai), and the provision of information on IMMA development to potential institutional partners such as the French Marine Protected Areas Agency, Pew Charitable Trusts, UNEP’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Secretariat of the Convention on Migratory Species, and Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, particularly in view of a possible joint organisation of the South Pacific region Year of the Whale 2016. The Waterevolution model has the potential to not only drive changes into the super yacht business, where the pilot project was implemented, but also within the entire yachting sector and the maritime cluster as a whole while generating structural funding opportunities for marine conservation initiatives worldwide.

Contributed by

vienna.eleuteri@eulaborinstitute.org's picture

Vienna Eleuteri Eulabor Institute

Other contributors

Vienna Eleuteri
Eulabor Institute