Design and Technology
A Greener Charter
Through our new partnership with ClimatePartner, we can now offer our charter clients the option to offset their emissions and support important environmental projects around the world.
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.
Hydropower for the Habitat of Mountain Gorillas provides a sustainable energy source to the inhabitants of the Virunga National Park region in the Democratic Republic of Congo. By providing an alternative to illegal charcoal, this project helps to protect the forest habitat of some of the last mountain gorillas still alive in the world today.
Water Treatment in India supports ClimatePartner’s carbon offset project in Odisha in India, which focuses on organising the chemical treatment of water using chlorine. In India, more than two million children die from cholera or typhoid fever each year, diseases spread mainly through untreated drinking water – a major issue in India where only 32% of households have access to treated water.
Plastic Free Oceans addresses the problem of the more than 8 million tonnes of plastic waste which ends up in the ocean every year. Plastic waste collectors in Haiti, Indonesia and the Philippines can earn an income by collecting discarded plastic and taking it to Plastic Bank branches where it can be recycled in exchange for money as well as food, drinking water, mobile phone credits, cooking oil or even school fees.
Climate Action with Microenergy Credits works to counteract energy-related problems while promoting entrepreneurship in India. By providing MECs, local entrepreneurs can offer energy-efficient products such as efficient cookstoves, water filters, or solar lights at an affordable price, a best practice from the microfinance sector to strengthen the local economy. The project places special emphasis on empowering women: with start-up capital and training, they are encouraged to earn a living and be independent.
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.
“The yachting industry as a whole is evolving to address climate change
“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.”
Ocean Independence Carbon Offset Projects
clean oceans, plastic bank. worldwide
By offsetting one tonne of CO2, 10kg of plastic are collected. This corresponds to approx. 500 plastic bottles.
Hydropower, Virunga, DR Congo
The currents of the Rutshuru River are used to generate clean electricity to over 5,000 households.
social impact, nationwide, india
A Chlorine-based treatment for water that reduces firewood consumption from households having to boil water for cooking or drinking. This project saves 10,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
social impact, nationwide, india
Over 700 million people in India cook on an open fire with serious health implications. By granting microcredits households can purchase stoves and solar lights saving an average of 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.