Superyacht code of green conduct

The classification society suggests that by following the green code, yachts will be more welcome in the world’s sensitive cruising areas like Alaska and Antarctica.

Code of green conduct

In addition to being a fashion supremo, Luciano Benetton is also a sustainability pioneer. His globetrotting Tribu was launched by Mondo Marine in 2007 and though white in colour, she was ultra-green at heart. Tribu was the first yacht ever built to RINA Green Star standards, which state:

“The RINA Green Star Yacht additional class notation and logo identifies yachts which are designed, constructed and operated in such a way as to ensure maximum respect for the environment.”

Luciano’s conscience remains as clean as his couture empire is colourful. The classification society suggests that by following the green code, yachts will be more welcome in the world’s sensitive cruising areas like Alaska and Antarctica. Tribu has a filtered bilge water separation system and a water ballast management system that complies with the IMO resolution A868 (20); non-toxic antifouling paint; and a system of waste treatment that monitors and even analyses the strength of the effluent.

© Green Voyager by Horacio Bozzo Design /

Green Voyager is another superyacht to take sustainability seriously. Designed by Horacio Bozzo and engineered by Axis Group Yacht Design for luxury yacht builder Kingship, the 44m vessel is designed for owners desirous of a low-impact yacht without cutting corners on luxury or cruising capability. Kingship aims for Green Voyager to achieve the platinum level of Green Star Plus – RINA’s newest environmental accreditation.

Green Code of Practice

These are the key cornerstones of the voluntary green code of practice, which over time will be increased and improved on. The key chemical compounds to look for and eliminate or reduce where possible, The ‘Green code of practice’ is a document with reference to product ingredients to avoid and available substitutions. The following is a list of the most dangerous pollutants and the best substitutions to date.

Phosphorus: Compounds found commonly as phosphates and phosphonates in many detergents (dishwasher, laundry, deck wash etc.)

Substitute with: Phosphate and phosphanate free products.

Sodium hypochlorite: (Chlorine bleach) - recommended for cleaning and disinfection. There is no substitute for bleach as a disinfectant so use sparingly.

Substitute with: Oxygen based products where possible.

Alkyphenol ethoxylates: Still used in the USA in liquid clothes detergents but banned in Europe, very toxic to marine life.

Substitute with: Products containing alcohol ethoxylates.

Nitrogen: Mainly used as tetra-acetyl ethylene diamine (EDTA) and related compounds in detergents, very dangerous for aquatic environments. Australia has banned its use in detergents.

Substitute with: Products which do not contain EDTA.

© Green Voyager by Horacio Bozzo Design /

Generator usage: Diesel produces unwanted nitrogen compounds which are polluting the ports and closed coastal areas.

Substitute with: Shore-based power when in port.

Alkali-based deck washes: Containing ammonia or potassium hydroxide are harmful to aquatic life. Dangerous ingredients are not legally required to be listed on the labels of most branded products.

Substitute with: Yacht shine marine soap. 

Solvents: Harmful to aquatic life. 

Substitute with: Use water soluble products.

Waste recycling: In port take the time to walk it to the relevant recycle bins available. Recycling on land is just as important as on board!

This list has been compiled by ENVIRONMENTAL YACHT SERVICES together with the chemist and toxicologist Dr John Hoskins, FRSC, C. Chem who has worked for many years with the UK Medical Research Council and is now an industrial consultant on chemical impact on people and the environment. 

Solvents and Chemicals

Solvent-free paints are another product that can be actively chosen over less planet-friendly alternatives. Many people believe that such products should be standard on all yachts as they reduce both the environmental impact of construction and any potential harm to crew and guests. They are also safer for shipyard workers to use, and the vessel does not need to be tightly closed up during the painting process meaning fewer man hours are needed.

Many superyacht owners and captains are now issuing instructions for their crew to use non-toxic boat cleaning products. Environmental Yacht Services in the south of France works with a UK-based toxicologist to guarantee that all their yacht products are safe both for the sea and for the sailors who use them, issuing certification to confirm that yachts are operating an entirely ‘green interior programme’.  

Social responsibility


Taking corporate social responsibility as paramount, Rob Humphreys of Humphreys Yacht Design is trying to reduce the environmental impact of yacht construction and operation, focusing on designs that utilise advanced production methods. His Tomorrow/Today design has a fully-glazed atrium spanning the entire width and height of the yacht, providing a natural and passive heating and cooling ventilation system, with automatic louvres to adjust the solar exposure and reduce power requirements dramatically. Another innovative feature is the vessel’s extensive photovoltaic sun canopy on the upper deck driven by the notion of a forest.

Humphreys has also collaborated with German-based Skysail to produce a wind-powered trimaran that doesn’t have a single mast. Early tests with a commercial freighter have proven the viability of this idea.

Sector Sponsorship - Imagine - Concepts & Green Designs