Boating industry comes together to develop landmark Environmental Footprint Standard

Under the umbrella of the European Boating Industry (EBI), key market players are jointly tackling the sustainability challenge and bringing the industry ahead of the curve.
17 Apr 24
Group photo of members of the EBI

Tackling climate change and reducing environmental impact as a whole is a major challenge and the boating industry is committed to addressing emissions across the entire life cycle. This is however only possible with a common approach that the entire industry is signed up to.

A group of 16 leading European boat manufacturers and 8 marine industry associations is coming together to develop an industry standard methodology to measuring the environmental footprint of boats under 24 metres. The threshold of 24 metres has been chosen to align with EU regulations. It will be based on a coherent Life Cycle Assessment approach following the stringent EU Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules.

The project will be conducted in two phases, first focusing on developing a science-based and transparent environmental footprint methodology to harmonise calculation rules. In the second phase, the focus will be on implementing this with a comprehensive materials database and user-friendly calculation tool. This then allows manufacturers to conduct eco-design and comprehensively reduce environmental impact, as well as communicate the environmental footprint to consumers, stakeholders and regulators. It will go beyond carbon emissions and include other critical environmental indicators.

This common effort will also allow industry to comply with the latest EU environmental legislation and be ahead of the regulatory curve. The project has already been presented to the EU Commission and received its strong support.

The project is led by the European Boating Industry (EBI) and is industry-financed. The renowned environmental sustainability consultancy Quantis has been chosen as technical partner. ICOMIA, the International Council of Marine Industry Associations, is a strategic partner of the project to ensure global alignment. It builds on the comprehensive and independent Pathways to Propulsion Decarbonisation for the Recreational Marine Industry study published in November 2023.

Robert Marx, President of EBI commented: “This is a unique and highly welcome cooperation. For the first time, competing manufacturers are committed to jointly addressing the sustainability challenge. Its outcomes will allow companies of all sizes to access the green transition without greenwashing, reduce environmental impact and proactively shape the regulatory approach in Europe and globally. We need a proactive and pragmatic approach to sustainability and this project will develop the tools that industry needs.”