'Don’t expect to see a change if you don’t make one…’
At Seastainable Yachting we know there are many ways in which we can change our superyacht industry for the better and one which we feel needs to be emphasised even more, is the power of the individual. We have put together a few key ways to help individual crew members start to implement sustainable change onboard.
Shake up mindsets
Firstly and quite simply, thinking about ways in which you can be more sustainable onboard is the best starting point for any change to come. Taking a moment to sit and discuss with the rest of your crew and think about ways you can go about change is invaluable. Change is never easy as people tend to be creatures of habit, who naturally resist change. To be successful you need to overturn current thinking and increase their awareness of the issues the industry faces on a larger scale.
Knowledge is power
With any type of change it is natural to encounter barriers along the way, so having tools to combat these is important. Whether that be compelling statistics about our environmental pressures, viable and effective alternatives to hand or the research and evidence to back up why you want to make the change. In recent years there has been a huge increase in the amount of companies claiming to be ‘eco friendly’ and ‘green’, so try to also be mindful of greenwashing when you are researching. Having reasons behind your proposed change will make it more attainable. For example, if crew can see the benefits of how getting refillable water bottles will take up less storage space and decrease overall expenditure on plastic water bottles, then it will enable them to be more open to the change.
Overcome the barriers
With any change you try and implement you may come up against some resistance. Whether that be lacking the correct logistics, conflicting personal opinions, budget constraints, or a simple ‘no’ from the owner. In order to overcome these barriers there are a few things you can do to make the change more successful. Firstly, ensuring your communication is effective, that you are getting all of your facts, research and ideas across to everyone on the crew. Make sure you engage all crew members in the change, emphasise that it is a team change, as people may not be onboard with it if they think it wont effect them. Implementing change should be done smoothly and slowly, allow the changes to happen in several steps otherwise it can be overwhelming for crew to process. Make one change, make it effective and then move onto the next one.
Planning to succeed
Changing processes, eliminating old habits and adopting new practices in an industry with many players can prove to be a difficult process. Once you know the change you want to make and why, you need to have a plan in doing so. Make sure you you get the facts, do the research, source the viable alternatives then get the appropriate sign off’s from the owner and Captain to make it happen. Be realistic with time frames and budgets, changes don’t happen overnight. Once you have executed your plan, spread the word to others, the yachting community is huge but with the ease of technology and social media communication of changes can be made at the click of a few buttons.
Keep it going
Don’t just stop after your first successful change onboard, maintain and build that momentum. Try to introduce a sustainability discussion at the end of weekly meetings, where crew discuss how the current changes are working out and how you can introduce more changes, setting new sustainability goals regularly for the yacht. Be sure, to share your changes with the wider yachting community.
We would love to hear from yacht crew who have implemented change or who are on their journey too. Lets be the change, we want to see.