Southern Wind Shipyard has always considered itself an environmentally conscientious business. This concern for preserving nature is personified by the product that is produced by the yard, first class sailing yachts that are intended to sail to the remotest corners of the world.
The construction and design of Southern Wind yachts enables for sailing in the lightest of breezes allowing our yachts and their owners to view some of nature’s most beautiful offerings, without causing any harm to the ecosystems the yachts venture through.
Southern Wind’s commitment to sustainability pushed the company to further understanding the carbon footprint of their yachts build process and operation.
To do so, Southern Wind enlisted the aid of The Green House, a Cape Town based environmental consultancy agency. Following discussion with The Green House’s team the decision to conduct a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) was taken. Performing a Life Cycle Analysis is a monumentally useful practice for Southern Wind as it allows us to measure the environmental impact that the production and operation of our yachts has.
This impact is quantified by analysing and measuring what raw materials are being used to construct different components that are installed on the yachts, as well as investigating the raw materials used in construction of the yacht itself. The information provided by an LCA is of even greater value, due to its inclusion of where goods are sourced from and the means of transportation used to acquire said components.
The task of carrying out an LCA at Southern Wind was not futile due to the inherent complexity and detailed nature of this assessment. The following approach was taken to maximise the accuracy and utility of the data received at the end.
First a sample yacht was taken to measure the environmental impact of construction, the yacht chosen was SW105#04. Having chosen the benchmark yacht that would be studied, the process of collecting data for the LCA began.
The path taken was the following: a spreadsheet was created with the entirety of the custom-components onboard SW105#04, then a comprehensive list of over 60 different materials was included to ensure that the material breakdown of each component was as precise as possible.
A further step was taken to maximise the utility of the LCA conducted, this being the use of a weight study conducted for SW105#04 to precisely gauge the wastage factors of all the different custom components involved. The work carried out so far shows that the wastage of custom components is minimal, with only certain components such as engine room insulation and electrical cabling demonstrating notable levels of wastage.
This work was primarily carried out during the summer of 2021, it was later sent to The Green House team who reviewed the work conducted. The data collected was later amended, with the number of different materials included in the original spreadsheet being grouped into less precise categories, due to the exhaustive depth gone into originally.
To maximise the speed of data collection for the LCA, the Southern Wind team chose to collect data for the operational impact of their vessels while the material breakdown of the customs components was being carried out. In order to understand the environmental impact of operating a Southern Wind yacht a survey was created and sent out to captains of seven different Southern Wind yachts (SW96, SW100, SW102, SW105) and to Clara, at the SWS yard. The survey was created to measure three different metrics: generator hours, engine hours and shore power usage.
These different metrics were to be filled in for the most common operations that the vessel undergoes: delivery mode, stand by and guests onboard. Finally, the survey requested the captains to include the number of days that the yacht is not used, as to obtain a more accurate annual calculation of the usage of the three metrics being measured. Once the survey was completed by its recipients, an average of the results was created and sent to The Green House team.
The final step taken in the process of collecting the necessary data to carry out the LCA was finding the material breakdown of the Stock Components on SW105#04. This process was carried out at a later date.
Similarly, to the method of data collection for the Custom Components a spreadsheet was used with a variety of different basic materials.
The data collection process for the LCA is nearing completion. There are still elements of the Stock and Custom component material breakdowns that need to be reviewed prior to the data being processed by The Green House team, as to ensure that the data is of the upmost value.
Following the processing of the raw data provided by Southern Wind, the Green House team will provide us with a detailed report outlining the environmental impact that the production of our vessels has. This report will help identify Southern Wind’s strengths as well as indicate areas in which we can make efficient and rapid improvements.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that the taking on of the LCA project by Southern Wind has only propagated greater sustainability efforts by the company as a whole.
Paul Dumbell has created a sustainability report for Southern Wind Shipyard focusing on the 2021-2022 financial year. The report focuses primarily on the Planet principle of a sustainability report’s three core principles which are People, Profit & Planet.
This focus on the Planet principle has resulted in a report that highlights key areas, such as monthly water and electricity usage, and subsequently calculates water usage per man-hour worked as well as kWh used for the same metric.The report also breaks down the shipyard’s recycling per different material.
The data included in this report serves to help highlight areas for improvement and encourage environmental awareness amongst the entire Southern Wind team.