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Yacht Carbon Offset Limited
adviceYacht Carbon Offset Frequently Asked Questions, and Answers

Do any ports / countries oblige us to Carbon Offset?

So far as we are aware, No. Carbon Offsetting is a purely voluntary action, through which yacht owners and charter clients ("Principals") can demonstrate leadership on a matter of significant current attention.

Are you telling us to use less fuel?

No, we are inviting you to balance the impact of the fuel that you do use. The yachting experience is founded upon luxury, and freedom to enjoy the most beautiful and exclusive places in the world. Our mission is to enhance this experience, not to constrain it.

So what are the benefits for the Owner / Charter guest?

Enhancement of personal brand and the reputation of the yacht is a powerful motivator for Principals who have a prominent public profile (e.g. film/music stars, politicians, celebrities…) or for those running / owning businesses with a strong environmental policy or public image (e.g. consumer goods, luxury goods, fashion…).

Commercially, for yachts marketed for charter, a policy of Carbon Offsetting is a positive differentiator. Commentary that the vessel is operated to best environmental practice may be noted in the promotional materials. The policy can be applied without investment in onboard equipment or future obligation.

Satisfaction in taking pragmatic and effective action to balance their carbon footprint is a very real benefit to many Principals whose passion for yachting is matched by awareness of environmental priorities.

Carbon Offsetting can only help to improve relations with ports and local authorities. In due course, Carbon Offsetting may be reflected directly through affinity programmes, discounts, or priority schemes.

Is there a financial or tax benefit to the Principal?

Unfortunately we cannot comment on possible tax treatments of the cost of Carbon Offsetting since this may vary widely. There is no direct financial return from the projects themselves, since the Offset provides a subsidy to the project, not an ownership interest in it. There may be secondary financial benefits over time, since it is expected that partners across the yacht support services industry will offer incentives to yachts that can demonstrate a policy of Carbon Offsetting.

Where does the money go?

It provides a financial subsidy for carbon-saving projects that otherwise would not be viable. The money therefore makes a direct and measurable contribution to the reduction in atmospheric greenhouse gases.

What types of carbon-saving projects are supported?

Typically we use renewable energy, energy efficiency, or fugitive emissions (e.g. methane capture from landfill) projects. Our carefully selected Projects meet the highest validation standards and examples of projects from our portfolio, together with our selection criteria, are on the website.

The independent verification of the projects (by organisations such as TÜV, Lloyds Register, SRS, RINA, Deloittes…) ensures that carbon savings are properly quantified and monitored, and that approved projects could not have taken place without the financial support these credits provide.

Why do you not use forestry for the carbon-saving action?

Forestry schemes are not currently favoured for a number of reasons, including difficulty of quantification and the mis-match between the time taken by trees to absorb atmospheric CO2 and that taken by the yacht to emit greenhouse gases. In some cases there may be concerns over ensuring that forests are established in perpetuity, or risks of double-counting of carbon savings through national greenhouse-gas inventories which would negate the Offsetting action.

What equipment do we need?

None. Our service is delivered online, so we just need an email address for your certificate.

Since our service starts from a calculation based on the quantity of fuel you wish to Carbon Offset, there is no measurement on the vessel itself. You tell us (either online, by telephone, or at the Passarelle) the quantity of fuel that is most relevant (for example the allocation for a Charter, a Bunkering, or the amount budgeted for the Season) and we will provide a quotation for arranging and certifying the corresponding Yacht Carbon Offset.

Does Carbon Offsetting simply encourage yachts to pollute more?

Absolutely not. A yacht's itinerary or passage plan will reflect the destination choices of the Principal, and may be limited by practical considerations or the overall cost. A professional Captain will operate the vessel in a fuel-efficient manner, not least for economic reasons. These two factors will determine the consumption of fuel and hence emissions quantity.

The incremental cost of Carbon Offsetting, if anything strengthens this economic incentive to save fuel. Moreover, participation in Carbon Offsetting may increase awareness of the greenhouse-gas impact in the Principal's mind and this may influence their choices about their itinerary if this impact can be reduced without compromising their enjoyment.

Will the yacht be Carbon Neutral?

Not necessarily. Each Yacht Carbon Offset Certificate is arranged for a defined quantity of fuel, but this may not necessarily cover all of the fuel used by the yacht. For example, a Captain may decide to Offset the fuel used for a particular charter or passage.

There may be other significant greenhouse gas emissions attributable to the yacht, such as shore power or crew flights that would also need to be addressed before a claim of Carbon Neutrality would be appropriate. Yacht Carbon Offset can help with this too, if required.

Basing the Yacht Carbon Offset on fuel quantities enables offset history to easily be reconciled with on-board fuel records, and for a clear, auditable statement to be made about precisely what has been balanced.

Once we start, do we have to carry on?

No. Whilst there is no obligation, best environmental practice would suggest a policy of Carbon Offsetting for all fuel used by the yacht. Any action to balance the carbon footprint of the yacht is, if correctly done, a step in the right direction, even if through change of ownership or circumstance it cannot be continued.

The Yacht Carbon Offset solution is completely flexible – it can balance a yacht's past or future fuel consumption, or perhaps that attributable to certain users of the vessel. The Offset need not be bought at the same time as the fuel. Therefore, any "missing links" in your Carbon Offset history can be addressed at a later date if required.

What certification do we get?

The Yacht Carbon Offset certificate provides evidence of which emissions have been balanced, so we include the identity details of the yacht and the quantities and types of fuel that have been balanced.

You are free to personalise the "client name" on the certificate, for example the yacht name, owning company, owner's name, or the name of a guest or family member. You can also include a short descriptive sentence to place the action in context – its up to you.

The certificate carries a unique reference number that enables details to be confirmed or audited upon request. For example, a yacht manager or charter agent may wish to confirm validity of an offset purchased for the yacht by a third party.

Who else is Carbon Offsetting?

Several leading yachts have adopted the policy, including Lionheart, which announced its Yacht Carbon Offset in October 2008. Others have introduced the measure as an enhancement for Charter clients, and this has been strongly welcomed by the guests on board.

The policy has also been implemented in other related luxury services, notably with NetJets, the private aviation provider.

Why isn't a price shown on your site?

Our price to arrange and certify a Yacht Carbon Offset depends on movements in the international carbon trading markets, and varies slightly with the quantity of fuel that you choose to Offset. For a price, simply click "Offset Now" enter your details, and we will email you a quotation.

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