The talk of climate change has been an ever-growing topic within the past few years. From media outlets to governments and even royalty, the age of change has begun.
With this emerging interest comes new data to suggest which industries and even individuals cause the most prominent environmental footprint.
According to the World Economic Forum, the top 10% of the wealthiest individuals in the world contributed the greatest to adverse environmental impacts. This is due to increased access to luxury items, travel, and a decrease in mindful consumption.
For example, an individual with little to their name is more likely to own fewer items and make better use of their things to ensure they last a long time.
In terms of who falls within this percentage, the study states that " the individual consumption of the poorest 40% of people in a nation like the United States substantially exceeds that of the richest 10% living in India." This essentially means that though the quality of life amongst the lower socio-economic class in the United States needs improvement, there is still a substantial increase in consumption compared to the lower socio-economic class of other countries.
These numbers aren't meant to set blame, but rather are essential to understand in order for real change to be made.
That said, at the end of the day, change can be made via consumer demand, donations, activism, boycotting, donating, or in this case, catering to the ultra-wealthy, even more so than the top 10%.
The last point can be seen similarly in the sensation with Tesla, who took a luxury item and redesigned it to be more eco-friendly, thus creating an exclusive product that becomes even more desirable to those of higher income. This eventually results in industry competitors following suit and creating their version of an eco-friendlier and luxury vehicle. Over time, the concept will streamline, and prices will drop, eventually making sustainable items available to a broader audience.
In comes the AQUON ONE Catamaran, a Swiss-made yacht that is more sustainable than its more common counterparts and has the potential to become the Tesla of the yachting industry.
Sustainable Design on Water
A 60-foot long 30-foot-wide yacht designed with exceptional mindfulness was announced earlier this year and had the potential to make waves throughout the luxury boating industry.
Swiss Company AQUON develops the boat with attention to detail, including Italian design, advanced German engineering, and sustainable influence.
Some of the sustainable influence includes recycled materials and roughly 700sft of photovoltaic panels integrated with CSEM. This revolutionary design results in colored solar panels that better blend in with its surroundings. These durable panels will withstand extreme weather patterns and unexcepted seasonal changes to allow for year-round boating. In addition, they will average about 13.4kwp of power, enough to supply the superyacht with enough energy for operation.
The eco-yacht will also include an onboard water treatment system, battery storage, fuel cell electric engines, carbon tanks, electrolyzer, and a compressor for green hydrogen generation.
The superyacht will efficiently run at 6-8 knots of cruising speed with the ability to reach up to 16 knots. The company is currently refining the design but expects the boat to be ready for commercial sale by 2023.
Hydrogen fuel is produced via various resources, such as natural gas, nuclear power, biomass, or solar power.
According to the US Department of Energy, "Hydrogen is an energy carrier that can be used to store, move, and deliver energy produced from other sources." Though it can be produced via different methods, AQUON ONE will use electrolysis, the process in which water is separated. "Electrolytic processes take place in an electrolyzer, which functions much like a fuel cell in reverse—instead of using the energy of a hydrogen molecule, like a fuel cell does, an electrolyzer creates hydrogen from water molecules."
AQUON chose this type of energy due to its low environmental footprint, the potential for long-term energy storage, ability to increase cruising range, and silence, which can reduce noise pollution in the area and help lessen marine disturbance.
AQUON is a Zurich-based company that began its journey with the vision to create more eco-friendly ships that were still reliant, durable, and efficient.
The company recognizes all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and emphasizes Clean Energy and Sanitation, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, and Life Below Water.
Their innovative design and attention to sustainable detail make the Catamaran a genuinely unique eco-yacht. Thus far, their test runs have succeeded, and their specs all check out, meaning that it is on track for public sale within the next couple of years.
Additionally, like the exclusive nature that Tesla gained by catering to the wealthier, the Catamaran will target a higher-income demographic and help reduce their environmental footprint while still meeting their extravagant and expensive wants, an overall win.