METSTRADE expands its outreach on marine sustainability

As the leading platform for product and concept innovation in the Leisure Marine Industry, METSTRADE is actively continuing with its proactive involvement in matters related to environmental sustainability across all sectors of the boating market.

Being the world’s largest marine equipment trade show, and a well-established annual meeting point for the global boating industry, METSTRADE has a unique opportunity to foster the adoption of ever more sustainable and environmentally conscious practices across all sectors of the leisure marine industry.  

Year-round engagement and interactive seminars
With the establishment of the METSTRADE Online Community, being a fully accessible 24/7/365 forum, there is now a perfect opportunity to continuously and regularly enable ‘cross industry’ engagement on a host of sustainability and environmental issues.

Based on the reactions and level of engagement from the community, some of these key topics will be discussed in open forum during the METSTRADE Show in November.

Irene Dros, Maritime Manager METSTRADE at RAI Amsterdam said, “We were very pleased to successfully put environmental and sustainability issues firmly on the agenda in a conference setting, and to see the involvement of senior figures from the boating industry, together with representatives from various government and trade associations. Following that, it was logical to broaden the outreach, thus giving the whole marine industry, and our thousands of visitors, a chance to get personally engaged in the subject matter throughout the year and during the show itself.”

Positive outcomes from past conferences
METSTRADE has already set the tone and actively opened up the debates on many issues, having hosted the Future of Yacht Recycling conference in 2015; the first ever international yacht recycling conference, and the Sustainability in the Marine Industry conference in 2016.

Both of these events revealed a number of positive initiatives from within the boating industry, such as ways to address the challenges presented by End-of-Life, or End-of-Use Boats, and the shift towards the Circular Economy for the leisure marine manufacturing and supply chain.

A launch pad for further exploration and engagement
As environmental and sustainable themes have been well established at METSTRADE, Peter Franklin will continue to collaborate with the team at the RAI and help develop these themes by publishing regular articles in the METSTRADE Online Community.

The list of possible related subjects across the various sub-sectors of the leisure marine Industry is extensive, and will be added to constantly over the years. Here are just a few examples of what we are planning to cover:  

  • End-of Life Boats – Updates on process / legislation / disposal infrastructure developments.
  • User Demographics – How are attitudes to ownership, modern day usage of leisure boats, and younger people’s perceptions, going to affect the future of our industry?
  • Marinas - How are they approaching, educating on, and adopting specific green / sustainability issues?
  • Naval Architects / Yacht Designers / Boat Builders - How are their practices changing to reflect future sustainability demands, such as building for disassembly and responsible recycling?

Do you have suggestions for subjects, examples, or case studies  to share? We would love to hear from you via the Community and please use the comment section below to leave your comments.

About Peter Franklin our Environmental / Sustainability Coordinator
Previously Managing Editor of The Islander, the longest running English language boating publication in the Mediterranean, Peter produced 85 issues of the magazine over a period of seven years based in Palma de Mallorca.

After qualifying as a Shipwright / Boatbuilder, and later as a Marine Coatings Inspector, he took up nautical journalism following a career in marine technical services.

Always living and working near the sea, Peter has owned several boats up to 11 metres and chartered in The Caribbean and Australia. He has also gained an RYA Powerboat Instructors (level 2) certificate and holds an RYA/MCA commercially endorsed advanced powerboat license. In 2002 he was sworn in at Waterman’s Hall in the City of London as a ‘Freeman of the River Thames’, a special honour for a born and bred Londoner from a long family line of mariners.

How it all started
Having attended a conference at the Dusseldorf Boat Show in early 2014 organised by European Boating Industry (EBI), which highlighted the challenges presented by End-of Life Boats, Peter continued to engage and research in the subject of boat dismantling and recycling.

Later that year, Irene Dros at METSTRADE immediately saw the relevance of Peter’s proposal to stage a Boat Recycling conference at the RAI in 2015 and agreed to it, after this he also approached ICOMIA and gained their support as technical collaborators for the conference.

Peter said, “After the success of the Recycling conference which attracted a lot of attention and instigated some positive actions, it was then agreed with METSTRADE and ICOMIA to organise a follow up Sustainability conference in 2016. This again attracted a lot of engagement from the industry and coverage in the boating press. We then had every reason to continue the theme into the future, and to get even more people involved.

“For my part”, Peter concluded, “I have been very happy to be the instigator of discussions on such an important range of issues, and the catalyst for bringing together industry players who can really influence future sustainability developments.”     

Lastly, a message from Peter…Please, please get involved!
My motivation for working with METSTRADE on environmental and sustainability issues is based on the fact that I’ve been fortunate enough to make my living from the marine industry, whilst enjoying boating as my hobby for my entire working life…I won’t mention for how many years, but it’s measured in multiples of decades!   

I’m sure that everyone reading this will agree, that it’s really important to secure the following for future generations: The joys of such a healthy and relaxing pastime, the cleanliness of the oceanic / waterway environment that allows it to flourish; and of course, the endless opportunities for job creation and business growth that our industry presents.

I’m looking forward tremendously to engaging with lots of other enthusiastic METSTRADE Online Community Members.