As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, although nautical tourism contributes very minimally to global pollution, it can still have a negative impact on local coastal communities through the pollution of the sea and air, as well as through the increased accumulation of waste, etc. The team which makes up the Green Sail organisation recently developed a way for boat owners and boat rental companies to measure their ecological footprint.
VEF (Vessel Environmental Footprint) helps vessels determine their ecological footprint and also acts as a rating system, showing the level of sustainability of each individual vessel, allowing for them to set themselves goals for reduction.
“The biggest advantage of emissions calculation is the management of risks and opportunities. If we’re thinking about dealing in a long-term sense with the sea and tourism, it is logical that we keep an account of what sort of impact we’re having,” said Hrvoje Caric from the Institute for Tourism.
As they themselves explained from Green Sail, the general goal of the innovative VEF system is to raise awareness and reduce the impact of the nautical industry on the environment and help with the transition of the Croatian nautical industry towards a more sustainable future because, among other things, it enables clients to make informed purchasing decisions.
Green Sail’s rating system takes into account emissions produced on the vessel, energy and water consumption, as well as waste produced. The VEF system also takes into account elements that have the ability to neutralise or reduce the vessel’s impact on the environment.
This includes the reduced use of antifouling, the presence of renewable energy sources on board, and whether there are proper places marked out for separating waste on board. The age of the vessel, how often and how it is used are also taken into account when giving a rating.
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