Marine industry starts the shift towards sustainable design

MarineShift360, the collaboration developing a new Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool for the marine industry, has announced the first seven businesses to partner with the project. Allen Brothers, Arksen, Emkay Plastics, Multiplast, Princess Yachts, RS Sailing and Wessex Resins have formed this unique collaboration and will contribute valuable data from their materials and processes to further develop the LCA tool ahead of its commercial release in late 2019.

Motivated by consumer demand and expected changes to legislation, the marine industry is under the spotlight to make advances in closed-loop product design, moving away from the linear ‘take-make-waste’ approach and towards a circular economy. In collaboration with founding sponsor 11th Hour Racing, an international organisation that harnesses the power of sport to innovate change for the health of our oceans, MarineShift360 is actively developing its LCA tool to equip the industry with the means to understand product sustainability. With extensive expertise in LCA, software development and the marine industry, Anthesis Group, a global leader in sustainability services and solutions, is responsible for the custom build of the LCA tool as well as advising on the project. The project is being led at Anthesis Group by international LCA expert and trans-Atlantic sailor Craig Simmons.

The LCA tool quantifies the environmental impacts of a product’s full life cycle, from raw materials to disposal, ultimately allowing the user to make informed decisions at the design stage to mitigate such impacts. The pilot partners will work alongside MarineShift360 to tailor the tool to the unique needs of marine businesses in a bid to empower the wider industry to make smart choices within design and manufacturing processes. The project will continue to forge new partnerships to further enhance the performance of the tool, with the vision of creating a tool that is built by the industry, for the industry.

Todd McGuire, Program Director at 11th Hour Racing, founding sponsor of MarineShift360, says: “The new partners are already leaders in their respective fields, and joining this collaboration enables them to become leaders also in sustainability. There is no time like the present to adopt sustainability practices, both for business and environmental reasons, ensuring end-of-life considerations are embedded at the design stage. By gathering reliable data from the partners, MarineShift360 will develop a fully comprehensive database that supports a life cycle assessment tool tailored to the needs of the marine industry. Once complete, the tool will empower users to compare choices and investigate alternative materials that increase efficiency and reduce costs, leading to innovation in design — our ultimate goal for this project.”

Craig Simmons, Chief Technology Officer at Anthesis Group, says: “Like all sectors, the marine industry needs to respond to the ‘triple whammy’ of increasingly eco-conscious consumers, the rising cost of raw materials, and a tougher regulatory environment.  Design innovation sits at the heart of this, and the new LCA tool will help businesses to make smarter design choices; making better use of resources, improving efficiency and better responding to market needs. We’re proud to be supporting this initiative through both an advisory and delivery perspective.”

To find out more about the tool and the exclusive benefits of becoming a Pilot Partner please visit:

About the Pilot Partners

Allen Brothers has 60 years of experience working with the world’s leading sailors to create innovative products with the highest levels of performance, quality and durability. Liz Adams, Managing Director, says: “I am really proud to bring Allen Brothers into the first wave of businesses to partner with the MarineShift 360 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool. Coming in at the same time as our ISO9001 accreditation and after a year of major investment in the business, this initiative confirms our positioning at the forefront of innovation, quality and closed-loop product design. We have a 60 year heritage of creating great products for sailors, by sailors, but the way business works is changing and we need to change with it, not as a follower, but as a leader.”

Anthesis is a global sustainability services and solutions provider, which believes that commercial success and sustainability go hand in hand. We develop financially driven sustainability strategies, underpinned by technical expertise and delivered by innovative collaborative teams across the world. The company combines the reach of big professional services groups with the deep expertise of boutiques. Anthesis has clients across industry sectors from corporate multinationals such as Reckitt Benckiser, Cisco, Tesco, The North Face and Target. The company brings together expertise from countries around the world and has offices in the U.S., Canada, Colombia, the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Andorra, Finland, China, the Philippines and the Middle East.

Arksen is a marine technology company building the most authentic, capable and efficient explorer vessels of their kind. Jasper Smith, CEO, says: “By reinventing the modern explorer vessel we are inspiring a new generation of sailor and encouraging them to facilitate research that will contribute to a more profound understanding of the ocean ecosystem. Sustainability and deep technology are at the very core of the Arksen business, two fundamentals that we share with MarineShift360, a venture that will empower marine professionals to make informed decisions on materials and design choices through thorough data analysis and owners to make purchase decisions based on product and environmental impact. We are excited to work with the team and to help lead a drive towards sustainable practices across the whole marine sector.”

Emkay Plastics supplies key materials for composite boatbuilding. Steven King, Managing Director, says: “Emkay Plastics are delighted to begin collaborating with MarineShift360. Sustainability in the marine industry is vital and a platform for businesses to compare raw materials is a truly fantastic idea. Our main product lines Rohacell and Rohacryl are thermal recyclable as they do not contain CFCs (chloroflourocarbons), meaning there are no poisonous gases emitted when burned. Emkay Plastics are excited to see what the future holds for this ambitious and important project. We want to make our customers and potential customers aware that our materials can be used in sustainable practice.”

Multiplast is a world-leader in performance boat construction and the use of high-performance composite materials. Yann Penfornis, Managing Director, says: “Adopting LCA is not only a moral obligation, but we also believe it will be a legal obligation in future and this tool is a perfect way to stay ahead of official requirements. The first build project using MarineShift360’s LCA tool will be a new Imoca 60, DMG Mori, for the Japanese skipper Kojiro Shiraishi. We will then be able to compare the results during the construction of a future Imoca that we will potentially start next winter.”

RS Sailing has implemented a Sustainability Programme, analysing, improving and publicising recyclable aspects of its boats. Alex Newton-Southon, RS Sailing CEO – Design Technologies, says: “RS Sailing are delighted to be one of the official Pilot Partners of MarineShift360. RS are committed to sustainability and we are continually trying to foster sustainable innovation into our product development. The partnership with MarineShift360 will allow us to further our commitment, learn about the true life cycle impact of our products, incorporate new design techniques and help promote positive change across the marine industry.”

Princess Yachts is a leading British luxury yachts manufacturer. Kiran Haslam, Marketing Director, says: “Several years ago Princess made a commitment to stop our use of single use plastics at all of our events. This was a seemingly simple step to take, alongside our long-standing and continued commitment to the Marine Conservation Society, and we now see ourselves focusing on manufacturing efficiencies and MarineShift360 compliments these current efforts. We are a vertically complex manufacturer with 3200 employees producing 300 yachts each year, going from raw material to finished yachts on premises in Plymouth, and therefore having an understanding and well-thought-out lifecycle strategy is now key. Princess is an eager participant of the development of this tool and we look forward to establishing and sharing some data to carve a path towards a brighter manufacturing future.”

Wessex Resins and Adhesives is a British manufacturer of high-quality and performance epoxy systems for a wide range of industries and applications since 1981. Ian Oliver, Managing Director, says: “We are delighted to be one of the official pilot partners of Marineshift360, and see this partnership as another step to ensuring all in our industry are aware of the importance of sustainability and the responsibility we all have. As a company we are committed to ensuring we are doing our very best for our planet with investing in recyclable and sustainable innovations and materials in all our products.”

Header image photo credit: RS Sailing