Nestled on the picturesque Northeast Italian coast lies Cantiere Rossini, a superyacht refit yard with a reputation that transcends its craftsmanship.
Amidst a steadily growing chorus of environmental concerns and a global push for more sustainable industries in general, Cantiere Rossini’s owner, Stewart Parvin, believes that the yachting industry can no longer go about business as usual.
Stewart is on a mission to ensure that Cantiere Rossini sets the bar for ESG (Environment, Sustainability, Governance) standards in the yachting industry. To accelerate this, Cantiere Rossini has partnered with specialist consultancy Blue ESG founded by Captain Nigel Marrison.
Together, they are ensuring that Cantiere Rossini leads the way, effectively writing the next chapter on ethical and environmentally responsible practices across the industry as a whole.
A shipyard with a history
Cantiere Rossini is a specialist superyacht refit yard, servicing motor yachts primarily in the 40m - 50m range. In addition to offering refits of various degrees, Cantiere Rossini offers warranty and servicing work for a number of major shipyards producing yachts in the 25m- 40m range. Later in the season, Cantiere Rossini also routinely services and repaints high- performance sailing rigs from top manufacturers.
Its facility is built on a site with a shipbuilding heritage that stretches back almost a century to the 1920s and 30s, having been owned by several shipbuilders over the decades. When the site’s most recent owners went bankrupt in the early 2000s, over 120 people lost their jobs and the location quickly fell into disrepair. “It was a sad place when we came in, in 2015,” recalls Stewart. “The vegetation was taking over; there was lots of pollution and a lot of outdated, obsolete machinery. It was quite a challenge fixing it up; it’s a real phoenix project!”
Getting the community on board
In the process of applying for the various permits required to develop the site, Stewart was unwittingly drawn into one part of the ESG world when he was required to engage with the local community, to explain his plans for the site and get their buy-in. “Without really knowing any formal way by which to do it, we reached out to the whole community, taking great care to explain what we were doing. We stressed that we’d be extremely clean and environmentally friendly; as sustainable as possible,” he explains.
These efforts with the community paid off, and the legal challenges that tend predictably and famously to beset similar developments in Italy, did not materialise. Within a short - for Italy - two years, Stewart had all the required permits in hand.
A fresh coat of paint
Cantiere Rossini’s property is dominated by its innovative, custom-designed paint shed. The spectacular blue and white building - 98% of which by weight can be recycled - houses two separate paint sheds. With an overall length of 64 metres and 22 metres in width, the sheds can accommodate any 50 metre yacht. And thanks to the building’s uniquely tall 28 metre height, the yacht’s mast will not have to be removed when going in, in contrast to competitor facilities.
Both sheds are constructed from sustainably grown Alpine wood and are equipped with separate, bespoke extraction systems to remove dust and solvents.
One of the shed’s most critical sustainability features, however, is hidden away from the casual observer, as Stewart reveals: “They’re thermo-insulated,” he says. “There’s 15cm of Rockwool all around it - it’s probably the best insulated building in town.” This insulation ensures that the sheds lose less than 1 degree Celsius of heat every 24 hours when the heating is off. “The industry has a few sheds for 50m boats but none of them are thermally insulated,” he adds. “It saves costs and ensures a perfect paint finish every time.”
The shed is heated with an extremely energy-efficient ammonia-based water-to-air heat pump that relies on water pumped from the harbour. The system, which is the first of its kind in Italy, uses energy sourced exclusively from renewable energy providers.
A long-term relationship
In chatting with Stewart and Nigel, it’s clear that the partnership between Cantieri Rossini is an enduring one. “This is not a one night stand; it’s a long-term relationship,” says Stewart. “And the value of our collaboration will come out once we’ve been going steady for a while,” he adds with a smile.
A proud Yorkshireman through and through, Stewart’s innate charisma and passion for life, business and all things ESG found their perfect business match in Nigel. “The thing that amazed me about Nigel is that he had equal or more passion for the environment than me, and certainly more knowledge than me about ESG programs and the benefits they deliver,” says Stewart. “I’d wanted to pursue an ESG program since day one of opening the yard.
“And quite frankly, I was beginning to get disillusioned with the yachting industry and all of the - what looks like - greenwashing. I’d see all of these sustainability reports coming out from our more established competitors, that are pages long but say little of substance. But I didn’t know the way forward or even what this type of program was even called. And then Nigel came along and pushed the program ahead.”
Nigel echoes Stewart’s thoughts. “Cantiere Rossini’s ESG program is an opportunity to start measuring the company’s operations and developing data sets that will eliminate greenwash and distinguish the brand in the marketplace. Data is king here because it identifies opportunity. The credible and verifiable data that we will produce from our work with Cantiere Rossini will provide a solid foundation on which Stewart can communicate his company’s success to the marketplace, while also enabling him to set SMARTER goals to improve performance and impact.”
A wake up call for the industry
Stewart’s excitement for his relationship with Blue ESG is also evident. “I’m excited to have Nigel’s expert guidance to help us, and it’s definitely a long-term journey. I didn’t come into this industry to follow, because we have a strong feeling that this industry should be doing better - it needs a huge wake up call.”
For Stewart, ESG is not only about pushing the yachting industry to do better, but about building an environment that will live on for generations to come. “I want to be able to look my kids in the face and tell them that we are doing the very best that we can today and that hopefully tomorrow, we will do even better!”
At the same time, he is pragmatic about the journey ahead. “I’m hoping that the insights we develop from Blue ESG’s data will help us to set clear targets that we can aim for. But if in a year’s time we have to report that we failed to reach all of them and only achieved 80%, then so be it. I’m not afraid to be uncomfortable with whatever comes out, because at least there’s a sincerity there about doing it right.”
Nigel agrees. “It’s about collaboration, transparency and leadership. In order to decarbonise and ensure the future of any industry - but most definitely the yachting industry - we need to accept that siloed efforts will have a diluted impact. Working together across the entire operational value chain will accelerate the transition we need to make, but in order to do that we need bold, courageous, and collaborative leaders like Stewart. And 80% is not failure - that’s bloody good. It’s a matter of committing to a process of continuous improvement.”
Is your yacht or yachting business ready to embrace development methods that will ensure its future? Are you ready to get sincere, to collaborate, and to achieve? Then it’s time to contact Captain Nigel Marrison of Blue ESG for a personalised consultation. Click here for more or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or maybe your yacht is due for its latest maintenance period, a major upgrade or perhaps you’ve got a large refit in mind? In that case, the team at Cantiere Rossini would love to speak to you. Click here to get in touch with them or contact email@example.com.