Yachting News » Events » METSTRADE 2019 Looks to a Sustainable Future

METSTRADE 2019 Looks to a Sustainable Future

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Since 2015, there has been a strong focus at METSTRADE on staging forums around the issues of sustainability within the leisure marine industry, which it has done so in cooperation with long standing show partner ICOMIA. The expert panel discussions at the world’s largest B2B platform for the leisure marine equipment industry have covered topics such as the disposal and recycling of end-of-life boats, developments in electric and hybrid propulsion, life cycle assessment and circular economy and ocean conservation projects.

Irene Dros, Maritime Director at the RAI, where METSTRADE has taken place since 1988, explains: “During the past five years we have been actively increasing the number of sustainability initiatives at three distinct levels. This includes reaching out, networking and sharing information about sustainability driven initiatives at industry level, establishing the I-nnovationLAB and E-nnovationLAB concepts at show level, and leading by example with environmentally responsible facility management at venue level.”

On each day of this year’s show, the environmental sustainability theme continues at the InnovationLAB Stage within the main show area. All registered visitors and exhibitors are invited to attend, and to join in with questions and comments. The full programme for METSTRADE 2019 will soon be available on METSTRADE.com. These three panel discussions are confirmed to take place:


Day 1 (19th November at 13:00) - The Challenge of Global Biofouling

Bio-fouling and biodiversity are the subjects of a global project task force called GloFouling, established under the auspices of IMO (International Maritime Organisation). One of the project’s main tasks over a five-year period will be to develop best practices that may address the transfer of invasive aquatic species through improved biofouling management; not just from shipping, but from all marine sectors.

Within our own sector there has been an ongoing debate about biocide content in antifouling coatings, control of preparation and application methods. At the same time, we have seen an emerging number of alternative (non-paint) concepts designed to control fouling below the water line, whilst aiming to reduce toxicity levels.

A panel of experts will explain more, and discuss what this all means for our industry going forward.    

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Day 2 (20th November at 13:15) - How Green Are We a Year On?

‘How Green is Green in the Leisure Marine World?’ was the theme of a panel discussion which took place at the InnovationLAB Stage during last year’s show. A panel of well qualified technical experts discussed the current situation and peeked into the future. They also answered several interesting questions from the audience, such as how we compare with other industries on environmental sustainability issues. The diversity of subjects ranged from design for disassembly, and recyclable materials, through to the status of electric and hybrid propulsion systems, and developments on eco-friendly energy storage solutions.

Because of the level of interest and engagement from the floor, it was immediately decided to continue the theme in an updated status review 12 months later at METSTRADE 2019.

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Day 3 (21st November at 12:00) - End-of Use Boats, an Update on Progress

For several years, METSTRADE has been raising awareness about the increasing numbers of boats reaching the end of their useful lives around the world. Millions of them built from virtually indestructible GRP (fiberglass) in the 70’s and 80’s are now referred to as ‘end-of-use’ boats. Committing redundant GRP hulls to landfill is not an environmentally acceptable option. These hulls will still be there in hundreds of years’ time. The challenge for our industry now, is to create a new, commercially viable sub-sector which can responsibly dispose of them, in much the same way as the automotive industry have done for end-of-life cars. 

Another important aspect of the discussion is to continuously explore how the boats of the future can be constructed in a way that will make them easier to disassemble. We need to think about building boats with materials that can be reused or recycled at end-of-life much easier than GRP composites have proven to be over the last 50 years.

Thanks to the persistent efforts of individuals and organisations in several countries, assisted by funding from within the boating industry, we are seeing progress which is well worth reporting on at this year’s show.

This session will be followed by an ‘invitation only’ informal networking lunch giving the opportunity for various players in this important developing sector, to meet each other, swap notes, and agree on future collaborations.  

Other Highlights

The extensive programme for the upcoming METSTRADE show in November is now online! Besides the many networking and matchmaking possibilities, the show is all about sharing knowledge, ideas and insights to ensure a healty future for the marine industry, with many events on site that will ensure your visit will be worth your while.

Boat Builder Awards: Gala Dinner

The Boat Builder Awards were initiated by METSTRADE and International Boat Industry magazine (IBI) in 2015 to recognise individual and team success within boat building companies globally. It has since then grown to become a prestigious and widely recognised awards programme.

Nominees are acknowledged across ten categories of business achievement, and a number of outstanding initiatives and colleagues have already been rewarded in previous editions. However, the industry still offers many more admirable projects and people and so the search for inspiration continues. 

For more information and to see the sponsors of this year's awards, click here. 

The Superyacht Forum

The 26th edition of The Superyacht Forum will take place at the RAI, Amsterdam between 18-20 November 2019. This event is a powerful meeting of minds from all sectors of the superyacht market, that brings influences and inspirations from both within and outside the superyacht industry. The Superyacht Forum offers insight into new tech developments, pertinent business understanding and the latest innovations from a diverse range of keynote speakers, think tank talks and social interactions.

To register for The Superyacht Forum 2019, please click here.

METSTRADE 2019 Runs from 19-21 November at the RAI in Amsterdam.

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