Confindustria Nautica


6 May 2024


Pichetto Fratin: the yachting industry is the nation’s role model for other sectors.

Saverio Cecchi: this is the first time the Italian Minister for the Environment and Energy Security has met with the yachting industry, a clear sign demonstrating the success of our Association’s decisions.

This morning in Viareggio, under the patronage of the Parlamentary Asssembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), the Italian Marine Industry Association Confindustria Nautica organised a conference entitled “Blue economy – Cantieristica nautica ed ecosostenibilità – Promuovere la crescita sostenibile del settore marittimo nei Paesi che si affacciano sul Mediterraneo” (Blue economy – Shipbuilding and eco-sustainability – Promoting sustainable growth for the maritime sector within countries located on the Mediterranean).

The event, held in the prestigious venue of the Hotel Principe di Piemonte, was a key opportunity to highlight how the yachting industry continues to play such an important role in supporting Italy’s growth, having recorded an all-time record in turnover, exports, and employment in 2023, and by maintaining its uncontested leadership worldwide in the superyacht segment, representing more than half of the global order book, along with the title of world’s number one exporter of yachting units, while also paving the way towards an increasingly sustainable future.

The conference was opened by the Mayor of Viareggio, Giorgio Del Ghingaro, who stressed the importance of the sector for the Viareggio area and all of Tuscany and the closeness of the municipal administration to the sector.

Gilberto Pichetto Fratin,ItalianMinister for the Environment and Energy Security: “The yachting industry is the nation’s role model for other sectors, a plastic representation of the reality in which we live, where the ever-changing approach to energy is leading to a shift in consumer perception. Even if we reach an environmental impact close to zero, we must never slow down our progress and research. Despite our country not offering mining opportunities or raw materials, we have always been able grow thanks to our ability to conceive and transform,” the Minister commented.

 Hon. Deborah Bergamini
, Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean: “Today’s meeting is being held in Viareggio precisely because we want to show just how important the yachting sector is to the Assembly, a sector that works incredibly well, a world-leading industry, but an industry that still needs support. It is not enough to build the best boats, we must also do what we can to ensure they stay in our ports and on our coasts, so that the supply chain may continue to develop. The role played by the Italian Marine Industry Association is essential, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean is an important tool for constructing an ecosystem that does not penalise such an exceptional sector with excessive bureaucracy”.

Hon. Giulio Centemero, Parliamentary Asssembly of the Mediterranean: “Building on today’s conference, we would like to set up an entity within the Economy Commission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, that will be able to study the sector and bring forward policy proposals, not just in Italy, but in all the countries that make up the Assembly, which also includes the Balkans, the Persian Gulf, and therefore Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Arab Emirates, Qatar, and so on. The Mediterranean Parliamentary Economic Forum, the second edition of which will be held in Marrakesh this July, has set as one of its objectives to identify the capital for growth with regards to nautical companies”.

Saverio Cecchi, President of the Italian Marine Industry Association: “I must first of all thank Minister Pichetto Fratin, the first Environment Minister to sit down and meet with the yachting industry, and the Hon. Deborah Bergamini, who made this day of in-depth analysis possible. I would remind you all that the yachting industry, the queen of exports and employment, benefits the Made in Italy brand exponentially, representing a perfect showcase for the main supply chains of other Made in Italy products, including even the hotel industry, as demonstrated by the connection that lies between the Hotel Principe di Piemonte, where we are now, and the world of superyachts. As we have seen today, we are also at the forefront of designing the eco-sustainable future of our sector”.

“The topic of Carbon Neutrality is strongly felt in the nautical sector despite the fact that yachting, according to official IMO data (International Maritime Organisation), accounts for only 0.01% of all shipping emissions. In fact, Italian companies operating within the sector are eager to take up the challenge”.

Also taking part in the event was Rear Admiral Massimo Seno (CP), representing the Commander General of the Coast Guard, Admiral Chief Inspector Nicola Carlone (CP), who emphasised how the Italian Coast Guard pays the utmost attention to the yachting sector due to its role as a driving force behind the entire blue economy. In particular, Admiral Seno recalled how the role of the Coast Guard, which not only carries out surveillance at sea and on the coastlines to ensure safety and the protection of the environment, but also provides effective administrative services to yachting enthusiasts, such as issuing boating licences and managing Italy’s digital platform for yachtsmen. He concluded by mentioning the ‘bollino blu’ (blue sticker) issuing campaign during the summer season, carried out as part of the broader control coordination initiative ordered by the Italian Minister of Infrastructures and Transport and aimed at guaranteeing safety at sea”.


In recent years, the Italian yachting industry, a global pioneer, has introduced a real reduction in consumption of 30%, thanks to efficiency gains in hull design and consequent reductions in weight, and in the efficiency of engines and transmission systems. Real progress that, at times, has even been penalised by regulations resulting from ideological choices, such as the emblematic case of SCR filters. Conceived for merchant ships, this imposition on yachts in particular has forced a redesign of superyachts, increasing their weight and therefore consumption, leading – due to different engine speeds – to a 10% increase in CO2 emissions against a 0.2% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions.


We strive to produce yachts that are easy to separate so that the materials can then be recycled. We have also studied new materials that can replace traditional ones, such as basalt, which combined with bio-resins can also be a valid alternative. In order to make the most of such innovations, we needed a network in which to operate. For this reason and more we established the Sustainability Committee within the Italian Marine Industry Association Confindustria Nautica, in order to support an open dialogue between shipyards and compare results gained from research, both nationally and internationally.


When it comes to fuels, we must keep to a principle of a technological neutrality that offers a variety of solutions for different types of use. We cannot be equated with commercial traffic or trucks on land. We have just launched a 50-metre unit with green methanol propulsion.


We have chosen to focus on hydrogen, bypassing biodiesel and methanol, believing it to be the most realistic way forward and have already built a green-cycle hydrogen plant, producing energy with solar panels. Combined with lithium batteries, this solution minimises atmospheric and noise emissions.


The study of weight reduction is much more interesting when it comes to results than that of fuels, which tends to hold the centre stage of public debate. I would also add that the use of silicone antifouling for special appendages, which greatly reduces fluid-dynamic resistance and thus the need for propulsion, is also just as worthy of attention. This and ultra-light glass that can also act as a photovoltaic source for generating green energy.

The marina sector is also set to play its part however there are certain regulations that are needed for the storage of new green fuels and for the public concessions themselves (Roberto Perocchio, Assomarinas President). Research efforts will also be able to support the sector with robotics (Prof. Paolo Dario, Sant’Anna University), it is essential to team up in order to participate in projects on a European level (Katia Balducci, Navigo Service Centre). Finally, the role of users, who have been made well aware of their central importance, thanks in part to the Salvamare law (Marina Gridelli, Marevivo Toscana), and that of an entrepreneurial vision that is concretely environmentalist, like that of the Italian Marine Industry Association Confindustria Nautica (Roberto Tortoli, Mareamico President), are of fundamental importance.