As market leader in the superyacht industry, we see it as our role to set an example in the field of corporate social responsibility. Feadship is a family business that is known for its pride, passion, dedication and loyalty. These values are reflected in our craftsmanship and the way we contribute to society. They cover every aspect, from the environment to the wellbeing of our staff, from relationships with local communities to charity work across the globe. Our desire to contribute to society, give something back and take responsibility is embedded in Feadship’s DNA.
We see corporate social responsibility as an ongoing process, constantly striving to improve and seek the best possible balance between People, Planet and Profit. This process is approached in the typical Feadship way, putting innovation first and always being one step ahead in the search to operate in a better, greener and more efficient manner. We share this know-how with others so steps can be taken forward together. This enhances our capacity as an organisation to provide clients with unparalleled craftsmanship, while giving back to society at the same time. Together with our partners, we ensure that business goes hand-in-hand with generating social, economic and ecological added value.
Global social impact
Creating extraordinary yachts directly results in local, regional and international jobs. A superyacht build requires seamless cooperation between hundreds of craftsmen, painters, naval architects, designers and engineers.
As a forerunner in the yachtbuilding industry, Feadship has global social impact – providing work and training to thousands of employees, helping educate each new generation, and stimulating innovation together with research institutes and partner companies. With twelve locations in the Netherlands, thousands of employees and hundreds of subcontractors, we contribute to a stable economy and increase the innovative strength of the sector as a whole. Feadship also invests in strengthening communities and supporting foundations and other social initiatives by working with non-profit and research organisations at a local, national and international level.
Working at Feadship
The global superyacht industry comprises over 6,000 companies employing more than 280,000 people. With thousands of staff working on the development and construction of Feadships on a daily basis, we make a significant contribution to this employment.
Via practical and theoretical training, from builders and painters to designers and engineers, we have been passing on and stimulating craftsmanship from generation to generation since the nineteenth century. Feadship believes in giving everyone an opportunity, and supports students, starters and employees by means of training and education. This in turn facilitates a shared and continuous improvement and an environment in which everyone can learn from each other.
In providing these opportunities, we stimulate diversity by making it a focal point in our organisation and explicitly communicating this fact to potential new employees. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome, a philosophy that has served us very well over the years and led to a further increase in our level of diversity.
Education and training
We hire both experienced staff as well as students and starters. By offering clear career paths, we stimulate the growth of new employees who wish to be trained and existing employees looking to develop themselves further. Feadship staff are encouraged to formulate their own style. We specifically avoid aiming to create uniform types of engineer and manager in the belief that every employee should develop in their own way. This is what makes our organisation unique and contributes to a high level of loyalty among staff.
Employees have an average of twenty years of experience at Feadship and the average Feadship employee has built an average of forty Feadships. We are especially proud of the way generations of the same family work at Feadship.
As a teaching company, we provide potential employees with the opportunity to learn one of our specialisms via a dedicated work and training programme. This includes our very own company training centres in Aalsmeer, Makkum and Kaag. Students can follow a course under the vocational training programme of their choice and are given a work and training contract with the yard. They can choose between various disciplines: construction, painting, shipbuilding or interior building.
We also have work and training programmes for students learning to become carpenters or furniture makers. Our students include both starters and employees who have been working with us for many years and who wish to improve their skillset. This means that, for example, a foreman in the steel department could take a course in robotic welding.
Our dedicated work and training programme provides up to five years of specialist schooling, taught by Feadship teachers who are trained and supported by the local regional training centre. It is an approach that works. In 2007, the Feadship centre at Kaag won the award for best training company in the Netherlands. Today around 150 students graduate each year with Feadship, which also helps preserve the future of the boatbuilding sector.
In addition to training potential staff, we always stimulate existing employees to grow. Those between 21 and 40 are given the chance to develop themselves further by becoming a member of the Young Professionals in Yachting group (YPY). This stimulates them to find their own place and identity in the sector by focusing on establishing long-term partnerships between members and associated groups and associations in the superyacht industry. YPY organises seminars, debates and events to share knowledge, network and jointly stimulate professional development.
The construction of a superyacht cannot be realised in isolation. Although we have the specialisms required to build in-house, we work with entirely partners in the Netherlands and abroad for materials, sales, innovations and social activities: from collaborations with commercial partners to sustainable relationships with local, regional and national governmental institutions.
To stimulate change throughout the chain, Feadship aims to increase the exchange of knowledge between stakeholders. We believe that cooperation in the field of innovation and sustainability can benefit society, and will take initiatives ourselves.
In 2013, we started a research trajectory with Voith (propulsion), MTU (engines) and Imtech (electrical systems) to compare green systems for future superyachts. We also work with students from Delft Technical University to develop hydrofoils powered by solar energy. MARIN (Maritime Research Institute Nederland) is another of Feadship’s partners. Together with the European Space Agency we have devised the ‘concurrent design’ methodology to develop new yachts more efficiently. We value our long-term collaborations with institutes such as MARIN, TNO and TU Delft.
For and by our people
We stimulate the Feadship pride and passion of our people in order to get the best out of everyone. Flexible work schemes enable workers to balance work and family life. Employee working conditions are designed to reduce stress, optimise motivation and allow genuine satisfaction in carrying out their tasks.
Constant innovation and renewal are encouraged and the never-ending search for uniqueness on each Feadship generates a great deal of enthusiasm among staff.
In addition to balance, passion and pride, we work explicitly on health and safety of our employees. We comply with all legal requirements, then exceed them by sharing best practices and studying new ways to make progress. Every division of the Feadship group has its own health & safety consultant on the work floor to support staff. An emergency response team is on call with instructions and supervision on safety measures. The ‘fitship’ programme stimulates vitality among our employees.
Supporting local communities
For Feadship, being involved in the local community means helping people in the regions in which the group is active on a daily basis. Building on our identity as a company founded on superior craftsmanship, Feadship supports people from all social backgrounds via a highly diverse range of initiatives. We work with non-profit and research organisations at a local, national and international level.
Feadship’s efforts for society are also made tangible via knowledge exchange, material support and financial donations to foundations with international goals, such as Doctors Without Borders, and charities that operate in the Netherlands, such as Longfonds (pulmonary diseases) and KWF Kankerbestrijding (cancer).
All operating companies take the initiative to sponsor and help realise projects at the local and regional level. Examples include contributions to the local foodbanks as well as support for local music festivals, sports events, museums and churches. And this goes beyond financial contributions alone. Our employees are often closely involved in and intrinsically motivated to realise social initiatives too. Community support is also part of our operational management. This includes purchasing items for our Christmas packages from local businesses so as to support the local and regional economy and society.
Pioneers in sustainability
Sustainability is a focal point within Feadship, integrated within the yards, the design process, the final product and our own behaviour. We feel responsible for keeping the oceans clean, so the experience of sailing on a superyacht goes hand in hand with preserving nature and water quality. We cannot build Feadships unless our oceans are kept clean and healthy, so it is vital that we give back to the environment and take our social responsibility seriously.
Feadship inspires the maritime sector at large to place sustainability high on the agenda. To us, sustainability is a marathon, not a sprint, a race in which we aim for both our superyachts and the production chain that creates them to be as energy-neutral as possible. Exact timings depend, of course, on the willingness of clients to partner with us in this area and the development of technologies that specifically facilitate energy-neutral operations in the yachting industry. But crossing the energy-neutral finishing line is always our ultimate goal.
Sustainability at Feadship is to extend far beyond our own organisation. Making the sector greener by developing the Yacht Environmental Transparency Index (YETI) is a major contribution. This sustainability label looks at the lifecycle of a superyacht, from design and production to owner use, and is an instrument to measure our ecological impact objectively. We also contribute by supporting initiatives aimed at clean oceans – crucial work as indestructible plastic is being dumped into the seas every minute of the day. Acting together now will have a huge impact in the coming decade.
Feadship is one of the founders of Water Revolution Foundation, a frontrunner in encouraging all parties involved in the construction and use of large yachts to take responsibility for their impact on the environment. Meanwhile, teamwork with partners resulted in the establishment of the ‘SYBAss Sustainability Committee’ in 2016. This collective aims to develop a global superyacht agenda for sustainability that shares best practices from the industry and stays ahead of legislation by combining innovative strength and coordinating collective efforts.
As an organisation, we hope to increase sustainability by changing our own behaviour. This means using as little plastic as possible and furnishing our offices with energy-saving computers, monitors and printers. Offices are also equipped with sensors, timers and LED lighting which reduce energy consumption by up to 35%. In addition, we are working on making our yards greener in order to make the production process fully sustainable. We apply energy-efficient solutions in our buildings, including solar power and LEDs, and aim to have fully energy-neutral production by 2030.
Focused on being a leader in sustainable innovations, Feadship is the only yachtbuilder worldwide with a dedicated R&D department for coordinating innovation. This is where our various sustainable inventions come together, from propulsion systems and sustainable fuels to smart energy-saving systems.
We share these innovative applications with our partners in the sector and continue their development together with our clients in the custom-made processes involved in each new Feadship. Methods used in this respect include our ‘Future Lab’ platform which enables experts to come together and share their insights into sustainability.
Sustainability can only be a goal when one understands the impact an organisation is having on society. Knowledge and measurements are important factors in assessing our performance, allowing us to continue to work on reducing emissions during the production process and the lifecycle of each superyacht. In our production processes we apply the latest standards in relation to the environment, health & safety, sound and emissions, and we always look one step further by innovating in eco-conscious applications and maintaining our lead in the field of sustainability.
Feadships are becoming increasingly environmentally friendly and we continue to develop further ways to reduce emissions. Superyachts are still generally powered by diesel, and we place extra filters between the engine and exhaust to minimise pollution. We will also continue to pioneer solutions such as heat recycling, energy generation and the application of hybrid systems in all products. Feadship was the first superyacht builder to work with lightweight aluminium hulls and innovative applications such as kite power, hydrogen fuel cells and efficient AC systems. The new Feadships in this decade will explore alternative energy sources.
We believe that the willingness to invest in a yacht goes hand-in-hand with the emotional response to the aesthetics and the interaction between users and their environment. A sustainable yacht should therefore fulfil owner demands, both functionally and emotionally, and be linked to the environmental factors. This is why Feadship is involved in a Design Drive Innovation discourse via our Future Concepts. Custom-made processes developed with clients for their Feadship stimulate them to make the most sustainable choices.
In addition to business and development, our procurement (from office to yard) is also realised in a sustainable way. We apply strict environmental regulations which exceed statutory requirements and always search for the best and most sustainable solutions.
We avoid materials with toxic components such as glass with arsenic, and check the origins of materials based on certificates, including teak. We also apply the principles of the circular economy. This means that materials such as copper or plastic are reused in applications with at least the same value – a process also known as upcycling. Together with our suppliers, we continue to work on increasing the sustainability of our materials and reusing raw materials in order to reduce our ecological footprint.