The 2020 edition of the International Breakfast meeting, co-organised by boot Düsseldorf and European Boating Industry on 21 January focused on the topic of sustainable boating. The European Green Deal, which has the ambition to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent was at the centre of the discussions followed by talks from electric, hybrid, hydrogen and digital innovators.
Drawing a record crowd of over 180 participants, the International Breakfast Meeting placed sustainability at the heart of the discussions. Welcoming participants, Petros Michelidakis (Director, boot Düsseldorf) said “Over 10 percent of the EU’s population participates in water sports and they want this to take place in a clean environment. The International Breakfast Meeting is the ideal location to discuss the key trends for our sector and proactively develop the future of sustainable boating.”
The keynote speech was given by Dr Artur Runge-Metzger (Director, European Commission Directorate-General for Climate Action). He presented the European Green Deal, which strives to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 through a transformation towards environmental sustainability and tackling climate change. He highlighted the growth opportunities that this offers across all industries, including upcoming funding opportunities.
The trends in transforming the boating industry were at the core of the discussions with a variety of speakers showcasing innovation in the boating industry. These included hybrid, hydrogen and electric propulsion, as well as digital technologies presented by Laurent Perignon (Energy Observer Developments), Vladimir Zinchenko (Greenline Yachts), Maarten Bernhart (La Bella Verde) and Simon Bühl (BrandUp Factory).
In his remarks, EBI President Jean-Pierre Goudant highlighted that “For our sector, moving towards sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint is crucial. As EBI, we see this as one of our key challenges for the coming years that we will advocate for. The International Breakfast Meeting clearly shows that our industry is innovating and proceeding on the right path.”
Concluding the event, EBI Secretary-General Philip Easthill said “We are convinced that the environmental transformation of our industry will create new opportunities for growth in our sector. This must be based on three key pillars: Industry innovation, research and innovation funding, as well as policy that promotes sustainability. These are among the key topics for EBI in the coming years. We want sustainable boating to be made in Europe.”