Earlier this year, our new Yacht Manager, Chris Warde sat with Francesca Webster from Superyacht Times to talk about Chris’s appointment with Peninsula. Here are the results of that interview:
1. Can you tell me a little bit about your new role with Peninsula Yachts, and how you got started in this industry?
Peninsula is the world leading independent marine energy solutions provider. We have our own physical supply capabilities in 12 ports across the world, including the popular yachting destinations of Gibraltar, Barcelona and Malta. These operations are ably backed up by our commercial teams in Monaco and London. Beyond our physical supply capabilities, we have an extensive global network of carefully vetted supply partners enabling us to provide a high-quality service to superyacht customers wherever they might be cruising. Yet despite this, we still feel we can capture more of the market. I have been brought in to build Peninsula’s brand awareness and to further strengthen our customer book.
I have been involved in the marine industry all my professional career, starting in marketing working with leisure marine brands like Sunseeker, Fairline, RNLI and Yamaha. In 2007 I left marketing, moved to Mallorca and started working on yachts. I had a fantastic time and was very lucky to work at some amazing events, but by 2009 I was back in the UK working as a Technical Sales Manager in the Yacht department at Sunseeker International. From there I’ve never looked back and have specialised in superyachts ever since.
2. Peninsula have announced their dedication to providing more sustainable solutions to the superyacht industry, can you tell me more about this, and why this is a focus point for Peninsula?
Peninsula has a proven track record in implementing solutions addressing environmental change having led the transition to low-sulphur bunker fuel in the commercial shipping sector. Integrating social and market requirements will continue to be our goal moving forward and that includes those of the yachting community. We have seen a shift in thinking over the past couple of years. More and more people are aware of their impact on the environment. Some fantastic new initiatives have started to gather momentum looking at how we, as an industry as well as individuals, can have a genuine positive social, economic and environmental effect on our surroundings.
This is something that we committed to and we recognise that change needs to happen now. That is why we have made a conscious decision as part of our corporate strategy to be at the forefront of innovation that enables the change that is required to make targets like carbon neutrality a possibility sooner rather than later. Our rebrand and commitment to our core values of Customer Centricity, Sustainability and Technology underpin this and is recognition that change must start happening today.
3. How do Peninsula see themselves adapting to the current movement in the industry toward a lower carbon footprint, with many builders now announcing vessels with hydrogen propulsion systems?
The development of carbon neutral propulsion systems is fantastic news for the industry. It’s fitting that superyacht builders are at the forefront of these technologies as the industry has the customers with the appetite and the resources to invest in the development required to make these a reality. It is vital for the continued development of these types of programmes that they are commercially viable in the future and part of that will be ensuring a solid, reliable infrastructure to supply the next generation fuels. Take for example Luerssen’s recent announcement that they are building a yacht with a Hydrogen Fuel Cell where the hydrogen is extracted from Methanol. A real milestone for the industry and something that will hopefully continue to be developed, and as it progresses, Peninsula will be working hard to ensure the rising demand for the new fuel can be met without compromise. Personally, I am very excited about the development of alternative, green energy solutions. Peninsula has the scale and resources to be at the forefront of this innovation. The future supply of the next generation of yachts has a big part to play in the development of the new propulsion systems and we have the knowledge and experience to ensure they are properly supported from day one.
While developments in zero carbon propulsion systems is really exciting however, we must also consider the thousands of yachts already out there and the new yachts yet to be built that will have traditional drive systems. We are committed to working with all our stakeholders to look at ways that the environmental impact can be minimised throughout the supply chain. Whether that be through advancements in the fuel itself or looking at ways in which we can improve efficiencies, nothing is off the table.
4. The company has just undergone a rebrand, can you explain the motivation behind this and where you see yourselves in the future?
The Rebrand represents a lot more than just a new look and feel for the company, it represents a more appropriate picture of ‘today’s Peninsula’ and the future of our industry. The road to ‘zero carbon emissions’ represents a new challenge for bunkering and has been a major catalyst for Peninsula’s rebrand. The group’s dynamic and professional approach will secure its leadership status in ‘green marine’. The updated visual identity better represents Peninsula’s commitment to fully supporting customers with their transition into a more complex marine fuels environment. Peninsula is committed to a sustainable future and we will work hard to ensure we are at the forefront of marine energy’s efforts to minimise carbon emissions. It is vital that our brand properly reflects this vision and that we utilise all tools at our disposal to deliver the quality and flexibility for which Peninsula is synonymous.