#humansofyachting – Vienna Eleuteri

Vienna Eleuteri

#humansofyachting – Vienna Eleuteri

Vienna Eleuteri

#humansofyachting

#humansofyachting – Vienna Eleuteri

Vienna Eleuteri is a sustainability scientist with particularly strong links to the superyachting world. Most recently, she initiated the Water Revolution Foundation, an organisation which aims to neutralise the footprint of the industry.

By Dominique Afacan | 23 July 2020

“I grew up between Rome and the Netherlands because of my family roots, both proudly Italian and Dutch. It was very interesting for me to experience two separate mentalities and landscapes – the two places are very different. I always loved the water and I think that came from my Dutch roots; even in the middle of the countryside, there are local canals for sailing.

I also grew up with a passion for the water thanks to the stories my father used to tell me. When he was young, before becoming an architect, he worked on board big ships and circumnavigated the globe five times. I grew up hearing tales of all the adventures he’d been on and learning about the places he’d been. It seemed very intriguing and I became very curious about the oceans myself.

#humansofyachting – Vienna Eleuteri
#humansofyachting – Vienna Eleuteri

Back in the Netherlands, he used to know everyone in the maritime world. I remember visiting the QE2 with him in Rotterdam when I was very young. Now, the QE2 is permanently stationed in Dubai and, in fact, I visited it there a few years ago when I was asked to advise on how to add value to the old cruise ship. It’s a 13 deck hotel now so it was a slightly surreal experience for me but, at the same time, a perfect example of reuse!

I went on to study anthropology in Rome. It was very important for me to understand human behaviour as it’s key to the way we live. I also wanted to link it with science and went on to specialise in sustainability science. That’s why I was also interested in the relationship between humans and nature – we seem to have lost the connections that are still vivid in other cultures like Africa and India. Anthropology is still at the heart of everything I do – why do we things the way we do and what could be different?

#humansofyachting – Vienna Eleuteri

QE2 in Dubai

#humansofyachting – Vienna Eleuteri

QE2 in Dubai

My love of the oceans, together with the scientific understanding that water is a vital resource, brought me to the yachting sector. With sustainability, it’s very important to actually apply what you learn. Sustainability is not something we just need to know, it’s something we need to embrace as a community. For that, we need to develop specific models.

I began developing a specific model for the yachting sector back in 2010 and started at VSY as a sustainability manager a couple of years later. My perspective was always much broader than one shipyard alone. I always wanted to share the knowledge I collected with others in the industry to show what could be done differently. I went on to set up the very first international sustainability committee in our industry to do just that.

#humansofyachting – Vienna Eleuteri

During the launch of Water Revolution Foundation

#humansofyachting – Vienna Eleuteri

During the launch of Water Revolution Foundation

Eventually, I initiated the Water Revolution Foundation, a non-profit organisation within the superyacht industry that is taking the lead to neutralise its ecological footprint and preserve the world’s precious oceans. I recognised a huge need in our sector to do more. Our industry is a hub for innovation and so there are plenty of opportunities to come up with green solutions. In many cases, the technical solutions are already there, we just need to accelerate them. The foundation acts as a catalyst for change.

If I owned a yacht myself, I would like to travel the world like my father. But I wouldn’t necessarily have to sail that far. Even the Mediterranean feels like a real adventure to me. It’s like a metaphor for the human relationship with the ocean. We think we know more or less everything about it, but there is so much about it that is a mystery.”

Sign up for updates




Do you work in the superyacht industry? YesNo
I would like to receive updates from Superyacht Life