At the Helm: Not just a buzz word

By Adam Quandt

It seems as if every few years – or sometimes even every few months – there’s a new buzz word captivating our industry, our country, the world. And it’s easy to latch onto something when you hear about it again and again.

But ask yourself how often are we just holding onto a buzz word until the next one takes over? And how much are you really doing to implement change to match the word or idea that we’re all currently hooked on?

Sustainability is one of those words that we’ve heard quite often over the last handful of years. It’s one that’s stuck around longer than many others. But sustainability is a BIG topic and often difficult to narrow down into bite-size pieces.

As the recreational boating industry and part of the larger outdoor recreation industry, we not only produce products that help others enjoy the great outdoors, many of us are also members of the population that gets out and enjoys our playground as well. Meaning we as an industry are in a unique position to advocate and set examples in the realms of sustainability and conservation.

That being said, sustainability and conservation cannot simply just be a buzz word in our industry.

It’s easy to try and point to one singular solution for our industry to contribute to sustainable efforts. Electric propulsion has taken a large portion of the sustainability spotlight in the recreational boating industry. And while there are incredible and exciting technological advancements happening in our industry when it comes to electric propulsion, it is a small piece of the puzzle.

Each and every segment of the recreational boating industry can play a role – or often multiple roles – in both making our world more sustainable and ensuring that nature will be there for all to enjoy for the long haul.

From implementing new technologies to changing up a small thing on the production line, and from creating a partnership with area conservation programs to organizing a beach clean-up, it may be easier than you think to help turn a buzz word into an action.

Take a step back and look at things through a new lens. Have a conversation with your team and spread new ideas around. Let’s not be an industry that just waits for the next buzz word to come around and steal our attention.

Adam Quandt is the editor-in-chief and Top 100 Program director for Boating Industry.

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