Sustainability-Oriented Yachting Enterprises: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Evidence from the Marche Region (Italy)
In recent years, the global economic crisis and the emergence of the paradigm of sustainability in the world of consumption also involves an industry apparently free from these dynamics, such as yachting, changing the competitive environment. Even Italian companies, leading manufacturers with creativity and technical skills, face new challenges related to the supply system, which require significant technical innovations, and to the relationship with the customer, increasingly driven by issues surrounding sustainability in consumption processes. This article describes the evolving relationship between the yachting industry and sustainability through an empirical study, based on a group of 30 companies in the Marche region, in order to understand the impact that the sustainability orientation of firms can have on strategies as well as on operational policies. Despite the limited number of firms included in our sample, this study shows the need for major steps to be taken toward a full awareness of entrepreneurs, and the need to grasp the opportunities related to the current changes in global demand for yachts. Success in the coming years will have to be built not only on the traditional sources of competitive advantage in the industry but also on the ability to produce watercraft that are on the high end of technological content and design (with customized accessories as well as superior speed and performance features) and are eco-friendly, too, thus minimizing their environmental impact in every phase of their life cycle.