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Video Release: Vestas 11th Hour Racing Leading Sustainability On and Off the Water

Vestas 11th Hour Racing

When Vestas 11th Hour Racing set off to race around the world, they also set off on a mission to be the most sustainable team to ever compete in the Volvo Ocean Race, backed by the support of their two co-title partners Vestas and 11th Hour Racing. ‘Leading Sustainability,’ the team’s summary video of their efforts to accomplish this goal, reveals what it takes to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of a professional sports team, how this shared mission brought the team together, and how they addressed sustainability in the face of adversity.

Some key sustainability accomplishments of Vestas 11th Hour Racing in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race:

  • The team calculated and offset their carbon footprint of 1218 tonnes of CO2 emitted. The offset will be carried out through Seagrass Grow, a program of the Ocean Foundation. It is estimated that seagrass is up to 35x more effective than Amazonian rainforests in their carbon uptake and storage abilities. Vestas 11th Hour Racing is the first Volvo Ocean Race team to track and offset their carbon footprint.
  • Through their legacy project with 11th Hour Racing, the team awarded $120,000 in grant funding to local environmental organizations ($10,000 at each stopover) to support and raise awareness to the incredible efforts happening worldwide to restore ocean health. (See Route Map below with names of organizations.)
  • By adopting Meatless Mondays, the team reduced their carbon footprint by 2.72 tonnes and prevented the use of 671,000 liters of water. These actions not only helped the team reduce their water usage and carbon footprint, but it helped them raise awareness of this global movement. In fact, if you eat just one less burger per week, over the course of a year, it’s the same as driving 320 miles less in your car.
  • 92% of the team’s accommodations were within walking, biking, or public transport distance from the race villages. This careful planning enabled the team to reduce their reliance on cars and taxis as well as their overall carbon footprint.
  • 99,300 people visited the public Exploration Zone in the team base, learning about renewable energy, ocean science, the circular economy, and microplastic pollution. Additionally, over 550,000 people viewed the team’s sustainability-focused videos on social media
  • The team was able to achieve a 74% diversion rate (62% recycling 13% composting) meaning that only 26% of their waste went to the landfill. By comparison, according to the World Economic Forum, Germany has the highest recycling rate in the world at 56%.
  • The team removed 212 kilos of trash from beaches. Combined with the 2.1 tons of abandoned fishing gear that will be removed from the ocean by 11th Hour Racing’s grantee Healthy Seas, the team will compensate for the waste they sent to landfill, and for the rig and sails lost overboard during their dismasting in the Southern Ocean.

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Opinion: MLBs most energy, environment, and climate conscious players

EnergiNews
By Matt Chester
This article was published by the Chester Energy and Policy blog on July 9, 2018.

Matt Chester assembles an All-Star Team with MLB players who have proven themselves to be the most conscious of issues surrounding energy, the environment, and climate change.

Sports can be the ultimate awareness raiser for climate issues

Baseball’s Midsummer Classic is just around the corner, where fans, players, and coaches all vote on which players will play in the All-Star Game based on their performance during the first half of the season.

This year’s game is hosted in Washington, D.C, both home of the first Major League Baseball (MLB) stadium ever to be certified as LEED Silver and also epicentre of U.S. politicians debating the green issues of the day.

As such, I thought it appropriate to assemble an All-Star Team with MLB players who have proven themselves to be the most conscious of issues surrounding energy, the environment, and climate change– the Green All-Star Game, if you will.

Why do this?
Lew Blaustein of the GreenSportsBlog does a great job explaining that bringing awareness to green issues is the most critical action athletes, teams, and leagues can do with their platform.

Athletes especially can educate the public and make environmental issues relevant to new audiences. The world of sports already takes pride in charitable work, including such high-profile partnerships as the NFL integrating pink into its colour schemes for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Among MLB players, the most commonly supported charities include children’s hospitals, fighting poverty, cancer research, and more.

Obviously, these charities are more than deserving causes, but surely there is also room for athletes focusing on climate change and the clean energy transition.

Baseball players are especially great for these endeavours because they are exceedingly marketable given their faces are not obscured by helmets like football or hockey players, they have long-lasting careers, and baseball forever has a place in the social sphere as America’s Game.

Not only that, but baseball players have many reasons to advocate for the environment and fight against climate change.

For one, the effects of climate change are most immediate and dangerous to islands and nations in the Caribbean, and MLB rosters feature a significant number of players from vulnerable communities— notably the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and more.

And if not for altruistic reason, baseball players might even seek to support green causes so climate change doesn’t alter the number of home runs or the hit-by-pitch count in baseball (note– I know there’s no real evidence of these effects, this is said tongue-in-cheek– put away the pitchforks).

Who makes the cut?
With all that said, the search begins for MLB players who have publicly championed green causes– whether that means renewable energy technologies, environmental causes, or fighting climate change.

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Pocono Organics Farm Breaks Ground

Rodale Institute

Third Generation Takes Farm Back to its Roots with Vision of Sustainability

2018.07.27-PoconoOrganicGroundbreaking

Sometimes the best way to create a brighter future is to go back to your roots. That’s the vision for Pocono Organics as its farmland, once a thriving spinach farm in the 1940s, is now poised to be one of the first and largest public-facing regenerative organic fruit and vegetable operations in North America.

The 50-acre organic farm is the vision of Ashley Walsh, a third-generation business leader in the Mattioli family who learned first-hand from her grandfather and Pocono Raceway founder, Dr. Joe Mattioli, that a big vision could create progress and progress could create change.

“What started out as a lifestyle and health choice for my family and I became a larger mission when I thought about how we could utilize our land to grow organic food to help others, create jobs in our community, and ultimately become an example of what a fully sustainable regenerative organic farm could be,” said Walsh, president of Pocono Organics.

Pocono Organics is designed to be self-sustainable in order to reduce its environmental footprint. Constructed to LEED standards, the farm will draw its power from the 3MW 25-acre solar farm that also powers Pocono Raceway. Organic crops, such as fruits, grains, herbs, vegetables and flowers will grow in both outdoor fields and in nearly 40,000-square-feet of greenhouses. Water for these crops will be reclaimed rainwater that will be collected and filtered through a living, vegetative roof atop the “State-of-the-Art Barn,” a nearly 30,000-square-foot processing and storage building attached to the greenhouses. Pocono Organics will also install its own septic and well water systems.

“We are committed to Regenerative Organic Agriculture and are launching innovative programs to create a closed-loop growing system,” Walsh continued. “For example, our Farm-to-Track program will supply our organic crops to Pocono Raceway for events and in turn, the track will supply us with compostable waste for our regenerative soil program needs. We couldn’t do this without partners like Rodale Institute. They bring us decades of experience and leadership that will accelerate our ability to serve our communities and help us become an incubator for organic research as well as a destination for agritourism.”

Read the full story.

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