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Sailing Team Brings Enviro Message to Global Race

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Captain/environmentalist Charlie Enright, at the helm. Photo: Courtesy of James Blake/Volvo Ocean Race

Captain/environmentalist Charlie Enright, at the helm. Photo: Courtesy of James Blake/Volvo Ocean Race

When Mark Towill and Charlie Enright met at Brown University, they were coming from two very different places but had one important thing in common.

“We’ve always shared a passion for the ocean and the wider environment. It’s been part of who we are since we were young, growing up in Hawaii and Rhode Island. The backdrops maybe have been different, but declining marine health and the effects of climate change were fast becoming evident,” says Enright.

Next month, Towill and Enright will lead the Vestas 11th Hour Racing Team as they embark on a sailing race around the world. But while there’s a laser focus on winning, there’s also a serious commitment to spreading the message of sustainability.

Sailing has only solidified the pair’s feelings about the ocean and what that means to their friends and families.

“Together, we’ve decided to take action, [to] become ambassadors for a sustainable future, working with organizations that are aligned with our vision in Vestas and 11th Hour Racing,” Enright says. “As sailors and ocean ambassadors, we’re aware of the enjoyment [the world’s oceans] can bring, as well as the challenges and the peril.

“We’ve taken in breathtaking scenery, yet have witnessed many things that should never have found their way there, like refrigerators, tires, containers and pallets. The oceans deserve our respect and it’s our responsibility to highlight the issues, to be good role models and inspire change.

“We have only explored about five percent of the world’s oceans, yet they’re the lifeblood of Earth, covering more than 70 percent of the planet’s surface, driving weather, regulating temperature and ultimately supporting all living organisms.”

The grueling endurance challenge is the Volvo Ocean Race, a multi-leg sailing competition that circles the world. It runs every three years and goes back to 1973. The race starts in the Spanish port of Alicante on Oct. 22 and sails to 11 ports, finishing in the Hague (Netherlands) in June 2018.

Read the full story here.

World Sailing Commence Journey to Sustainability Agenda 2030

World Sailing’s Sustainability Commission

World Sailing’s Sustainability Commission have taken the first steps to creating a ‘Sustainability Agenda 2030’ following their first meeting in London, Great Britain from 29-30 August 2017.

2017.09.07-NewsFeed-World Sailing-IMAGE

Sustainability Commission group at the World Sailing Head Office in London PHOTO CREDIT: World Sailing

The leading group of experts, chaired by Mike Golding OBE, were appointed to the commission in June 2017 – click here to read more on the members. The meeting at World Sailing’s Executive Office brought the group together for the first time to discuss key issues relating to sustainability within sailing.

Discussions and presentations were received on the circular economy, ocean plastics, boat and equipment construction, event logistics, embodied carbon, vessel strikes of marine fauna, accessibility, gender equality, and supply chains.

The Commission, made up of members with scientific, sporting and sailing backgrounds, discussed where World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport, can make change and influence the industry. Rules changes and phased implementation were highlighted as two feasible areas of influence.

The result of the discussion was to create a ‘Sustainability Agenda 2030’ whereby a vision for key objectives for the sport to be achieved by 2030 were discussed prioritised and documented.

These vary between event standards, water quality standards, technical standards, research, training, equality targets, reporting and partnerships.

World Sailing will present its ‘Sustainability Agenda 2030’ to the World Sailing Council for adoption at the World Sailing Annual Conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in November 2017.

Furthermore, working with key stakeholders and members, World Sailing plans to create a central resource base which will showcase sustainability related tools, documents and information that is accessible to a global audience.

Read the full story here.

Raising the Bar in Sustainable Sport: Land Rover BAR’s 3rd Annual Sustainability Report

Low Carbon Solar Installation

Low Carbon Solar Installation

Land Rover BAR set a goal to be a global leader in professional sports teams, showcasing that it is possible to win on the field of play with sustainability at the core of operations. The publication of the team’s third Annual Sustainability Report shows that the team are right on track, in a year where the team’s work has been recognised by Beyond Sport, with the Sport for Environment Award; and by the British Marine Trade Association with the Boating Business Environment Award; and finally by Boat International – Ocean Awards who awarded us the Seafarer’s Award.

In 2014 Land Rover BAR published their first Annual Sustainability Report, a statement of the team’s intent to put sustainability at the heart of the team’s operations, supported by Exclusive Sustainability Partner 11th Hour Racing.

Last year, the second annual sustainability report underlined the team’s commitment to its goals and marked an important transition, as the team moved from temporary offices and docks to a purpose-built facility housing all of the team’s activities on Portsmouth waterfront in the UK.

The publication of their third report; the 2016 Land Rover BAR Annual Sustainability Report marks the first full year that the team have been operating from their base and is another big milestone on the team’s sustainability journey.

Skipper and Team Principal, Sir Ben Ainslie commented: “Sustainability has been embedded in our mission at Land Rover BAR since day one. This report will show how we have maintained our quest to win the America’s Cup, while building a sustainable long-term business with the utmost respect for all the principles of sustainable operation.

“The past year saw some real landmarks as the team base was awarded BREEAM Excellent Standard – we believe we are the only British professional sports team to operate from such a building. Our work was also recognised by three independent awards. We achieved all this while winning on the water, with victory in the America’s Cup World Series 2015-16.

“We believe operating sustainably means operating efficiently and highly effectively. It is the future, and we believe we are proving it. We will continue to work hard to take this message out to the world.”

Read more here.

Download the report here.

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