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SailGP strengthens commitment to sustainability

by SailGP 19 Jun 2019 03:39 PDT
All six helmsmen sign the Sport for Climate Action Framework of the UN Climate Change. © SailGP

Since its inception in October 2018, SailGP has developed and been implementing a comprehensive sustainability strategy aimed at accelerating sailing toward a future that bodes well for both the sport and the environment.

SailGP has embedded sustainability principles throughout the new global sports organization - from the events, to the six national teams to the cutting-edge technology. SailGP is working toward eliminating single-use plastics throughout the organization and across all events, tackling food waste through a charter and partnerships in host cities, and reducing energy by testing new technologies and using biofuels. SailGP is also evaluating the circularity of the materials it uses across all operations.

The goal is to deliver exemplary leadership and inspire a new generation of sailors into the sport, build life-long skills showcasing the career opportunities within the industry, and work to deliver innovative solutions to technical environmental challenges.

Today, the new global league took another step by committing to the Sport for Climate Action Framework of the UN Climate Change, which calls on sporting organizations to acknowledge the contribution of the sports sector to climate change and take responsibility to strive toward climate neutrality for a healthier planet.

By signing the framework, SailGP is taking responsibility for its actions, as well as inspiring its fans, partners, host venues and suppliers to make the important transition to a low-carbon future.

SailGP is the first league to not only sign it as a central organization but to also get all of its teams to commit to the framework.

Climate action and carbon management is at the heart of SailGP's sustainability strategy; measuring, monitoring and continually challenging its operations to reduce impact. SailGP is committed to accelerating toward a sustainable future and has set a target of achieving its zero-carbon roadmap by 2025. Since SailGP's first event in January, the carbon emissions have already been reduced from temporary power at the events.

"Signing this framework highlights our commitment to achieving sustainability targets, which are an extremely vital part of any business today," said SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts. "This is an incredibly important and truly global issue, and we will challenge ourselves to achieve targets that set a new standard in our industry."

"Sports organizations and athletes are in a unique position in the race against climate change because sport touches on every cross-section of society," said Niclas Svenningsen, global climate action manager at UN Climate Change. "We are delighted that SailGP has become the latest organization to sign the framework, joining organizations such as the IOC, Tokyo 2020, Paris 2024, FIFA, UEFA, Yankees and the NBA."

As part of the strategy, SailGP INSPIRE - the community, education and outreach initiative of SailGP that will aim to use sailing as a force for good - will be announced and launched at the Cowes SailGP event in August. SailGP INSPIRE will be the first-of-its-kind global youth sailing and career program with three pathways, ranging from children to young adults.

Ahead of the official roll-out at the penultimate event of SailGP's first season, local community groups have been invited to New York's Brookfield Place - the location of the SailGP Race Village - and to the technical base in New Jersey - where the high performance F50s are based - to preview the program.

Groups from the New York Harbor School, Hudson River Community Sailing, US Sailing's Olympic Development Program and Rocking the Boat will see first-hand how sailing can be used as an inspirational tool for teaching STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) education.

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