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World Sailing win Sustainability Award from Global Association of International Sport Federations

by Daniel Smith, World Sailing 10 Nov 2020 21:55 PST
World Sailing win prestigious Sustainability Award from Global Association of International Sport Federations © World Sailing

World Sailing is delighted to have won the inaugural GAISF Sustainability Award, cementing its place as the leader in international sport for its work on sustainability.

Announced today [10 November] at the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) General Assembly, World Sailing were joined on the podium by World Rugby and the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).

The first overall winner of the award, World Sailing was recognised for its Sustainability Agenda 2030. This ambitious commitment to a sustainable future outlines how sailing will contribute to the United Nation's Sustainability Development Goals, creating a sustainable legacy that spans from grassroots sailing clubs to elite competition.

Already, World Sailing has eliminated hundreds of thousands of single use plastic bottles throughout its event portfolio, and launched an innovative project in conjunction with the Paris 2024 Organising Committee to encourage a transition from combustion engines in support boats.

World Sailing has also launched a Sustainability Education Programme, which covers everything from climate change to biodiversity, and aims to equip future generations of sailors with the knowledge to make a positive impact on the world around them.

All of this demonstrates the importance of a long-term progressive sustainability strategy, which has the backing of the entire organisation, to guide the implementation of meaningful sustainability practices.

Addressing delegates during the session, HSH Prince Albert II, Chair of the International Olympic Committee's Sustainability Commission, commented, "As the Chair of the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission I'm delighted at the impressive progress you have made. I'm also pleased to see the close cooperation between IOC and GAISF that has made this award possible. The IOC is proud to be included in the jury. The world so urgently needs sustainability leaders like yourselves. I can only support your efforts and actions in this field, that's central for the protection of our planet and for our legacy towards future generations. Please continue the impressive work you have done so far and continue to inspire others to join you."

World Sailing President, Quanhai Li, commented, "I remember well when World Sailing's Council unanimously supported Agenda 2030 in 2018. The progress has been excellent, and now as World Sailing President I reaffirm World Sailing's commitment to delivering a more sustainable future through sport. I'd like to congratulate the other International Federations for their wonderful sustainability projects. Working together we [sport] can make a real impact for the next generation of athletes."

Dan Reading, Head of Sustainability at World Sailing, said, "I am absolutely thrilled for World Sailing to win this award, considering both the number and level of sustainability projects from across the world of sport. This will give us extra motivation to reach our Sustainability Agenda 2030 targets and act as assurance to our stakeholders that this is an area to which we are fully committed. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank our strategic partners and sponsors for their support; this is a wonderful achievement that many have contributed to."

David Graham, World Sailing Chief Executive Officer added, "We are delighted that our long-term commitment to sustainable practices in sailing has been recognised by GAISF. When we released our Sustainability Agenda 2030, we made some bold statements on our commitment to truly contribute to global sustainability through sport. We have a comprehensive strategy, with many projects and targets; these steer our efforts and allow us to implement tangible sustainable practices, evaluating and measuring the effectiveness as we go and improving where necessary. I thank the fantastic support we have had from our stakeholders and partners, which really assisted us in turning these plans into reality."

With 125 members, GAISF acts as an umbrella body for International Sport. GAISF launched the award in 2019 to encourage International Federations to use their global platforms to combat climate change and educate their communities about the importance of sustainability.

"It is vital that sport continues to lead by example and take responsibility for the future of our planet, the natural arena for all sports," GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli stated. "As the united voice of sports, GAISF knew it was our duty to shine a spotlight on the incredible efforts of our Members in actively contributing to a more sustainable future."

World Sailing will continue its delivery of Sustainability Agenda 2030. Out of the 56 targets, 13 have been delivered whilst work has started on a further 25.

More information on World Sailing's Sustainability initiatives is here.

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