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Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

SailGP publishes first annual Purpose and Impact Report

by James Rigby 28 Sep 07:12 PDT
New Zealand SailGP Team co-helmed by Peter Burling and Blair Tuke at the presentation of the Impact League Trophy with Sylvia Earle (Marine Biologist, on right of frame) on Race Day 2 of San Francisco SailGP, Season 2 © Bob Martin/SailGP

Report's key findings:

  • Ground-breaking Impact League created to reward athletes for positive environmental and social action, with New Zealand winning sport's first podium for the planet and collecting prize money for its Race For the Future charity partner, Live Ocean Foundation
  • 56 per cent reduction in temporary power related emissions and a 29 per cent reduction across Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions per average event
  • Delivered the sport's first 100 per cent clean energy event at the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix in Aarhus
  • Women's Pathway introduced to create a more inclusive sporting championship, with female athletes racing onboard all teams since the Spain Sail Grand Prix in October 2021
  • 8,130 young people reached through the Inspire Program, SailGP's community, education and outreach initiative

SailGP, the world's first climate positive sport and entertainment property, has released its inaugural Purpose & Impact Report to showcase the environmental and social successes and challenges it has faced in its second season.

The full report - which can be downloaded here - underpins SailGP's ongoing commitment to embed sustainability and social diversity into the fabric of sport. It has been developed to transparently report on progress and inspire other sporting properties and businesses to take action.

A standout moment for SailGP has been the introduction of its ground-breaking Impact League - a second leaderboard which runs alongside the Season Championship and rewards teams for the positive actions they take to reduce their overall carbon footprint and accelerate inclusivity in the sport.

Sport's first podium for the planet, New Zealand was the inaugural Impact League champion in Season 2, earning prize money for its Race For The Future charity partner Live Ocean Foundation to fund research into the importance of kelp forests and their regeneration. Prize money was also allocated to the purpose partners of second place Great Britain (STEM Crew), and third place Australia (Parley for the Oceans).

Other key achievements in Season 2 include achieving the sport's first 100 per cent clean energy event at the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix in Aarhus, as well as reducing total emissions from temporary power provisions by 56 per cent through SailGP's partnership with Aggreko, the world-leading provider of mobile modular power.

By leveraging fossil fuel alternatives in both land and sea transport through its partnership with global logistics company Kuehne+Nagel, SailGP reduced emissions on the European leg of the Championship by 90 per cent. The partnership also enabled SailGP to avoid approximately 340 tonnes of CO"e on the shipping from Cádiz to Sydney and onto San Francisco.

SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts said: "SailGP is designed to be so much more than a sailing league - I believe sport has the unique power to drive positive change which is why we strive to embed sustainability into the heart of our league.

"After just our second season I'm very proud of what we have achieved so far - making significant strides for social and environmental sustainability with the likes of the world-first Impact League. We still have a long way to go, but through our reporting structure and processes we aim to keep ourselves accountable and share key learnings to the wider industry about where we need to improve as this, along with collaboration, is the only way progress is possible."

Also introduced at the start of Season 2 was SailGP's Women's Pathway which aims to fast-track women's training and development to create a sporting championship that has gender equity at its heart.

The Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cádiz in October 2021 was a milestone event, being the first time female athletes raced onboard all F50s. Since then female athletes have raced on all SailGP teams in 100 per cent of races.

SailGP global director of purpose and impact Fiona Morgan said: "We have a very clear purpose - we race for a better sport and a better planet, and this underpins everything we do. We have set an ambition to be the world's most sustainable and purpose-driven global sports league and this report is the latest example of our commitment to this and how everyone at SailGP is always pushing themselves to be better in everything we do, and analyzing how we can improve year-on-year.

"It's great to have delivered our first 100 per cent clean energy event and the reaction to initiatives like the Impact League and Women's Pathway have been overwhelmingly positive and have driven real business growth. Collaboration is key to delivering our goals and I want to thank all our partners, suppliers and host cities for their support. However, we are only at the start of our purpose and impact journey. We believe in the power of using our sport for good and the power of nature to change the world. I am truly excited about the future and hope we can inspire others too."

Sports for Climate Action lead at UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu said: "SailGP has set clear, ambitious goals and found inventive and effective ways to ingrain sustainability into the organization and competition, engaging with athletes, operations, decision makers and fans."

The Purpose & Impact Report was supported and verified by SailGP's long-term strategic sustainability partner, Dr. Susie Tomson, the director of sustainability at thinkBeyond.

Download the full report

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