World Sailing, the global governing body for the sport of sailing, is marking United Nations World Oceans Day on 8 June by issuing a rallying call to the global sailing community to increase efforts to protect the natural environment and revitalise the oceans.
Sailing and sailors enjoy a special affinity with the sea and this relationship is the driving force behind World Sailing’s Sustainability Agenda 2030, a bold ambition for sailing’s contribution to global sustainability.
David Graham, World Sailing CEO, said: “As a leader in sustainability, sailing has shown the value of working together as a sport to make a change.
“Together with our Special Events and commercial partners, World Sailing is proud to recognise the efforts of the entire sport to restore the oceans, deliver long-term sustainability programmes and educational resources while making significant progress towards more sustainable materials.
“However, we need to do more; and this year on World Oceans Day, we call on sailors, sailing clubs, Member National Authorities, event organisers and our commercial partners to do all they can to make a positive contribution to the sport and our planet, for now and for the future.”
Alexandra Rickham, World Sailing’s newly appointed Head of Sustainability, said: “We have a long way to go but sailing can be proud of the leading role it is playing in demonstrating that sport can take active responsibility in protecting the environments in which we work and play.
“Sustainability is the key challenge facing sport in the coming decade and the solutions are in our hands – by collaborating together positive change is achievable.”
Find out more about World Sailing’s sustainability resources, from how to organise a World Record-breaking beach clean to taking advantage of sustainable sailing club toolkits and youth-centric sustainable educational materials in multiple languages here.
And see how citizens around the world, countries, the private sector and intergovernmental organisations are working to #RevitalizeTheOcean here. For more information about World Oceans Day and to find out how you can take part, please visit https://worldoceanday.org.
Together with our event organisers and partners, World Sailing is making sustainability a priority in every aspect of the sport.
World Sailing was one of the founders of the UN’s Sports for Climate Action Framework and a signee of ‘Race To Zero’, pledging to be net zero by 2050.
Special event charter
In 2019, World Sailing introduced its Special Event Sustainability Charter and our world-class sailing competition partners all committed to a comprehensive sustainability strategy and to working with World Sailing to achieve our joint objectives and targets.
World Sailing with partners on sustainability
- In 2018, World Sailing partnered with 11th Hour Racing to recognise success in maritime sustainability through the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award. In each of the four years so far, the event has attracted more than 100 entries and 10,000 votes, showing the determination and creativity of the global sailing community to overcome a challenge, either environmental or social, and sustainably move the sport forward. The winner receives a $10,000 cash prize to invest in their award-winning sustainability project.
- 11th Hour Racing is also a founding partner of the ‘Racing with Purpose’ programme created by The Ocean Race which contributes to scientific understanding of ocean health by using racing boats to collect data on sea surface temperature and ocean acidification.
- In 2020, SailGP launched ‘Race for the Future’, the first climate-positive sports and entertainment property, which aims to reduce the league’s carbon footprint, champion inclusivity and advocate for clean energy. SailGP tracks and verifies carbon emissions in partnership with One Carbon World and offsets emissions by contributing to pioneering Blue Carbon initiatives delivered in partnership with the Worldview International Foundation.
- SailGP launched the Impact League for Season 2, a second leader board running alongside the Season Championship to monitor the performance of teams based on the positive actions made by teams to reduce their carbon footprint and accelerate inclusivity in sailing. This is supported by the SailGP Clean Energy Roadmap detailing its efforts to accelerate the transition to clean energy and be the most sustainable and purpose-driven sports and entertainment property.
- In 2022, Foiling Week was granted Special Event status and brought world foiling community’s mantra of ‘connect, cooperate, change’ to the fore. From the start, the event has been one of firsts. The first women’s and kids foiling trials; the first sustainability initiatives reducing entry fees for car-pooling participants and the elimination of single use plastics at the event site.
- The SuMoth Challenge, part of every Foiling Week since its introduction in 2019, was shortlisted for this year’s World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award. A global challenge, it brought students from around the world together to design, manufacture and sail a sustainable Moth.
- GAC Pindar, in partnership with World Sailing and its Member National Authorities, developed a tool kit aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the shipping of boats and equipment as part of its longstanding relationship with World Sailing.
- Hempel, World Sailing’s official coatings partner and sponsor of the Hempel Sailing World Championships, has joined more than 1,000 international companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- SAP, World Sailing’s long-time analytics partner, has launched its Chasing Zero Emissions programme to assist businesses in minimising greenhouse gas footprint with embedded analytics. SAP has also been a firm supporter of the World Sailing Trust and its work on Gender Equity (Women in Sailing Strategic Review) as well as providing Qualtrics to conduct the forthcoming World Sailing census which will shape further how we service the sport of sailing.
- Musto has been developing sustainable high-performance clothing while reducing plastic packaging, decreasing inefficiencies in the supply chain and employed an internal sustainability officer to monitor the commitment to sustainability across the group.
- Virtual Regatta has continued to support World Sailing and its sustainability vision by creating bespoke races “Race for Change” to raise awareness of the cause during the Vendee Globe and create further financial support for the World Sailing Trust.
By World Sailing