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What sailing companies are doing to mark World Ocean Day 2021

Sailors and marine industry companies and organisations supported World Ocean Day on 8 June with a vast range of environmental initiatives and announcements. Here are just a few:

 

SailGP announced it is the first organisation to achieve both the Carbon Neutral International Standard and three gold medals in the UN Climate Neutral Now Initiative, something it has achieved through its actions to measure and reduce its global footprint. SailGP’s scheme Race for the Future “champions a world powered by nature wind, sun and water”.

Fiona Morgan, SailGP director of purpose and impact, said: “We want to use our platform to show that every business, every sport and every single one of us has a responsibility and an opportunity to make small changes that can deliver change for a better planet. We all have to make changes and race for the future together.”

SailGP uses cutting-edge technology to remove “more carbon than its footprint” and is committed to being 100% “powered by nature” on-water and on-shore at events by 2025. Initiatives include adopting clean energy, switching to zero emission ePropulsion electric engines for some support boats, enhancing team partnerships, and making efficiencies in global logistics and remote broadcasting – resulting in “more than 50 tonnes of shipping container weight reduction”.

SailGP says that from its launch it has “retired 50,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, equivalent to taking almost 11,000 cars off the road for a whole year”.

A member of the Great Britain SailGP Team shore crew climbs the wing of the Great Britain SailGP Team F50 before a practice session ahead of Bermuda SailGP presented by Hamilton Princess, Event 1 Season 2 in Hamilton, Bermuda. 20 April 2021. Photo: Simon Bruty for SailGP. Handout image supplied by SailGP

The Great Britain SailGP Team, led by Sir Ben Ainslie, has launched a series of free education resources to educate young people in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) through the lens of climate change.

The first one will be run with Plymouth-based charity, the Ocean Conservation Trust, ahead of the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix, taking place in Plymouth on 17-18 July. It will focus on ocean acidification.

A lesson was held at the Sir John Hunt Community Sports College in Plymouth on World Oceans Day, with Paul Goodison, Olympic gold medallist and interim driver of the Great Britain SailGP Team, dialling in for a Q&A with the schoolchildren.

Download the resource or sign up your school now for free: https://www.stemcrew.org/sailgpgbr/

The first of The Ocean Race Summits underway in Genoa, Italy. September 20, 2019

The Ocean Race was to host a summit on 16 June “to help drive new and improved policies to tackle some of the most urgent issues facing our blue planet”.

Richard Brisius, The Ocean Race chairman, said: “Sailors in The Ocean Race have seen more of the ocean, and its decline, than most people on the planet. Our Race is all about teamwork, overcoming challenges and achieving the extraordinary. We can apply this through our Summits, to help drive change for the ocean. Sport has the power to make a real difference for the planet and we are going to do all we can to make the most of this opportunity.”

The Ocean Race Summit Europe will be hosted by science TV presenter Danni Washington with speakers including:

Pascal Lamy, President of the Paris Peace Forum and Chair of the EU Mission Starfish 2030 talking on the ambitious mission to revamp ocean governance

Dr Emily Pidgeon, Vice President, Ocean Science and Innovation talking about the importance of including the ocean in climate conversation

Teresa Ribera, Minister for Ecological Transition for Spain, on the need to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030

Valerie Cabanes, International Law Expert and co-founder of End Ecocide on Earth, who will reveal what ecocide means for people and nature.

The Ocean Race Summit Europe is endorsed by the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and it is held under the patronage of Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.

 

Meanwhile MDL has organised the first ever Green Boat Show at Queen Anne’s Battery marina

MDL announced that it now produces more than 150,000kWh as it installed new solar panels at Cobb’s Quay Marina. The marina operator has installed solar panels at its Hamble Point and Ocean Village marinas, which generated nearly 150,000kWh between April 2020 and February 2021. MDL says this is “the equivalent of planting 1,500 trees per year across the three sites”.

The company aims to do the same at its Shamrock Quay and Saxon Wharf sites, complementing the existing Tesla and universal charging facilities at several of its marinas.

MDL also recently launched MDL Fitness, a new range of “green gyms”, where the fitness equipment converts human kinetic energy into electricity.

Richard Broadribb, MDL’s Property Director, said: “We use most of the solar power to supply our tenants and onsite services, while the fitness equipment at our new green gym is reusing the electricity its generating, as opposed to drawing from the grid.”

The organiser of the Southampton International Boat Show, British Marine, pledged to make the 2021 edition the most sustainable and environmentally friendly in its 52-year history.

Exhibitors are being asked to sign up to a pledge which includes no single use plastic water bottles on stands, outlets, or hosted events; to nominate a sustainability champion on their stand to oversee waste management and recycling at the show; to offer only sustainable and recyclable promotional goods; and to only use compostable, recyclable or reusable cups, plates and cutlery.

Visitors at the show, from 10-19 September, will be able to buy “some of the newest and most advanced products made from recycled and recyclable materials, and discover the latest technological advances designed to protect the environment, with specific advice and guidance available from The Green Blue stand”. A joint initiative between British Marine and the RYA, The Green Blue highlights sustainable and environmentally friendly products and services through its Green Blue Business Directory.

“From rope manufacturer Marlow, which makes its Blue Ocean Dockline using 100% recycled waste plastic bottles, and Henri-Lloyd’s new MAV Mid Hoody made from 17 recycled 1.5L PET bottles, to Halyard’s Wave filters which prevent oil or other pollutants being inadvertently pumped overboard, and Micfil Ultra Fine filters, which ensure cleaner fuel and oil, reducing emissions, and even the natural hand and surface sanitisers from Ecoworks that help keep people safe from COVID and are healthier for the environment too, this show is packed with products and services which are sustainable and help protect the environment which we love,” says British Marine’s CEO Lesley Robinson.

It is the third year of a five-year sustainability pledge by British Marine, aiming to reduce its own waste and encourage good practices among sailors and the marine industry.

There is also an Exhibitor Sustainability Award, to be presented by The Green Blue’s ambassador Mike Golding at the show.

Founders of Cornish environmental group Clean Ocean Sailing, Steve Green and Monika Hertlová, have been recognised by the UK Prime Minister’s Points of Light programme, for their voluntary work.

Clean Ocean Sailing runs eco-sailing expeditions around Cornwall and the UK and has recently collected more than 50 tons of plastic waste from remote areas of coastline.

Monika said: “For small volunteer groups like ours it is encouraging that we are seen and the work of each volunteer is valued. We are thankful for recognising our individual efforts and hope that in giving this award the government is finally putting the climate emergency as a bigger priority on the agenda. We cannot ignore anymore that we are in a climate emergency. In order to address this enormous task properly, individual action is not enough and all governments need to overhaul the system that creates and perpetuates disastrous environmental impact,” added Monika co-founder of Clean Ocean Sailing.”

Clean Ocean Sailing wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, calling on the G7 nations to add ‘ecocide’ to criminal law. Steve said: “Using criminal law to draw moral lines. Ecocide is defined as criminalized human activity that violates the principles of environmental justice, as by substantially damaging or destroying ecosystems or by harming the health and well-being of a species.”

 

Plans are being drawn up to create ‘highly protected marine areas’ around the UK coast, where any environmentally damaging activities would be banned.

National England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee will identify sites for a pilot scheme, with input from stakeholders. A consultation will run next year.

Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England, said: “We look forward to working closely with Defra to identify pilot sites and use this great opportunity to explore how highly protected areas can mitigate the impact of human activities on the ocean, support its recovery to a more natural state, and enhance vital marine ecosystems.”

Emirates Team New Zealand has promised to develop hydrogen-powered chase boats for the 37th America’s Cup.

The team has been working with AFCryo, a New Zealand-based specialist in composite cryostats for the cryogenic and superconducting industries. The team says that once a successful prototype is launched, with the support of official challenger INEOS Team UK, the protocol for the 37th America’s Cup may contain a provision that all teams must use hydrogen powered support boats.

CEO Grant Dalton said: “It is our hope that we can make a seismic shift into hydrogen power and an emission free statement for the industry. This initiative is not without risk as we have very specific operating criteria within the team and the America’s Cup, so it is not a small undertaking.”

Sir Ben Ainslie, for INEOS Team UK, said: “With so much investment in hydrogen across the world, shifting to foiling chase boats, powered by hydrogen could well prove to be a sustainable and practical solution for the future of the marine industry, while supporting the AC75s which are reaching speeds in excess of 50 knots.”

 

B&G announced a partnership with environmental group Sail Britain. The group’s expedition yacht, Merlin, a Sigma 41, underwent a complete refit to include the latest B&G electronics, including two Zeus3S displays. Merlin’s 2021 season will see Sail Britain undertake work in Falmouth and Cornwall, looking at the effects of climate change and plastic pollution. Sail Britain runs various research projects over the year.

 

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