Sustainability

The 52 SUPER SERIES is globally recognised as the world’s leading grand-prix monohull racing circuit. As the competition has steadily grown in recent years, so too has its approach and commitment to reducing the environmental impact of the event. The 2017 season represents the third year in partnership with sustainability sponsor 11th Hour Racing, and green-minded circuit organisers are working hard to build upon the great strides and notable achievements made over the past two years.

It is the collective mission of the 52 SUPER SERIES to:

  • Implement and encourage environmentally responsible actions and initiatives from management to participants.
  • Follow, adopt and promote local recycling guidelines.
  • Strive to reduce waste of all types, adopt a sustainable procurement code, choose environmentally friendly products, upcycle and repurpose where possible.
  • Progressively reduce its environmental footprint via practical and meaningful steps.

At any one regatta, the 52 SUPER SERIES brings together 400 people – a mixture of staff and sailors – to one location for a full week of high performance sailing. So, in 2015, the 52 SUPER SERIES made a commitment to introduce new initiatives that would start to change the way that staff, sailors, marinas and yacht clubs would interact with the environment whilst on-site. This conscious shift in thinking was further refined for the 2016 season, when key team members of the 52 SUPER SERIES operation aggressively targeted the core elements of the event: the water supply, waste policies, food provision, fuel usage, materials and transport.

The full list of policies and initiatives employed by the sustainability team is a long one, and one that penetrates every level of the organisation. Perhaps the biggest grand slam to date though has been the complete removal of single-use plastic bottles from the event. The purchase of a water filtration system and the provision of aluminium water bottles has, in one move, removed a total of 29,000 single-use water bottles from circulation each year.

In addition to this, the 52 SUPER SERIES has:

  • Offset the total carbon footprint of all event operations (flights, electricity, water and fuel)
  • Collected well over 100kg of discarded waste from beaches across the Mediterranean with the help of 200 young people
  • Appointed Sustainability Ambassadors from each of the participating teams
  • Removed plastic packaging from staff lunched
  • Placed a high maxim on media exposure and sustainability messaging, reaching 1.7 million people in 2016
  • Promoted the use of eco-friendly boat cleaning products
  • Operated shuttle bus services to reduce the amount of wasted fuel
  • Provided oil spill kits for teams
  • Organised cycling events to promote sustainable transport
  • Integrated sustainable practices into everything they do and buy, from only printing on 100%-recyclable paper to reusing event signage and cable ties.
  • And much, much more!

Reflecting on the 2016 campaign, Lars Böcking, Sustainability Director for the 52 SUPER SERIES explains:

“It has been a very special year for us, both on and off the water. We’re very proud of what we have achieved in 2016, and feel that it’s incredibly important to be taking action on these issues now, whilst there is still time to do something about them. Every day at every regatta represents another opportunity to make a difference. You only need to think about your children and your children’s children to stay motivated.

On the face of it, we are doing lots of small things very well, but together they represent something bigger, and we hope that other events and other marinas are starting to listen as the message builds momentum. Because it’s only together that we can really make a difference to our sport, and ultimately – our environment.”

The 2017 season represents the third year in partnership with sustainability sponsor 11th Hour Racing, and green-minded circuit organisers are working hard to build upon the great strides and notable achievements made over the past two years.

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About 11th Hour Racing
11th Hour Racing harnesses the power of sport to increase our understanding of the oceans, find innovative solutions to the issues that impact our marine resources, and promote stewardship and sustainable use of the seas.

11th Hour Racing has three main areas of engagement: grants, sponsorships, and ambassadors. For more information please visit: www.11thhourracing.org