The Ocean Race To Hold One Of World’s First Climate Positive Sport Events

The Ocean Race aims to slash its emissions by up to 75%. All participants in the next edition of the round-the-world sailing race are working together to make the event climate positive.

The Ocean Race is aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by up to 75% for the 2022-23 Race, compared with the previous edition, and working with sailing teams, host cities, partners and suppliers in a shared ambition to slash their GHGs and hold a climate positive event.

Every element of the round-the-world sailing event has been examined to understand its GHG impacts and how they can be reduced. The Race is aiming to cut emissions through a number of measures, including using significantly fewer shipping containers used to deliver the global event, reducing the number of staff travelling internationally, careful management of resources such as materials, food, waste and water, as well as aiming to power the event sites with 100% renewable energy. The Race will now take place over six months, compared with nine months for the previous edition, which will also reduce the overall impact.

climate positive sport events
The finish of Leg Two of The Ocean Race Europe, from Cascais, Portugal, to Alicante, Spain.
© Sailing Energy/The Ocean Race

In parallel, the Race is collaborating with its race teams, host cities and partners to collectively estimate, reduce and carefully account for their race-related GHGs. Logistics partner GAC Pindar and hospitality agency ATPI are working closely with The Ocean Race to create new systems to accurately track and report the GHG impacts of logistics and guests, with automated systems simplifying data management for the Race.

To achieve the ambitious goal of making the event climate positive (drawing down more GHGs than are produced), the Race will invest in ocean projects that, on behalf of the Race and stakeholders, will restore vital marine habitats while also sequestering carbon. These ‘blue carbon’ initiatives, in which mangroves are protected from deforestation or actively regenerated, are at carefully chosen sites around the world. Healthy mangrove ecosystems can lock away carbon, protect coastlines, provide important habitats for wildlife and support local communities.

Meegan Jones, Sustainability Advisor for The Ocean Race said: “Sport has the power to inspire and accelerate action and nowhere is this more important than in the race against climate change. We’re drastically cutting emissions compared with the last Race in 2017-18, but creating a climate positive event can only happen with the support and input of every organisation that the Race touches. While some event organisers offset their partners’ emissions we believe that the responsibility should be on everyone involved to play their part. By doing this we don’t just reduce the impact of a single event, but help to create change throughout the industry.”

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