World Sailing are pleased to announce two major firsts for the organisation as the world governing body continues along its Sustainability Agenda 2030 pathway.
World Sailing has signed a memorandum of understanding with UN Environment which will see the two organisations work together to ensure the sport of sailing maintains its commitment to reducing its environmental impact whilst supporting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
Secondly, World Sailing has partnered with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), making a pledge to join the UN Environment's Clean Seas campaign. The announcement was made today (5 June), World Environment Day, at the Volvo Ocean Race Summit in Cardiff, Great Britain.
The Clean Seas Campaign, launched in January 2017, aims to increase global awareness of the marine litter issue and impact of litter in different parts of the world and to implement different measures that address gaps in waste management infrastructure.
Dan Reading, Sustainability Programme Manager at World Sailing, stated, "We are thrilled that the IOC are calling on sport to join forces in reducing marine litter. As sailors, we see the problem first hand in our Oceans but all sports have a part to play. We are pleased to announce this at the Volvo Ocean Race Ocean Summit as we have already seen how single-use plastic can be successfully eliminated from a sailing event."
Julie Duffus, Sustainability Manager at the IOC, added, "We are delighted to support World Sailing's Sustainability Agenda 2030, which is one of the most comprehensive sustainability strategies in sport and we look forward to working together on its delivery. Sport and sustainability is about collaboration. Today, we are especially pleased to announce our Clean Seas pledge with World Sailing so we can unite sport to beat pollution and make an active contribution to society and the environment."
Joining the Clean Seas Campaign marks one of the first steps in the delivery of World Sailing's Sustainability Agenda 2030 which was written with support from the IOC.
Sustainability Agenda 2030 was unanimously adopted by World Sailing's Council at the 2018 Mid-Year Meeting in May. Agenda 2030 was formulated by an expert Sustainability Commission, chaired by the experienced offshore sailor, Mike Golding OBE and following a lengthy consultation process within the sailing community.
World Sailing received feedback from sailors across the world and plastic pollution was identified as a key pressing issue which demanded action.
As such, one target is to eliminate single-use plastic at World Sailing events (with the exception of boat branding) by 2019.
World Sailing will also be working with 145 Member National Authorities to phase out the use of single-use plastics at national events and also create resources for members to train the next generation of sailors, highlighting the issue.
World Sailing will also be working with partners in the marine industry to identify and find alternative solutions to single-use plastic where it is used in the sport.
World Sailing's Sustainability Agenda 2030 details 56 targets across a range of issues which support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.