World Sailing shortlisted for IOC awards
Published on July 20th, 2023
World Sailing has been shortlisted for International Olympic Committee (IOC) Climate Action Awards 2023 in recognition of its sustainability efforts. Here is an update from the world governing body for the sport of sailing:
Launched in 2022 by the IOC, the awards aim to support National Olympic Committees, International Federations, and athletes in their efforts to manage carbon emissions and understand their impact on the environment.
World Sailing has been shortlisted in the categories of: Climate Action x Sustainable Travel and Climate Action x Innovation.
Both categories highlight World Sailing’s efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the sport. World Sailing has implemented a carbon reduction strategy to cut emissions by at least 50% by 2024, compared to the 2019 baseline.
“This shows that the changes we have made, as well as the plans we have in place, are achieving the goals we have set,” notes Alexandra Rickham, World Sailing’s Head of Sustainability.
“Sailing and the safety of sailors and coastal communities is uniquely tied to the health and well-being of the planet, and we have a duty to ensure we are doing all we can to reduce the impact our sport has on the environment. That is why we published our Sustainability Agenda 2030 in 2018.
“Simple measures and viable alternatives within World Sailing as an organization and events organized by us can set a positive example for others to follow. We are committed to embracing new technology and leading the way in promoting the transition towards a more environmentally conscious sport.
“There is always more we can do, but the success of the initiatives in place already show that it can be done and will continue to inspire us to make a positive change throughout the sport.”
The main area of focus for reduction has been on travel and transport related to organizational events, particularly the 2023 Allianz Sailing World Championships in The Hague. This has included reducing the impact of staff travel with the aim of delivering 100% of staff travel to The Hague via public transport, reducing emissions from on-water support fleets, and compiling more granular data to create a better baseline for future events. In addition, World Sailing targeted the opportunity to introduce robotic race marks.
The potential to achieve these goals was tested at the 2022 Youth Sailing World Championships, also in The Hague. Group transport was offered and every competitor, member of staff and official was provided with a bicycle to commute between their accommodation and the venue. Robotic marks were introduced to replace the need to anchor racing marks, which risk damaging the biodiverse rich seabeds, and World Sailing trialed several models of electric boats during the event.
As a consequence, the 2023 Allianz World Sailing Championships will see World Sailing reduce coach boat numbers significantly while using robotic racing marks. Lessons from the Allianz Sailing World Championships will also inform preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Additionally, the majority of energy will be mains-supplied from renewable sources and the event will utilise HVO and hydrogen options for temporary power needs. These solutions will deliver between 100-70% carbon reduction versus using fossil fueled options.
Longer-term, World Sailing is working with manufacturers to address the impact of equipment worldwide. The aim is to increase recyclability and understand the life cycle of all current Olympic classes to reduce the impact of sailing equipment and make the sport more sustainable for future Olympic cycles.
World Sailing is a signatory of the UN Sport for Climate Action and has developed its own Sustainability Agenda 2030, which outlines how the sport will contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Program:
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6
Mixed Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class
Women’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class
Men’s Windsurfing – iQFoil
Women’s Windsurfing – iQFoil
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17
Venue: Marseille, France
Dates: July 26-August 11
Source: International 29er Class