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The Ocean Race Shares Ambition to Hold One of the World’s First ‘Climate Positive’ Sport Events

10th August 2022
The Ocean Race Europe fleet sails out of Cascais, Portugal in the summer of 2021
The Ocean Race Europe fleet sails out of Cascais, Portugal in the summer of 2021 Credit: Sailing Energy/The Ocean Race

The Ocean Race is aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions, or GHGs, by up to 75% for the 2022-23 race compared with the previous edition.

And race organisers say they are working with race teams, host cities, partners and suppliers “in a shared ambition to…hold a climate positive event”.

The race is aiming to cut emissions through a number of measures, they add, including using significantly fewer shipping containers used in event logistics; 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.

In addition, the race now has a shorter six-month schedule, compared with nine months for the previous edition, which will also reduce the overall impact, organisers say. 

And the GHG impact of logistics and hospitality will be tracked by “new systems” created in tandem with partners GAC Pindar and ATPI, with automated systems simplifying data management for the race, they add.

Another key element of making the event climate positive — drawing down more GHGs than are produced — is investment in ocean projects that “will restore vital marine habitats while also sequestering carbon”.

Mangroves are a vital marine habitat for storing carbon, The Ocean Race saysMangroves are a vital marine habitat for storing carbon, The Ocean Race says

“These ‘blue carbon’ initiatives, in which mangroves are protected from deforestation or actively regenerated, are at carefully chosen sites around the world,” race organisers say. “Healthy mangrove ecosystems can lock away carbon, protect coastlines, provide important habitats for wildlife and support local communities.”

The Ocean Race is a signatory of the United Nations’ Race to Zero and Sports for Climate Action initiatives, with a commitment to halving the eace’s GHGs and contributing to a net zero world by 2040.

In addition, its work to make the next edition climate positive is part of the Racing with Purpose sustainability programme, co-created with 11th Hour Racing.

The programme is described as seeking “to inspire new audiences, from schoolchildren to policy-makers, to take action to protect the ocean and climate”.

“It also supports ocean research through an innovative science programme in which vital data about the state of the seas is collected by boats as they race across the planet,” the race organisers add.

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