A new survey by The Ocean Race, the world’s toughest test of a team in sport, has found an overwhelming number of people working in the sailing and boat building industry want the field to become more sustainable.
90% of respondents feel that not enough is being done to reduce the environmental impact in their area, with three main barriers to change identified: a lack of technical knowledge of alternative materials, lack of funding for research and development, and concern that sustainable developments could affect boat speed.
The results of the survey are being shared today, 14th September, at The Ocean Race’s Innovation Workshop on Sustainable Boat Building; an event developed in collaboration with 11th Hour Racing, Premier Partner of The Ocean Race and Founding Partner of its Racing with Purpose sustainability programme. The third in the series of workshops on this subject brings together 100 participants, including boat builders and designers, sailors, NGOs, universities, sponsors and federations, to tackle the main challenges that need to be met for the boat building industry to become more sustainable. Among the participants are some leading innovators in alternative materials, including Greenboats, CompPair Technologies Ltd., Bcomp and GS4C.
The aim of the event is to get industry-wide commitment to collaborate on a roadmap of activities that can be implemented immediately. Actions will be identified in this workshop and build on outcomes of previous workshops, along with industry studies.
Anne-Cécile Turner, Sustainability Director at The Ocean Race said: “Competitive sailing has been focused on speed and performance for years, but building the boats remains material, energy and waste intensive. This urgently needs to change. The world has just nine years to halve greenhouse gas emissions to be on track with the global ambition to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030 and prevent even more catastrophic climate change. Currently, the boat building industry is not on target to achieve this, but it isn’t too late. By collaborating and committing to change we can slash emissions and show real leadership as an industry.”