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World Sailing outlines solid progress towards sustainability goals

June 13 2024

World Sailing has revealed in its first annual Sustainability Review that the governing body has already completed 21 of its 56 Sustainability Agenda 2030 goals, with particular progress made in reducing the environmental impact of events.

World Sailing outlines solid progress towards sustainability goals

Work is ongoing towards 28 goals, while World Sailing stated that the seven targets that have “not been started” status are currently being reconsidered or reprioritised.

Of the 17 goals in the events category, 10 have already been completed, with the other seven in progress.

One of the outstanding targets – to achieve an organisation-wide reduction in carbon emissions of at least 50% versus a 2019 baseline – is due for delivery this year, alongside 11 of the other 56 goals that were initially outlined by World Sailing in 2017. Fifteen targets are overdue in terms of delivery.

The encouragingly transparent review charted progress specifically over the past three years in six operational areas: technical, events, venues and facilities, members, participation, and training.

Highlights in 2023 – World Sailing’s first fully operational year since 2020 – included a 26% reduction in the carbon footprint by World Sailing staff taking the train to the Sailing World Championships in The Hague, Netherlands, and a 67% saving in energy emissions at the event by using HVO Fuel.

The governing body said that priorities in 2023 were “driven by either the time associated with a target or operational areas where limited progress had previously been made”, with a particular focus on events, members and technical operational areas. Progress in the venues and facilities category, “though appearing significant were limited,” World Sailing said.

“The review has been three years in the making and charts our journey over this period set against our longer-term targets,” said World Sailing Director of Sustainability Alexandra Rickham.

“What is clear is that 2023 was our first fully operational year since 2020 and as such it is the most accurate year for all future reports to be judged against.

“Overall, there has been excellent progress across the sport, and I thank everyone at World Sailing.

“A lot has been achieved, but more hard work is needed, and at World Sailing we remain focused on delivering against the targets in Sustainability Agenda 2030. However, we also need others in sailing and the wider sector to do their bit and I hope the Sustainability Report will encourage everyone to take action.”

The organisation also celebrated its reception of the IOC Climate Action award for Sustainable Travel, as well as contributing towards the One Carbon World Be A Net Zero Here campaign.
Image: Ludomił Sawicki on Unsplash

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