SailGP has highlighted the successes and challenges facing sport in the pursuit of inclusive and sustainable growth in its latest Purpose & Impact Report, released today.
Building on the foundation of its inaugural report last year, SailGP’s Season 3 Purpose & Impact Report - which can be accessed HERE - underpins SailGP’s ongoing commitment to embed environmental and social sustainability into the fabric of sport. It has been developed to report on progress, challenge the traditional view of sustainability in the sector and inspire other sports and businesses to take action.
An important step was becoming the first sport to disclose its carbon strategy with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) – an international non-profit organization that works with companies and cities to manage their environmental impacts. Demonstrating SailGP’s commitment to accountability, transparency and continuous environmental improvement, the league achieved a B- score (rated A to D-) that it will aim to improve upon in future seasons.
SailGP made strong progress in its ambition to be 100 percent powered by clean energy on-shore and on-water by 2025. SailGP delivered five events 100 percent powered by clean energy in Season 3, an increase from one in Season 2. A total of 236 tonnes of carbon was saved by powering SailGP’s events by clean energy – the equivalent of shipping one F50 catamaran around the world 150 times.
SailGP also reduced its on-water support fleet carbon footprint by 13 percent per average event compared to Season 2 and minimized emissions relating to staff transport by 22 percent per average event by optimizing its operating model, encouraging remote working and hiring locally.
Through its industry-leading partnership with global logistics company Kuehne+Nagel, SailGP reduced its freight emissions by 83 percent compared to Season 2 by eliminating air freight, opting for sea transportation, selecting efficient, low-carbon routes and insetting any unavoidable emissions through biofuels.
However the growth of SailGP’s global calendar from eight events in Season 2 to 11 in Season 3 had an impact on its carbon reduction targets.
SailGP Chief Purpose Officer Fiona Morgan said: “With 2023 shaping up to be the hottest year on record, it’s clear every sector – including sport – needs to step up to the challenge of mitigating climate change. I’m incredibly proud of the work we did at SailGP in Season 3, making positive headway in our ambition to be the world’s most purpose driven and sustainable global sports and entertainment platform.
“Embedding sustainability in sport is a marathon, not a sprint, and Season 3 has been all about learning and striving for continual improvement. We’ve enjoyed some great success in key areas, and despite increasing scope 3 emissions, our commitment to a low carbon agenda remains unchanged. Sustainability in sport is not easy, especially when SailGP is a growing league and we need to minimize our environmental impact. But at SailGP we love a challenge and we see every obstacle as an opportunity to innovate and collaborate, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. We have to continue to be brave, challenge the status quo and show the world that purpose can go hand-in-hand with driving business value.”
Andrew Bowen, CEO of One Carbon World, said: “The sports sector has a tremendous opportunity to make a significant contribution to the mitigation of the effects of climate change. SailGP has seized this chance and is already setting an example by quickly reacting and adjusting to developments that impact both participants and spectators. While collaborating closely with the SailGP Purpose and Impact team, I was able to observe how SailGP views environmental sustainability as an integral part of their innovation journey, and not just a mere destination. Their accomplishments are truly remarkable.”
The Impact League – sport’s first podium for the planet – continued to go from strength to strength in Season 3, with teams embracing sustainability as part of their high-performance mindset. ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team pioneered a number of innovative purpose campaigns and initiatives, including attracting more than 25 million views of its sustainability content series Beneath The Surface.
SailGP teams cut their energy consumption by 50 percent through monitoring and understanding their energy needs much better, while a survey found over three quarters of athletes believed the Impact League had inspired them to live more sustainably in their daily lives.
SailGP also left a lasting impact at the venues it visited during Season 3, delivering 13 local impact projects to protect, support and restore delicate ecosystems and champion clean energy solutions.
SailGP’s global thought-leadership network Champions for Change hosted seven events, bringing more than 500 sustainability leaders and inspirational change makers from around the globe together to share key learnings, expertise and innovations on climate change and inclusivity in sport.
Beyond its environmental focus, SailGP also achieved success with its social sustainability programs in Season 3.
The Inspire Program, SailGP’s youth community, education and outreach initiative, has reached 14,665 young people through the Learning, Careers and Racing programs since its inception, smashing its target of engaging 10,000 young people by 2025, two seasons early.
Season 3 also saw continued progress in driving gender equity through the Women’s Pathway, with 26 female athletes racing in the SailGP championship across all teams, taking on different roles on the boat and gaining valuable experience.
With Season 4 already well underway – featuring five new iconic cities as part of its 12-event calendar – SailGP’s primary objective is sustainable growth while providing more opportunities to drive sustainability through elite sport and foster positive change through local impact projects.
SailGP’s focus is building on the work over the last three seasons, taking its Impact League to the next level with a ground-breaking evolution to reward teams for delivering bigger impact, supercharging the Women’s Pathway and increasing the number of young people involved in sailing through Inspire.
Read SailGP’s full Season 3 report at SailGP.com/PurposeImpactReport.