“We are proud to be leading the way in environmental sustainability for sailing events around the world. To achieve carbon neutrality, ISO 20121 compliance and Platinum Level certification while educating both kids and the general public about the role they can play in protecting our oceans and planet is no small feat. This is only achievable through the help of the teams, our staff and our presenting sponsor, 11th Hour Racing.” – Hugh Piggin, Race Director
2016 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing is the first sports event in the United States to be ISO 20121 compliant. ISO 20121 is a management system standard that was designed to assist event-oriented organizations improve the sustainability of their activities and productions. The international version of the standard was developed for the London 2012 Olympics and it describes the layout of a management system that can help any event related organization to: reduce its environmental footprint, become more socially responsible, while maintaining the viability of the event. The Atlantic Cup downloaded and followed the ISO 20121 protocol and complied with the rigorous standards meeting a self-certification.
For the first time in its five-year history, the race had a robust waste management plan which included 538 lbs of compost, 394 lbs of recycling and 139 lbs of trash sent to a landfill giving the overall race an 88% landfill diversion rate. The Atlantic Cup has been single-use plastic water bottle free since its inception in 2011. In 2016, the race prevented 8,520 single-use plastic water bottles from being used.
This year the official carbon offset supplier for the 2016 race, We Are Neutral, offset 29 tons of CO2. Since 2012, the Atlantic Cup has offset 95 tons of CO2 total. The Atlantic Cup is the only sailing race in the United States to have offset its carbon footprint since 2012. We Are Neutral will use The Atlantic Cup’s carbon offsets to plant indigenous trees on local conservation land, and by performing free of charge energy retrofits for low income families.
Other highlights from the 2016 race include:
In 2104, The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing aimed for carbon neutral status and through the help of Nexus our Carbon Offset Sponsor, we did it for the 3rd year in a row! Nexus offset the race’s footprint with carbon credits supporting Hydrologic, The Ceramic Water Purifier Project. Hydrologic locally manufactures ceramic water purifiers (CWP) that provide clean drinking water to rural households resulting in reduced wood fuel consumption while supporting local economic development. 21 Gold Standard Voluntary Emission Reduction credits were retired on the Markit Exchange.
In addition, Sailors for the Sea, our Clean Regattas partner, tracked our progress throughout the race. Click on any of the images below to learn more about this year’s Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing!
Based on calculations the Atlantic Cup in 2013 emitted 30 metric tons of CO2 and 1 mega-watt hour of electricity. In 2013 Sailors for the Sea announced a new Platinum Level Certification, which the Atlantic Cup was the first event to meet all of its requirements.
Hover each section to view the carbon footprint breakdown
The Atlantic Cup takes an overarching approach so that all event operations are looked at through the lens of how can we minimize impact.
Some of the areas we track during the race include: Electricity, hours of monitor use, hotel night stays, attendee travel, printing of signage, food production, food waste and other waste, shipping, creation of event materials (programs, tickets etc.), office supplies, and water bottles.
Now add in the sailboats and teams’ support and competitor fuel consumption, on board energy production, competitor trash, water (not the water they sail on), cleaning products, and waste.
Below are some of the steps that Race Management takes to mitigate their fossil usage.
Not everyone realizes that to race offshore, teams need electronics and those electronics don’t mysteriously power themselves. The Class 40, the boat used in the Atlantic Cup, is designed to race offshore and has a good deal of electronic systems on board: standard navigational displays, routing computers, water ballast and an autopilot to name a few. Additionally, race management’s operations require electricity and fossil fuel to bring the Atlantic Cup to you.
The Class 40 teams competing in the Atlantic Cup must agree to:
Below in greater detail are more specific examples of what the Teams do to help the Atlantic Cup achieve carbon neutrality.
While we’ve achieved many great milestones to bring sustainability and sailing together, our planet, sadly, is still in major need of our help. We know that for real change to occur it needs to happen everywhere. Unfortunately, not one person or one government or one sailing race can make our warming planet, acidifying oceans, and rising seas reverse course, it will take all of us to do our part and make small changes every day that will over time make a difference.
So with that in mind, we are turning our focus to you, our fans and what small, simple things you can do to make a difference!
In the coming months we’ll be sharing all kinds of tips and tricks on ways you can make small changes in your every day life (check out our water bottle infographic below!). Follow us on twitter @TheAtlanticCup and #AtCup1Thing & share with us the small changes you make!