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11th Hour Racing Team Releases Sustainability Toolbox Rostering a Collaborative Community to Empower Business Transformation

Professional sailing outfit 11th Hour Racing Team has launched today The Toolbox, a suite of resources for businesses and organizations of any size and in any sector, to implement their own sustainability program in-house. The free-to-use assets include How-to Guides, case studies, tools, and templates designed to help any organization on their path to a value-led business model.

“This is about putting values into practice,” said Team CEO, Mark Towill (USA). Towill is a professional sailor who also manages the business and commercial delivery for the offshore sailing team and has sailed around the world twice competing at the top levels of the sport internationally.

“Value-driven businesses need to be economically viable, socially responsible and leave a positive impact on the environment. Our experience is that often organizations struggle to understand the environmental piece and specifically how to create lasting impact. Through a pilot program, collaboration between our in-house team as well as industry experts in the sustainability and communications spaces, we have created The Sustainability Toolbox, which we hope can serve as a starting point for organizations of all types as they embark on their sustainability journey,” he added.

The Toolbox is split into eight How-to Guides that are supported by dedicated case studies, covering different topics from identification of issues, progress assessment, and engagement of stakeholders, to reporting and communications. The templates will support users to draft their sustainability programs, and the trackers will help measure an organization’s social impacts, waste, water, and carbon footprint.

Transforming a business is complex, and change is an ongoing process. By focusing one step at a time, The Toolbox aims to make things more accessible, less overwhelming and easier to embed throughout all divisions of a business.

The opportunity for the team to provide a supporting framework for peers and the wider community is part of the team’s net positive approach. Sustainability Officer Amy Munro explained more, “We are in the fortunate position where we are supported by our sponsor, 11th Hour Racing, to not only focus on our sporting performance, but also to have sustainability at the core of all areas of our operations. From the alternative materials innovations and build practices for our new race boat being built in France, to minimizing our impact as we move around the world; our work with legacy grantees in each stopover, to the clothing that we wear. We have the determination to leave a positive impact with a regenerative approach.”

The long-term vision for the Sustainability Toolbox is to create a collaborative community, through the Creative Commons approach, a license to grant the public permission to use and, importantly, to develop the Sustainability Toolbox resources under copyright law.

Sustainability Program Manager, Damian Foxall shared more details, “The community of users are the key to the success of The Sustainability Toolbox. We have co-created and piloted these resources with specialists and partner organizations within and outside the sporting sector, including the IMOCA Class, Sport and Sustainability International, World Sailing, and SailGP. Our vision is to create a community of users who will support each other in the further development of the assets, through a ‘Creative Commons license’, whose ethos is – when we share, everyone wins.”

The Toolbox has been piloted by a number of organizations, including IMOCA – the class of boat sailed in offshore sailing events including the Vendée Globe. IMOCA has adopted and adapted various elements of The Toolbox including the templates, trackers and the carbon calculator to support teams adopting the new sustainability regulations recently voted in by the Class.

“The Sustainability Toolbox allows our members to meet the objectives of the IMOCA Sustainability Charter. As sustainability becomes a critical part of our team’s daily function, the Charter and Toolbox combined provide extensive support and invaluable tracking tools to obtain an overall reduction of our operational impacts,” commented Imogen Dinham-Price, Sustainability Officer, IMOCA.

Speaking at The Ocean Summit in Genoa, Towill shared the vision, “From a business perspective, there are competitive advantages and a strong business case to being a purpose-driven leader. Alone we can do a little, but collectively we can achieve so much. Our goal is to establish sustainable business practices as the new norm within the marine industry and beyond. We hope the Sustainability Toolbox can help others put these skills into play while forming a strong community of collaborators all working together for an entirely new way of doing business.”

To find out more and sign up for The Toolbox, click here.
Header image credit: Amory Ross / 11th Hour Racing / The Ocean Race