Multiplying the Power of Partnerships with Sustainability Charter

Released by Land Rover BAR.

The America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) have announced a Sustainability Charter for the 35th America’s Cup.  Signed by all six teams and supported by the ACEA, Land Rover BAR believe that this is a tremendous step forward to create positive change; a more sustainable future can only be achieved by working together.

Over the last two years, Land Rover BAR have been working with their Exclusive Sustainability Partner 11th Hour Racing to “Raise the Bar” and create the UK’s most sustainable sports team. Now we are multiplying the impact by engaging the team’s major partners in innovative projects that will push the technical boundaries to new solutions.

One of the biggest on-going problems – both in the world of America’s Cup sustainability, and more generally in high-tech engineering industries – is carbon fibre re-use and recycling. Working with Title and Innovation Partner Land Rover we are creating a new life cycle model for the marine industry.

This week, the team brought further attention to this problem. Annual global demand for carbon fibre now exceeds the amount required to build seven Eiffel Towers, and 25% of this material is wasted during the manufacturing process (Composites Market Report 2014, Witten/Kraus/Kuhnel).

Read the story of JJ and the Giant Anglepoise Lamp as he tackles the issue of manufacturing waste.

Four time Olympic Champion, winner of the 34th America’s Cup and Team Principal and Skipper of Land Rover BAR, Ben Ainslie commented; “This issue is obviously core to everything we do here with the team. When you look at the America’s Cup as a sport it should be trying to lead the way and set an example, and so it’s fantastic to see this Charter now in place. We have very much supported this project since its conception.  We look forward to working with the America’s Cup Event Authority and the teams to further this agenda within our sport and out to the wider world.”

The team look forward to sharing our experience of best practice in the many areas in which we have been working. These are some of the things already achieved by Land Rover BAR across the ten points of the Charter:

  • Single use plastics: We are committed to ‘say no to single use plastics’ and have issued all the team with refillable bottles, and filtration stations are provided both at the team base in Portsmouth and event venues. There is no single-use tableware in our hospitality or catering. We work to spread the message by giving refillable bottles to guests, and children in outreach programmes. We’ve also eliminated the use of single use coffee cups.
  • Reuse and recycling: Land Rover BAR has a comprehensive waste management policy at our team base in Portsmouth, with zero waste to landfill and over 60% recycling. We track our progress and are currently meeting and exceeding these targets. Taking this further, we set up our own temporary recycling stations at all events.
  • Water conservation: The team developed the original wing butt that re-uses the water ballast required each time the wing is hoisted and rigged. It saved 28000 litres of water in 2015. We created a mobile version for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series (ACWS), and share this with the other teams. We have installed rain water tanks at all our operating bases in the UK, to avoid having to use potable water for boat washing
  • Avoiding water pollution: The team checks all its cleaning products to ensure they are environmentally friendly both in production and disposal. We don’t use cleaning products when we wash the boat down. Each support boat is stocked with a portable spill kit and we have a pollution plan and kits available on shore.
  • Saving energy: The team analyzed its carbon footprint and recognized that electricity consumption and the construction of the test and race boats were the areas of biggest impact. We have worked with our renewable energy partner, Low Carbon to install 432 solar panels at the Portsmouth base to supply 20% of our electricity. The rest of our mains electricity comes from a renewable energy supplier, and in Bermuda we’ll be installing solar panels that exceed our consumption so we will be a net contributor of clean green energy to the island.
  • Protecting marine habitats: We want to create a positive impact, not just protect what exists and we have installed an oyster pontoon to host adult oysters at our Portsmouth base as part of a project to restore the depleted Solent population. The thousand oysters are monitored by the Portsmouth University Institute of Marine Science and survival rates have been exceptional with only 3% mortality, and increased levels of spat in water samples demonstrating active reproduction.
  • Being diverse and inclusive: The team opened the Tech Deck and Education Centre at the Portsmouth base to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. We have a steady stream of apprentices, interns and work experience students working with the team, and over 60 apprentice students from Southampton City College were involved in building our docking RIBS. The team run outreach events at every ACWS. We are working with 11th Hour Racing to develop an engaging Exploration Zone showcasing our technology and sustainability initiatives at the team base in Bermuda.
  • Supporting the local economy: We are working with BT, the team’s Technology in Sustainability Partner to re-develop their supplier sustainability assessment tool for our supply chain. This will enable our suppliers to be benchmarked against the best in class and drive their own innovation and efficiency. The team use local suppliers wherever possible.
  • Communicating a better future: Sports teams represent key role models in society and we understand that our influence should extend far beyond the race course. We publish an annual sustainability report, along with a steady stream of sustainability news and information across all communications channels.  We work with 11th Hour Racing to spread the message of sustainability far and wide.
  • Sustainability Champions: Led by Ben Ainslie, whose vision set the team on this path, the whole team have become sustainability champions. Every team member understands the philosophy and what it means to their role in the organisation, constantly searching for innovative solutions to reduce our impact and create positive change. We believe it defines what we do as a team, and is at the heart of all our activities.

In addition to the core items in the Charter, Ben Ainslie continues to push for excellence across the whole team. Setting new standards in the way sports teams operate, and seeking further achievements after gaining the Olympic-inspired international standard, ISO 20121; and BREEAM Excellent standard for its purpose built 74,000 sq. ft. waterfront home on Camber Quay in Portsmouth. These are both firsts for a professional British sports team.

11th Hour Racing Inc. was developed to create a new model of sailing sponsorship for winning teams powered by sustainable practices that support the health of our oceans. 11th Hour Racing aims to increase our understanding of the oceans, find solutions to the issues that damage our marine resources, and promote stewardship and sustainable use of the seas that sustain life on our planet.

Photos ©Harry KH/Land Rover BAR

Published by: Land Rover BAR, October 3, 2016.