University of Portsmouth students explore sustainability challenges at Land Rover BAR

Released by Land Rover BAR.

The Challenge: Work in teams to develop innovative solutions that help address the sustainability challenges of world-class sailing team, Land Rover BAR.

This was the gauntlet thrown down to students by Land Rover BAR and the University of Portsmouth Environment Network (UPEN). They had to find a creative solution to a problem in one of the team’s three target areas of sustainable work: Driving Innovation, Inspiring Excellence and Smarter Futures.

The British challenger for the 35th America’s Cup have embedded sustainability into their operations and with the support of their Exclusive Sustainability Partner 11th Hour Racing are always looking for innovative ideas to reduce waste or improve energy management, engage staff, sponsors, partners or our fan base on sustainability issues – and everything suggested needed to support the team’s principle goal to bring the America’s Cup home to Britain.

Seven teams competed in the competition jointly run with the University of Portsmouth Environment Network, taking part in numerous workshops and discussions with Land Rover BAR’s in-house Sustainability Manager Susie Tomson and Sustainability Officer Amy Munro to develop and enhance their proposals.

During the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth event in July, the two finalists were selected by judges from the University of Portsmouth, Land Rover BAR and 11th Hour Racing.

The winning team was a multi-disciplinary group that included geographers, engineers and computer scientists, and their proposal was a sophisticated way to improve and optimise the current rainwater harvesting system, while using hydrogen fuel cells to derive further renewable energy to add to the 432 solar panels already installed in the building.

They secured a two-week work experience opportunity with the team, and during their time with Land Rover BAR the students conducted a feasibility study of their winning project. Winning team member, Maxwell Falstein, said: “It has been very rewarding and the opportunities do not end with this project, thanks to excellent contacts at Land Rover BAR and other sponsors.”

Sustainability Officer, Amy Munro, said: “The judges were very impressed with the effort and detail in the final projects. Working with the winning team over the summer was very exciting and we are looking forward to running the competition again. The team have already made some changes to our facilities based on the project to increase the amount of rainwater we capture.”

The success of this competition means that Land Rover BAR and UPEN are planning to run a similar challenge next year.

Photos ©Harry KH

Published by: Land Rover BAR, October 12, 2016.