New SailGP initiative aims to make it the first 'climate positive' sport

Friday, October 9, 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

SailGP has launched a new initiative, aimed at becoming the first ‘climate positive’ sport and entertainment property.

The league says it aims to use its global platform to accelerate change toward a ‘cleaner and more inclusive future’ through the new Race for the Future initiative.

According to SailGP, the initiative aims not just to ensure the sport is greener, but also seeks to increase gender and racial inclusivity within sailing, building on the launch of its community outreach programme last year, SailGP Inspire.

The league says it will track and verify its carbon emissions through a partnership with One Carbon World, a global resource partner of the UN Climate Neutral Now Initiative, while carbon that can’t be eliminated will be offset through via the advancement of ‘blue carbon projects’, which help to either maintain or restore carbon-sequestering shoreline ecosystems around the world. 

SailGP says it aims to support a fully-electric fleet by 2025, and has announced it will work in partnership with portable electric outboard boat motor manufacturer ePropulsion, which will power 11 boats at the start of Season 2.

Meanwhile, the league has already partnered with Tesla, and will use the brand’s Tesla Powerwall system to power additional elements of its technical boat operations, including the electric outboard motors that will be used by the support boat fleet. Every team will also sign a Race for the Future charitable partner, offering commercial space on their boat to raise awareness, and will also secure funding for the cause through race results.

“We have a responsibility and a purpose that goes beyond our compelling entertainment proposition,” said Sir Russell Coutts, CEO, SailGP

“Sustainable development is paramount to the world’s future, and through SailGP, we have a unique platform to accelerate change. Race for the Future takes us from intention to action, with a real ability to affect environmental and social transformation within and outside of the sport.

“Having a zero-carbon footprint and a diverse staff is not enough; we’ve challenged ourselves to think bigger and broader. These issues go beyond SailGP, beyond the sport and beyond the industry, and we will strongly advocate for the critical adoption of clean energy, while serving as champions of inclusivity.”

Recently, SailGP also announced a partnership with Formula E Founder Alejandro Agag, whose new E1 electric boat racing series will see vessels developed by SailGP. 

The league has also said it will announce plans for a new inclusivity programme in the coming weeks, which will see a new female athlete initiative launched.