Sailing has historically always been one of the most sustainable sports in the world - harnessing the power of the wind and the sailors on board to drive the boat forward. Today is no different with the boats in the America’s Cup.
“In the America’s Cup all the power on board is generated by the crew, so it’s a perfect example of renewable energy,” says Sir Ben Ainslie, the world’s most successful Olympic sailor and the Team Principal of Land Rover BAR.
In 2015 Ben teamed up with BT to launch 100% Sport - a global initiative to inspire sports fans around the world to take action to tackle climate change and reduce carbon emissions by using reusable energy.
Sustainability is of key importance to Ben and the America’s Cup team he started in 2014, Land Rover BAR.
“Sailing at venues around the world you get to see first-hand and up-close water pollution,” commented Ben.
“We’re the first to fully understand what’s being done, and our generation has to reverse the damage that we are inflicting on our oceans and environment,” he added.
BT is also supporting team Land Rover BAR as its Technology in Sustainability Partner, aiming to achieve international standards across operations, constructions and reporting. By providing technological solutions which allow Land Rover BAR to bring their data analysis - a key part of competing in the America’s Cup - on dry land, BT supports the team’s goal to reduce its carbon footprint.
Before, other boats and teams of people needed to follow the America’s Cup boat (in training and competition) all over the world in order to analyse performance data. Making this performance analysis remote - at Land Rover BAR’s Portsmouth-based ‘Mission Control’ - significantly reduces the number of people on the water. This reduces the team’s carbon footprint and BT’s input helps Land Rover BAR in its goal of being one of the most sustainable sports teams in the world.
“BT has spearheaded the 100% Sport campaign since launching it with Sir Ben Ainslie last year. Our commitments as Technology in Sustainability partner for Land Rover BAR builds on our work to help make the planet fit for the future,” commented Niall Dunne, BT’s chief sustainability officer.
Susie Tomson, sustainability manager for Land Rover BAR, explained how Land Rover BAR’s sustainability was woven throughout its business. She hopes that the example given by Land Rover BAR can be repeated across different sectors.
“We’ve got the ability to drive change for the future,” Susie said.
“Our impact is small but our opportunity to drive change across multiple industries is big.”
One such is the automotive industry and one of the things Land Rover BAR is looking at is recycling parts of their carbon-fibre boats - when they reach the end of their lives - into car parts. This is still in the research stage at present.
Land Rover BAR HQ also uses 100% renewable energy.
“We have 20% of our energy coming from the solar and the other 80% comes from renewable energy supply,” noted Susie.
This is just one reason they are keen to work with like-minded companies such as BT, who are encouraging fans at the Portsmouth Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series event to #go100percent.
As well as supporting the Land Rover BAR team’s sustainable mission, BT and Sir Ben Ainslie are keen to encourage sports fans around the world to make changes to reduce their carbon footprint and increase renewable energy use through the BT 100% Sport programme.
Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR are ready to #go100percent. Are you?