The Volvo Ocean Race organisers are using their combined global clout to “turn the tide on plastic.” Arriving in Cape Town, South Africa, towards the end of November on Leg 2 of the global race, the world’s longest and most competitive professional sporting event, has an inevitable environmental footprint, as well as an inescapable opportunity to raise awareness of the urgent need to combat plastic pollution and its effect on Ocean Health.
By signing a Sustainability Charter, the Volvo Ocean Race leadership committed to the sustainable operation of all its activities, down to the first-time use of a hydro-generator to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Activities covered in the charter include the Race Village, transport, Greenhouse Gas emissions, engagement and advocacy.
The campaign’s strategic objectives are to: 1. Maximise impact, 2. Minimise their footprint and 3. Leave a positive legacy. Their progress and success is monitored throughout the 9 month race.
A proud sponsor of the Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag team, Regus considers it a priority: According to Joanne Bushell, Regus Country Manager for South Africa, “Like the Volvo Ocean Race, we are a global brand with a global responsibility towards sustainability. Our Black River Park office in Cape Town, is one of the first office precincts in the country to receive the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) certified Green Star existing building ratings for all of its 8 buildings. Sustainability is fast becoming a key differentiator for companies and entrepreneurs alike and we are proud to be a part of this initiative.”
Previous Volvo Ocean Race CEO Mark Turner explained the three pillars of the Volvo Ocean Race strategy. “Firstly, we have to minimise our own impact and that’s true right across all of our operations. Specifically, we are trying to reduce, or eliminate where we can, single use plastics in our Race Villages and our own operations because that problem in its own right is a major one for the health of our oceans.”
Their call-to-action to businesses, governments and individuals in each port is to join them in amplifying the race’s efforts to reduce the approximately 8 million tonnes of plastic dumped in the sea every year, through local initiatives such as beach clean-ups, education and the high-profile Ocean Summit in 7 of the locations.
Cape Town, known for its pristine protected coastlines, will be no different. Host, the V&A Waterfront, is paving the way for the various sustainability initiatives from 24 November to 10 December. The planned activities range from a beach clean-up, TEDX talks, craft-making and design using from recyclable plastics, to the esteemed Ocean Summit from 7 to 8 December and Ocean Life Festival in partnership with the Dutch Consulate General.
Find more details about the programme and sustainability initiatives from 24 November to 10 December here or at www.volvooceanracecapetown.com