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World Sailing receive IOC award for work on climate action

by World Sailing 7 Nov 13:40 GMT 6 November 2020
World Sailing receive IOC award for work on climate action © World Sailing

World Sailing is delighted to receive the IOC International Federation Climate Award, awarded on Friday at the Virtual International Federation Forum.

World Sailing was presented with the Award by Thomas Bach, IOC President and Sergey Belyavski, Sustainability Leader, Dow. As part of the IF Forum, World Sailing participated in the IOC IF Sustainability Session, titled Back to Basics to Build Back Better, where the IOC also launched several case studies highlighting World Sailing's work.

The IOC International Federation Climate Award recognises International Federations and National Olympic Committees who have undertaken carbon reduction measures to reduce their contribution to climate change. As part of the reward, retired carbon credits are given to the winners to offset their unavoidable emissions.

In a message to all winners, Thomas Bach said, "Climate change continues to be a global challenge of unprecedented proportions for all humankind. It requires an unprecedented response from all of us. The IOC wants to ensure that the Olympic community contributes to the global efforts to address climate change. Tackling climate change is therefore at the heart of the IOC sustainability strategy. It is a great honour to recognise the recipients of the Carbon Action Award of the IOC and Dow. You can rightly call yourself climate leaders because of the effective actions you have taken."

On receiving the award, David Graham, World Sailing Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are delighted to have been recognised by the IOC for our work and the impact we are making in this important area. Our sport is dependent on the forces of nature, and the rise in temperatures cause disruptive weather patterns. Selfishly speaking as a sailor, we know that we must do what we can to reduce our impact, so our participation window is not threatened."

Sustainability has been at the core of World Sailing following unanimous support by World Sailing's Council to implement Sustainability Agenda 2030, sailing's contribution to global sustainability. Sailing was well represented in the Back to Basics to Build Back Better session with Hannah Mills (GBR), Rio 2016 gold and London 2012 silver medallist, participating. Mills took part in a panel session around how International Federations have committed to carbon neutrality. Mills highlighted the importance of engaging with athletes, giving personal insights from participation at a club level to international competition.

Dan Reading, World Sailing's Head of Sustainability, was joined by other International Federations and was interviewed by the Head of Circular Economy from the World Economic Forum on the work World Sailing is undertaking in this area focusing on the life cycle of sailing equipment.

To round off the Session, the IOC launched four case studies highlighting World Sailing's progress on a number of areas including:

  • World Sailing's Sustainability Education Programme - launched in 14 languages, the resources have been widely adopted, receiving high levels of youth engagement.
  • The Coral Reef Restoration - supported by Hempel A/S at the Hempel World Cup Series Miami, sailors and support staff received education on climate change and the impact on the underwater environment and undertook an expedition to outplant coral in the waters of Miami.
  • Requirements for sustainable Olympic Equipment - By working in partnership with suppliers, World Sailing has the ability to create more sustainable equipment. Starboard, the manufacturer of the iQFoil, was used as the example.
  • World Sailing's Sustainability Charter for sanctioned events - World Sailing's Special Events help with a sport-wide effort in a variety of sustainability initiatives.
Find more information on World Sailing's Sustainability initiatives here.

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