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Dole Sunshine Company and The Ocean Race join forces for the ocean

by The Ocean Race 7 Jul 15:04 BST
The Turn the Tide on Plastic team competing in The Ocean Race in January 2018 © Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo AB

Dole Sunshine Company (DSC) and The Ocean Race will team up to promote The Dole Promise and support the DSC's sustainability journey towards zero fossil-based packaging by 2025 and net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The partnership announced today will see DSC aligned with The Ocean Race, the fully-crewed, around the world sailing race, long regarded as the toughest test of a team in sport. In addition to being a pillar event in the sport of sailing, The Ocean Race leads the industry with a proven, award-winning sustainability programme, known as Racing with Purpose, developed over the past five years in collaboration with Founding Partner 11th Hour Racing.

In the 2017-18 edition of The Ocean Race, the event tackled single-use plastic through its Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign, leading to over 20,000 people signing the United Nations #cleanseas pledge. A focus on eliminating single-use plastics in the stopover Race Villages saw the avoidance of an estimated one million plastic plates, cutlery and cups. The use of water refill stations and reusable bottles meant the avoidance of 388,000 plastic water bottles over the Race period.

In addition, water sampling equipment on board race yachts as part of The Ocean Race Science Programme found previously undetected levels of microplastics in some of the most remote waters of the ocean, confirming the long-term impact plastic is having on ocean health. This programme continued with sampling in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea during The Ocean Race Europe last summer.

DSC has made its own commitments around plastic. The Dole Promise outlines a wide-ranging suite of sustainability actions to promote positive impacts on people, planet and prosperity. This includes transitioning off plastic made from petroleum byproducts, to productive waste-based and other packaging solutions that contribute to a circular economy.

Pier Luigi Sigismondi - President, Food and Beverages Group, Dole Sunshine Company said: "We are very aware of the impact that a company like ours can have on the environment. It wasn't long ago that I was on holiday with my family in Thailand and we saw first-hand the plastic pollution scarring what should have been some of the most beautiful beach landscapes in the world. I realised then that something would have to change and that we would have to look at our own practices as individuals and as a company to make a meaningful change. That was the beginning of The Dole Promise and our commitment to have a positive impact on people and our planet."

In an effort to drive change towards the restoration of ocean health, The Ocean Race has an ambitious aim of driving the creation of a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights by 2030, with input from key players from the worlds of policy, sailing, industry, government and science, along with passionate ocean advocates.

Through The Ocean Race Summits series, these high-level events provide a unique opportunity to gather insights from across the globe on key issues relating to the health of our blue planet and explore ocean rights.

"We are happy to welcome Dole Sunshine Company, a company that is taking a leadership position in sustainability to The Ocean Race family," said Richard Brisius, Race Chairman of The Ocean Race. "Working together, we believe we can have a positive impact on restoring ocean health by giving a voice to the ocean. DSC shares that view and will be a valuable contributor to this effort."

"We are doubling down on our mission to do business differently and joining forces with strategic partners in order to work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined by the United Nations to better our world today and for future generations to come," concluded Pier Luigi Sigismondi. "We are promising to put people and planet at the heart of everything we do to make the sunshine brighter for all."

The next edition of The Ocean Race starts from Alicante, Spain on January 15, 2023 and will again feature an innovative sustainability programme, including scientific data gathering from race yachts, learning programmes, and The Ocean Race Summits series, focused on driving a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights.

Watch the video by the Dole Sunshine Company

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