RYA environmental scheme attracts many

The Green Blue’s annual conference has been heralded a huge success with delegates discovering how to make their businesses and clubs more environmentally friendly and save money in the process.


The Green Blue, a joint RYA and BMF initiative, hosted the conference entitled ‘Success and Sustainability for the UK Recreational Marine Sector’ which looked at ways to use sustainability to drive performance and cut costs.


Seventy-five representatives from marine businesses and sailing clubs from across the country and as far as the Netherlands turned up to the event which was held at an appropriately environmentally friendly venue, Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre in London.


The day kicked off with an inspirational speech from Sir Keith Mills, Deputy Chair, London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games 2012 and principle of Team Origin. His key note speech inspired delegates as he noted that the 2012 Olympics, the largest global event in peacetime, will be the ‘most sustainable games in history’ and that sustainability is something we should all be focusing on, not as an expense, but as a way to save money.


In his presentation ‘Race for Change’, Sir Keith outlined the obvious connection between water sports, particularly sailing, and the environment. Team Origin and the Carbon Trust have teamed up to make their America’s Cup campaign as low CO2 as possible and to inspire action in climate change. Sir Keith firmly believes that sport has an extraordinary ability to connect with and motivate people and so is a great opportunity to raise awareness of environmental issues.


“Sport has a unique ability to change the behaviour of millions. A naturally green sport, sailing is about harnessing the raw power of nature and so there is a natural fit with environmental issues”, commented Keith.


Keith was followed by Chris Dunham, managing director of Carbon Descent whose very positive speech explained why we need to be measuring our own carbon footprint in order develop a carbon reduction strategy.


Chris said: “By making changes, to both how we do things and the equipment we use, all businesses are able to reduce their carbon footprint.”


Alongside the speeches delegates took part in 3 workshops, providing a wealth of information including resource efficiency tips, waste management and advice on how green purchasing can help businesses.  Delegates were encouraged to come up with 3 changes they were going to make in order become more sustainable.


There were also plenty of success stories to take away an exceptional example was John Tweed, Chief Executive of Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA). He told delegates: “Sustainability has been a huge influence on development of the WPNSA, since its inception in 1999.  Today the WPNSA has an active recycling programme, grey water from the roof is re-used for boat washing, and solar panels provide significant electricity generation and motion sensor lights limit energy loss.”


Sarah Brown, Project Manager for The Green Blue said:  “I think today has really pressed home the fact that sustainability is not just a moral issue, but a financial one too. We have heard firsthand how saving resources has helped organisations save thousands whilst also lowering their CO2 emissions and increasing credibility. I am delighted to see so many senior figures in the audience and The Green Blue is looking forward to working with them to put into practice the lessons learnt today.”


Susan Burgess from Lymington Town Sailing Club said “It was an excellent day and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will go away enthused, inspired and determined to make an impact, a difference.”  



If you want to find out more about how The Green Blue team can help your organisation visit the website www.thegreenblue.org.uk  or call 02380 640100