Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) is raising awareness for climate change and introducing sustainability to the sailing world.
Sir Ben Ainslie is the most accomplished sailor in Olympic history, winning medals at five consecutive Games from 1996 to 2012, including gold at the last four Olympics.
He is now turning his attention to the 35th America’s Cup while simultaneously using his platform to advocate for clean oceans, combat climate change and promote sustainability in sailing.
Ainslie said: “I believe sport can extend far beyond the race course, the pitch or the court. We have a unique opportunity to harness the power of fans around the world. Because when we come together, we can have a huge impact.”
During the 2013 America Cup, Ainslie met Founder of 11th Hour Racing, Wendy Schmidt, a non-profit dedicated to promoting healthy oceans through world class sailing teams.
11th Hour Racing soon became Land Rover BAR’s exclusive sustainability partner and, since then, Land Rover BAR has introduced a number of sustainability initiatives, including:
- Building the team’s 74,000sq.ft waterfront home on Camber Quay, Portsmouth to the BREEAM Excellent standard (the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for masterplanning projects, infrastructure and buildings) with the help of £6.5million in Government funding.
- Sourcing 100 per cent of the electricity used at Camber Quay from renewables.
- Teaming up with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to ensure its operations are as efficient and sustainable as possible, through determining how to optimise the sue and reuse of materials.
- Supporting the Meatless Mondays to address the 59 per cent of the earth’s ice-free land that is used for livestock grazing and feed production – which is the biggest cause of deforestation and the 56 billion animals are slaughtered annually for food worldwide.
- Reducing plastic use during sporting events and in everyday life to curb the eight million tonnes of plastic rubbish enters our oceans each year and the projection that 250 million tonnes of plastic that will be polluting the ocean by 2025.
- Drafting a sustainability charter for the other America’s Cup contestants to adopt.
The team has brought its pursuit of sustainability to its new base in Bermuda, employing sustainable construction features, funding an educational centre developing a legacy project around the lionfish, an invasive species creating havoc in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean.
Land Rover BAR’s commitment to the environment has not gone unrecognised, winning the ‘Sport for Environment Award’ at the prestigious Beyond Sport Awards last year.
Dr Susie Tomson, Land Rover BAR Sustainability Manager, said “We are proud that Land Rover BAR’s achievements and progress across the board of sustainability have been recognised on the global stage at the Beyond Sports Awards. However, the work doesn’t stop here we are committed to pushing sustainability further within sport and encouraging other sports and teams to harness the power and support of their fans to push the sustainability message around the world”.