Nature has been integral to The Ocean Race since we first set sail in 1973. It is at the heart of what we do - the race-track that we compete on and the wind that powers our boats - but it is deteriorating fast. We are seeing firsthand the devastating impact of pollution, climate change and industrial overfishing on our ocean. At the same time we have a greater understanding of how important our seas are, not just to the sport we love, but in regulating our climate and providing us with food, jobs and the air we breathe.
At The Ocean Race we want to be a catalyst for change. We see our purpose as stretching far beyond ensuring that our organisation is sustainable. We want to use our global platform to inspire all those that we can reach to take action. This includes the sailing community, wider sports industry, businesses, host cities, governments, fans and many more.
Our multi-award winning ‘Racing with Purpose’ sustainability programme brings together a range of tangible ways that we can have a positive impact on the marine environment. Working with visionary Premier Partner 11th Hour Racing and Volvo Cars, we have rolled out initiatives for cleaner and healthier seas. This includes:
- Contributing vital scientific data to aid the understanding of ocean health and the effects of climate change by using our race boats to collect valuable data on sea surface temperature and ocean acidification.
- Working with host cities to ensure that every element of the race village is sustainably produced; from being free of single-use plastic to the seafood served on site, and inspiring the millions of people who visit the events to help protect the ocean.
- Holding The Ocean Race Summits series in which we call for action and commitments from decision makers and business leaders to change the way we behave towards our ocean for good.
- Hosting Innovation Workshops in which experts with a range of specialisms from different sectors unlock barriers to innovating solutions that support ocean health.
- Inspiring thousands of schoolchildren, in over 50 countries, about the issues affecting the ocean in our curriculum-based Learning Programme. The set of fun and informative modules show children how they can also join us on the journey to help restore the health of our ocean.
- Supporting ‘blue carbon’ projects that not only capture greenhouse gases, but help to restore ocean ecosystems, providing a habitat for marine life. We are committed to balancing our unavoidable carbon emissions and in 2019 we did this through supporting a mangrove restoration and women’s empowerment project in Myanmar.
We’re working to ensure that our head office in Alicante is as sustainable as possible. Along with the Ocean Race Museum it is powered by 100% renewable energy, supplied by a community co-operative that sources electricity from solar panels on local roofs and solar farms in the region.
We are aiming for all of our race villages to be powered by 100% renewable energy and are working for the Race to be climate positive, including through our support of blue carbon projects. We will also use the power of our Race's platform to inspire others to take action on climate change too.
During the 2017-2018 race we focused on tackling the plastic crisis engulfing our ocean by raising awareness and highlighting solutions to millions of people across the world. (Find out more about our work during the last edition of the race here.) As we look towards our next race we are focusing on more of the major threats to ocean health, including climate change and the need for greater protection of marine habitats. We are part of a decade of dedicated action to restore our seas and bring them back to life.
Join us and be part of our greatest race to date: the race for our ocean.