How we can each incorporate sustainability into both our leisure and working lives is a topic that has rapidly moved up the public and policy agendas in recent years. It was in 2018 that the RYA’s Board committed to building on the successful work of The Green Blue by investing in a sustainability team that would consider the RYA’s own activities and impacts, and increase its influence in this important area of work. This year we have taken the next step in the process of fully integrating sustainability into our everyday working practice by releasing the RYA’s Sustainability Strategy.
The document, ‘Pathways to Zero: A Vision for a Sustainable UK Recreational Boating Sector,’ outlines the key sustainability objectives and actions that the RYA will seek to achieve over the coming ten years. Our starting point was the key international agreements on climate change and biodiversity, the UN Global Goals and the sustainability strategies of the International Olympics Committee and World Sailing. The RYA’s own objectives were developed following an in-depth consultation with internal teams across the RYA, as well as meetings with RYA committees and affiliated sailing clubs.
Phil Horton, Sustainability Manager, said: “It has been great to involve so many people from across the RYA community in the production of the Sustainability Strategy. Sharing ideas and opening up discussions surrounding sustainability has been really eye-opening and has revealed a strong desire among all of our stakeholders to address these complex issues. We hope that the Strategy embodies all of these conversations and that it will be a good framework for us in moving towards a zero carbon, zero waste and zero pollution future.”
The Sustainability Strategy is designed to grow and develop over the next ten years. It is not a static document and as scientific and political understanding of the topics surrounding sustainability advance the Strategy will adapt to reflect those changes. As the RYA progresses towards zero carbon, an important aspect of this will be embedding the new behaviours and targets into our everyday decision-making.
Phil continued: “The key message that we would like to share with RYA colleagues, members and affiliates alike is that sustainability should not be viewed as an add-on that is solely delivered by a specialist team. We will only be able to realise the aims of the Sustainability Strategy by making steps towards these goals together.”
If you would like to read the RYA Sustainability Strategy in full, it is available to view here. If you are a RYA member and have any questions regarding this or any other environmental issue, please get in touch via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02380 604 223.