World Sailing take home GAISF Sustainability Award 2020
World Sailing was today announced as the winner of the inaugural GAISF Sustainability Award, which aims to showcase the innovative sustainability projects of International Sports Federations (IFs).
World Rugby, the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) and International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) all placed within the top five.
The winners were announced today during the GAISF General Assembly, which took place virtually for the first time ever. The award was launched in 2019 to encourage IFs to use their global platforms to combat climate change and educate their communities about the importance of sustainability.
“It is vital that sport continues to lead by example and take responsibility for the future of our planet, the natural arena for all sports,” said GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli. “As the united voice of sports, GAISF knew it was our duty to shine a spotlight on the incredible efforts of our Members in actively contributing to a more sustainable future. I was greatly impressed by every single entry, and would like to thank all the winners for showcasing that sustainability truly is at the heart of sports.”
The first overall winner of the award, World Sailing, was recognised for its Sustainability Agenda 2030 which was unanimously ratified by the organisation in 2018. This ambitious commitment to a sustainable future outlines how sailing will contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainability Development Goals, creating a sustainable legacy that spans from grassroots sailing clubs to elite competition.
Already, World Sailing has eliminated hundreds of thousands of single use plastic bottles throughout its event portfolio and encouraged further electric boat innovation. The IF has also launched a Sustainability Education Programme, which covers everything from climate change to biodiversity, and aims to equip future generations of sailors with the knowledge to make a positive impact on the world around them. All of which demonstrates the importance of a long-term sustainability strategy, which has the backing of the entire organisation, to guide the implementation of meaningful sustainability practices.
On hearing the news, World Sailing CEO David Graham commented:
“We are delighted that our long-term commitment to sustainable practices in sailing has been recognised by GAISF. When we released our Sustainability Agenda 2030, we made some bold statements on our commitment to truly contribute to global sustainability through sport. We have a comprehensive strategy, with many projects and targets; these steer our efforts and allow us to implement tangible sustainable practices, we evaluate and measure the effectiveness as we go and flex where necessary. I thank the fantastic support we have had from our stakeholders and partners has really assisted us in turning these plans into reality.”
World Sailing President Mr Quanhai Li said:
“The World Sailing Council unanimously supported Agenda 2030 when I was Vice President in 2018. The progress has been excellent and now, as World Sailing President, I reaffirm World Sailing’s commitment to delivering a more sustainable future through sport. I would like to congratulate the other International Federations for their wonderful sustainability projects. Working together we [sport] can make a real impact for the next generation of athletes.”
World Rugby was awarded second place for its extensive efforts in sustainability. The IF has showcased its commitment to embedding and developing economic, social and environmental sustainability practices across rugby, while encouraging and supporting stakeholders to do the same.
Meanwhile, the FIVB’s Good Net project came in third. The project, developed in collaboration with Ghost Diving, seeks to remove ghost nets (discarded fishing nets) from our oceans and give them a new lease of life as volleyball nets. The project was commended for its innovative solution to the critical plastic pollution problem in the world’s oceans, along with the IFs efforts to educate the global Volleyball Family about ocean conservation through flagship events such as the 2019 Beach Volleyball World Championships.
Finally, the UIAA and IIHF were both recognised within the top five for their sustainability initiatives.
The UIAA was rewarded for its annual Mountain Protection Award, created in 2013 to reward positive behaviour and education in mountain tourism and recreation. Meanwhile, the IIHF’s sustainability project focused on sustainable mobility at its events, and more details can be found in the IIHF Sustainability Vision