Footprint

Race & Race Village Operations

Race and Race Village Operations

At the Volvo Ocean Race we are committed to being sustainably-produced, ethical and responsible.

© Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race

We’re embedding sustainability management into every aspect of Volvo Ocean Race, working to minimise the footprint of the Race Village, of the permanent and touring Boatyard, and of Race Teams, sponsor activation, host city operations, and even the manufacture of our race boats.

Impressive examples already exist and innovation abounds in reducing the race’s footprint throughout the global Volvo Ocean Race family.

We're working together to minimise waste and single-use plastics and to recover as many resources as possible. Energy consumption will be monitored to ensure we have the most energy efficient Race Village as possible. We will conserve water and protect the surrounding waterways and local environment from Race Village and Boatyard operations, and on-water activities.

View our Sustainability Strategy.

Single Use Plastics

One of our most important, visibly impactful and challenging goals during the race is to avoid single-use plastics in our Race Villages.

© Volvo Ocean Race

Although challenging and in some cases unavoidable, we will nonetheless strive to find practical, effective and replicable solutions for each destination.

We know the extra effort needed to avoid single use plastics will highlight this important issue and leave a lasting impression with spectators, guests, sponsors, host cities, contractors and suppliers.

Water bottle refills, alternatives to single-use plastic bottles, disposable food service-ware and other packaging are our key targets areas. We will keep track of the number of plastic bottles avoided and total plastic waste (and other materials) recovered for recycling throughout the race. We will encourage Race Village visitors to dispose of their cigarette butts appropriately.

Food

Our ambition is for food served and sold at our Race Villages and at associated events to be as sustainable as possible. This means considering each and every stopover and reviewing what ‘sustainable food’ means locally.

© Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race

Working closely with Host Cities and caterers we will encourage or ensure the inclusion of locally-produced and seasonal food, organic, fair trade or other local and relevant sustainability protocols. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, allergies and culturally appropriate options will be available.

Sustainable seafood is obviously closely aligned with the spirit of sustainability and the race, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that only seafood from sustainable fish stocks, harvesting techniques and with acceptable humanitarian standards is served or sold during the race. Where sustainable sourcing cannot be guaranteed, seafood will not be served.

Sourcing

The Volvo Ocean Race is committed to ensuring all products and materials purchased for use during the event come from ethical and environmentally responsible sources.

© Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race

Our disposable serviceware will not be plastic, and we will source the most sustainable options we can for our materials and supplies. For example there will be no branding (flags, banners etc) made from environmentally-harmful PVC in any of our Race Villages - and in an important move to avoid the use of hundreds of thousands of single-use cable (zip) ties, we have invested in re-usable bungee cords to attach our branding.

We're engaging and encouraging Host Cities, sponsors, teams and other participants to, like us, uphold these principles of sustainability.

Transport and GHGs

In order to run a global event, transport is an inevitable part of our footprint. We do not shy away from this impact.

© Agència Valenciana del Turisme Agència Valenciana del Turisme

We aim to reduce total travel miles, firstly through analysing our flight and freight requirements, and then through looking for ways to be more efficient.

Ultimately we are aiming to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with flights, sea freight and land transport for moving equipment, infrastructure and people.

Significant effort is being put into streamlining our sea freight and drastically reducing air freight. Specialist technology is used to plan for efficient shipping container packing to keep container numbers as low as possible and to utilise all available space.

To further reduce our travel footprint we are engaging our workforce, visitors and guests in the concept of sustainable travel. At each stopover we encourage active travel and using available public transport. The aim is to have the workforce staying within walking distance of the Race Village.

Where cycling is popular and safe, secure bike parking stations will be provided for visitors to the Race Village. Cycling will also be encouraged of our workforce where possible.