The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) began its environmental sustainability journey 17 years ago, in 2005, providing best practice advice to boat users and businesses through The Green Blue, a programme run jointly with British Marine.
In 2018, the association realised it could do more with its own operations and appointed Phil as Environment and Sustainability Manager.
In 2020, the RYA created a sustainability strategy recognising its three potential areas of impact:
- Those within the control of the RYA eg buildings and staff
- Those managed by the RYA eg. British Sailing Team, pension funds, Dinghy Show
- Those that can be influenced by the RYA eg 100,000 members, 1,400 affiliated clubs, 2,500 training centres in 57 countries
Sustainability for the RYA means environmental, social and economic value. Whilst most of the undertakings to date have been environmental, the association has pledged to improve diversity across the organisation under its social value commitments and has been accredited as a Fair Tax organisation as a mark of its economic transparency.
Improvements made so far include:
- Plug-in hybrid vehicles for towing 2 tonne RIBs. These are not ideal for long distance travel as their range on battery is only 35 miles but suitable for the RYA since the most common route is between Portland and Hamble (75 miles)
- LED lighting in Hamble HQ (this change has lowered emissions and reduced the cost of lighting by 75% [payback period is 4 years at 15p/kWh]
- LED lighting at Portland House. This upgrade is part-funded by the EmPAHSIS3 project run through Portsmouth University
- Solar roof installation – the ARG grant contributed 25% of the cost to this - currently at the grid application stage though solar panels have been secured via installer.
- Reporting on carbon emissions through the UN Sports for Climate Action framework
Monitoring and measurement:
Though the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Sports for Climate Action framework has a goal of carbon neutrality by 2040, the RYA has taken the plunge and is aiming to reach net zero by 2030.
Its first Carbon Report is in preparation and measures improvements from a baseline of 2019 when its emissions were 5,700 tonnes of CO2e. COVID helped these to decrease by 50% in 2020 and a respectable 20% decrease was reported in 2021.