The RYA has launched its Sustainability Strategy, Pathways to Zero: A Vision for a Sustainable UK Recreational Boating Sector.
The strategy sets out how the RYA will deliver on its environmental objectives over the next 10 years, in response to the global threats to our climate and environment. A timeline through to 2030 has been selected in line with targets set in the Paris Agreement and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent reports on keeping below a 1.5C temperature rise. The year 2030 is also the target date for the UN Global Goals, which include social and economic as well as environmental targets. The Sustainability Strategy is designed to grow and develop over the following 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.
Our approach is informed by the following key principles:
We will only be successful if the whole of the organisation and our wider stakeholders are committed to the outcome. The strategy was developed through 25 workshops held with over 200 people including staff, clubs, individual members, committees and external advisers. This has begun the process of embedding sustainability thinking within the organisation and continues through the appointment of sustainability champions within each team. The aim is for people to think about sustainability in their day-to-day work, rather than relying on a specialist unit to make decisions.
Evidence, Standards and Transparency
On carbon emissions, we are developing our baseline data using standards such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and reporting our results through the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) mechanism. We will report on social and economic performance through reporting our gender pay gap and applying for the Fair Tax Mark. Our next key objective is to put in place an ISO14001 compliant Environmental Management System. Using these standards ensures that we are transparent and, importantly, audited by others to make sure that we remain on track and achieve our goals.
Pathways to Zero
This approach focuses on the end goal (zero carbon, zero pollution, zero waste), it sets a target date and then works back to the present to show what action is required and when. If we look at the overall target it can be overwhelming, so talking in terms of pathways helps us to take action now and measure our contributing to the end goal.
We are taking immediate action wherever we identify quick wins. A great example of this is our move to Ecotricity for all of our energy supplies in our Hamble and Portland facilities. We are also looking to work with partners such as the Final Straw Solent, who focus on reducing single use plastics. Partnering with specialist organisations will help us to extend our reach with limited resources and we will take those opportunities whenever they arise.
The RYA has signed up to the UN Global Compact, in support of the Global Goals, and the UN Sports for Climate Action network. More locally, we are members of Fit for the Future, a UK network of sustainability practitioners.
We also work very closely with British Marine and The Yacht Harbour Association to ensure that we include the wider boating industry in our activities. The Green Blue, our joint information and education programme with British Marine, remains our main communication channel with boaters and industry.
These partnerships provide us with help and advice from other organisations that are going through the same thought processes, and we share information in an open and transparent manner. One of the great things about sustainability is that people are open about their problems and failures as well as their successes. Everything that we do has already been done by someone else, and we must all learn from each other if we are to achieve our goals.
The strategy’s action plan will be used to drive forward the changes envisaged and will provide a checklist for monitoring progress. The action plan will be reviewed annually and revised to ensure that the strategy remains on track. The RYA’s Sustainability Team are now working to deliver on the 45 actions identified in the strategy, and look forward to working with our staff, members and partners to deliver on our ambitious plans.
If you would like to read the RYA Sustainability Strategy in full, it is available to view now on the RYA website. If you would like to get in touch regarding this or any other environmental issue, please get in touch via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 02380 604 223.
RYA Environmental Policy and Sustainability Strategy: https://www.rya.org.uk/about-us/rya-policies/Pages/environment-and-sustainability.aspx