The Green Blue’s annual University Sailing Sustainability Challenge (USSC) has begun! Designed to encourage and recognise University Sailing Clubs (USC) from across the UK that are taking action towards sustainable boating, it has seen a record number of clubs signing up to take part in this year’s challenge.
The competition has been supported by the British Universities Sailing Association (BUSA) since the initiative was first launched in 2015. With the subject of sustainability gradually rising in the public’s agenda it isn’t surprising to see that this year over 30 USCs have opted to take part in the competition.
Each year the challenge has developed further with more actions and suggestions for clubs to ‘tick off’ as they progress up the awards from Bronze to Silver and eventually to Gold. By undertaking these positive actions USCs have the opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of the boating community how achievable and rewarding sustainable sailing can be.
Firstly, participating clubs will have appointed a Sustainability Officer who acts as The Green Blue’s main point of contact and the key driver to lead their club to success. In past challenges, this position has been taken up by students studying a variety of disciplines including engineering, law, geography, science and marine related degrees, keen to build on their skills and knowledge of sustainability in sport, adding their involvement with The Green Blue – a national environmental awareness programme, to their CVs.
Sustainable actions you can expect to find across the award levels include:
• Ensuring sailing venues have a Spill Kit available
• Raising awareness of sustainable boating best practice through social media
• Displaying awareness materials at the USC sailing venue
• Eliminating single use plastics
• An environmental assessment of the USC sailing venue
• Following the Check Clean Dry approach to removing Invasive Non-Native Species.
In the most recent 2019-20 challenge, twelve USCs achieved the Bronze Award level and two the Silver Award. This year these clubs will be hoping to build upon their success by going on to achieve the next award level.
All USCs that complete an award level of the challenge will be entered into a prize draw in March. The higher the award level achieved the bigger the prize!
You can see what participating USCs are achieving and cheer them on by searching for #GreenBlueUniChallenge and by following @TheGreenBlue on Twitter and Facebook and @the_green_blue on Instagram.