Sustainability Pledge //
The Atlantic Cup is committed to being the most environmentally responsible sailing race in the United States. In the past two years, teams and race management have worked together to create a fully carbon neutral event. As the race grows, race management will continue to seek innovative ideas and products that align with its mission. We encourage you to explore this page to learn more about the unique steps the race, its teams and its presenting sponsor, 11th Hour Racing are taking to make this a truly sustainable event.
For the second year in a row, The Atlantic Cup was a carbon neutral event. Green Mountain Energy, the race’s official renewable energy and carbon offset sponsor worked with race management to calculate the overall footprint for the event. The pie chart breaks down where the majority of carbon emissions came from.
Based on Green Mountain Energy’s calculations the Atlantic Cup in 2013 emitted 30 metric tons of CO2 and 1 mega-watt hour of electricity. Below are the certifications presented to the Atlantic Cup offsetting the race’s footprint.
A Carbon Neutral Race? //
The Atlantic Cup takes an overarching approach so that all event operations are looked at through the lens of how can we minimize impact. It seems natural that a sailing race would be carbon neutral as sails are powered by wind and therefore you aren’t using any fossil fuel so how can there be carbon impact?
Not everyone realizes that to race offshore teams need electronics and those electronics don’t mysteriously power themselves. The Class 40, the boat used in the Atlantic Cup, is designed to race offshore and has a good deal of electronic systems on board: standard navigational displays, routing computers, water ballast and an autopilot to name a few.
Additionally, race management’s operations require electricity and fossil fuel to bring the Atlantic Cup to you. Some of the areas we track usage for during the race include:
- Hours of monitor use
- Hotel night stays
- Attendee travel
- Printing of signage
- Food production
- Food waste and other waste
- Creation of event materials – programs, tickets etc.
- Office supplies
- Water bottles
Now add in the sailboats and teams’
- Support and Competitor Fuel consumption
- On board energy production
- Competitor travel
- Water (not the water they sail on)
- Cleaning products
Below are some of the steps that Race Management takes to mitigate their fossil usage.
- Green Mountain Energy Company is the exclusive Renewable Energy and Carbon Offsets Sponsor of the Atlantic Cup. They have been a proud supporter of the Atlantic Cup since 2012 by helping us become a carbon neutral event for two years running. GME is the nation’s longest-serving renewable energy retailer, and they’ve been delivering on their mission to change the way power is made for over 15 years. Cleaner energy is all they do, because they believe in using sun, wind and water for good. Their customers have collectively helped avoid over 19.4 billion pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
- Recycling and compost stations are set up in all three marinas and at all hospitality parties. Race Management tracks the distance waste travels to fully understand the complete effect of waste generation.
- All hospitality parties use glassware or biodegradable plastic to minimize waste entering landfills.
- Zip 2 Water provides onsite water filling stations in each city so that teams and guests can fill their canteens. No plastic water bottles are sold or available to guests or teams.
- 100% post-consumer recycled paper is used in the Manuka Sports Event Management offices and will also be used for all event packets, tickets and handouts.
Steps the Teams Take //
- Teams use an alternative fuel source to charge batteries which power all the on-board electronics while offshore. This may include, fuel cells, solar panels and/or hydrogenerator. Check out the video above of Icarus Racing’s Tim Fetsch explaining how a hydrogenerator works.
- While some fuel is needed to run the engine while getting to and from the docks, biodiesel is provided for the fleet to use as a blend in their engines. Newport Biodiesel supplies all of the competitor boats with biodiesel to create a B20 blend (that’s 80% unleaded and 20% biodiesel). Realistically teams could put 100% biodiesel in your marine engine and some of the teams do use more, but Race Management sets the bar at 80/20.
- The Atlantic Cup is a plastic water bottle free event and as such all teams are required to use their water tanks and reusable canteens for water.
- All teams will be required to recycle any waste from the offshore and inshore portion of the race. Race Management supplies each team with compostable trash bags. Most of the waste that the teams create that isn’t recyclable while offshore will break down over time in a landfill. So it’s important to give the teams a trash bag that will breakdown in the landfill.
- All teams use environmentally friendly cleaning products to wash down and clean their boat.
11th Hour Racing //
11th Hour Racing invests in solutions that improve the energy profile and performance of racing boats. Implementing and promoting the newest technologies for energy efficiency and sustainable production enhances sailing performance, while minimizing impact on the water. Mitigating energy consumption with efficiency and technology, less fuel needs to be carried: less weight = lighter = enhanced performance = winning strategy.
- Educate and engage the sailing and racing community around global issues facing our environment, to help identify local solutions; and inspire responsible stewardship, on and off the water, to protect the waters we depend upon for our sport and recreation.
- Sponsor winning teams and individuals who practice and promote the principles of education and advancement of innovative practices, using the newest technologies to protect our waters, while enhancing boat performance.
- Support and promote a culture of responsible environmental practices in dynamic sailing events and regattas that represent aggregate improvement in waste management and energy use.
- Engage in discussion with the Marine Industry, targeting universal concerns and implementing viable solutions. Recognizing our impact extends beyond the boats, and the decisions we make affect the waters, the shores and harbors, and the land beyond.