The RS21 Italian Class will present a sustainability masterclass on 29th November 2023 as part of the World Sailing Sustainability Sessions.
The leading class in sustainability, the RS21 Italian Class is the first sailing class in the world to achieve an ISO20121. Created by the International Organization for Standardization, this certification is only awarded when an event organiser adheres to a detailed set of requirements that meet the international standard for sustainable event management.
The RS21 Italian Class will present the sustainability initiatives they have taken, provide advice on how to choose partners for sustainability, and how the ISO20121 is implemented in their events.
The class’s manifesto features three steps and begins with the boat itself. RS Sailing is committed to improving sustainability, from a construction angle and also a position of social sustainability. This focus has actively influenced the design. The RS21 incorporates eco-friendly materials into the construction and the deck shape was innovatively designed to facilitate space-saving stacking. Along with the removable keel, this allows the boats to be layered on top of each other, reducing transport emissions between events. It’s also teamed with an integrated electric motor pack from E-Propulsion; a cleaner engine to get you home when the wind drops.
Class partners for sustainability are also a key element. One Ocean Foundation is a key partner which the RS21 Italian Class use to educate clubs that host the RS21 regattas on environmental issues. We all know that plastic pollution is a major concern. By partnering with Guglielmi, the RS21 Italian Class ensure that all their events have microfiltered water stations, where sailors can refill their own bottles each day before heading out on the racecourse. Events also use robotic racing marks; anchorless and remote-controlled, they avoid seabed damage and reduce the need for course-laying ribs. The RS21 Cup Yamamay and the RS21 World Championships used MarkSetBot. The Pulse 63 from RS Electric Boats was also used as a support vessel.
Carbon offsetting is the third piece of the puzzle. The RS21 Italian Class partners with greentech start-up Up2You to reduce their environmental impact by offsetting their CO2 emissions. Events emissions are meticulously calculated from boat transport all the way through to the activities of the crew. Up2You supports certified environmental protection projects such as preserving forests, guarding ecosystems and developing sustainable technologies. Most recently, the RS21 World Championships in Sardinia had its emissions eliminated through Up2You.
Davide Casetti, President of the RS21 Italian Class, explains: “The goal is to be an example. We don’t want to be the only class achieving success in sustainability. Certification is a great goal. David Graham, the CEO of World Sailing, said in December 2022 that classes should look at the ISO20121 certification – and I took it as an issue for us! It should be a goal, and we achieved it. The certification helps us to have an internal process for sustainability.”
The World Sailing Sustainability Session hosted by the RS21 Italian Class is designed for all stakeholders within the sailing community on how they can start their sustainability journey and develop it moving forward. Everyone from Member National Authorities, Class Associations, Sailing Clubs and Centres, right down to just the individual athlete are welcome to attend. Sign-up here to register your interest in the virtual event.
The series of educational sessions, hosted by World Sailing, feature two virtual seminars a month. They began in October 2023 and run up until March 2024. To see the full series and sign-up information, head to World Sailing Sustainability Sessions.