The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature.
Yet, these are exceptional times in which nature is sending us a message:
To care for ourselves we must care for nature.
It’s time to wake up. To take notice. To raise our voices.
It’s time to build back better for People and Planet.
This World Environment Day, it’s Time for Nature.
With all that is happening in the world right now, it’s never been more prominent to protect the incredible environment around us. With a new appreciation of the great outdoors on our doorstep and the simple pleasure from sailing on your local piece of water – it’s humbling.
The core team at RS Sailing are life-long sailors who love being on the water. We’d like to think we’ve developed some great boats for people like us and for the next generation of sailors, so we want to do our part to protect the environment we all enjoy sailing in.
RS Sailing has, therefore, implemented a Sustainability Programme – analysing, improving and publicising recyclable aspects of our boats, recyclable packaging, clean energy sources, almost paperless office functions, our operations and waste recycling.
We, at RS Sailing, view this as an ongoing programme – the job will never be done. We aim to continually improve and to set the sustainability standard within our part of the sailing industry which we hope others will follow.
We’ve worked hard with our suppliers to try and remove all single-use plastic from our products and we’re chuffed to say that Hyde have been a force for good. Check out these stats!
• 5000 sails are supplied to RS by Hyde each year and there is now no single-use plastic on any of our sailors from 2020 products and onwards.
• 4000 top covers are supplied again by Hyde each year and the packaging is completely plastic-free. The covers have been designed to neatly fold and tie using their own straps! Nifty!
• Our dacron training sails from Hyde are now folded which stops us from ‘shipping air’ in our containers. This helps RS to reduce our carbon footprint.
We have designed some of our boats with stacking in mind, the RS21, the RS Aero and the Pulse58 to name a few!
The RS Aero stacking system enables three hulls to be stacked with simple padding in between. This allows three boats to be carried on a single road base, or two boats on a roof rack. It also enables us to fit more boats in one container which again stops us from shipping ‘fresh air’ and reducing our carbon footprint in comparison to competitors its size.
Recyclable Polyethylene – About 70% of RS sailboat hulls are made from 100% recyclable polyethene material. They are tough, so likely to have a long life – but if your boat reaches “end of life”, please contact your RS dealer for disposal information – more info here.
We are testing sustainable materials for use in GRP hulls and will incorporate them into our production where the strength to weight properties allow. For example, the RS Aero hull weighs only about the same as an Optimist – so uses less than half the GRP materials previously expected of a boat of its size.
The RS21 was designed with an E-Propulsion motor system integrated into hull & deck design. The 1KW Spirit propulsion motor provides the equivalent thrust of a 3hp petrol outboard, without any of the downsides of combustion engine ownership. There’s no fuel or oil to spill, no regular servicing, no tricky starting procedure, and noise or fumes when operating, just smooth, silent thrust that’s available all the way through the rev range.
RS Sailing were proud to be jointly awarded British Marine’s Environmental Award for our sustainability efforts alongside Spirit Yachts at the Southampton International Boat Show 2019. The British Marine award recognised exhibitors who had embraced environmentally responsible behaviour and sustainable work practices at the Boat Show.
With this in mind, the RS team sat down for their initial Southampton Boat Show planning meeting with a focus on sustainability. From greener transport, reusing equipment for their stand, fuelling the team with food and drinks not wrapped single-use plastic, curbing nonessential paper and ditching giveaways, they made a conscientious effort to really limit the environmental impact.
Motivated by consumer demand and expected changes to legislation, the marine industry is under the spotlight to make advances in closed-loop product design, moving away from the linear ‘take-make-waste’ approach and towards a circular economy.
In collaboration with founding sponsor 11th Hour Racing, an international organisation that harnesses the power of sport to innovate change for the health of our oceans, MarineShift360 is actively developing its LCA tool to equip the industry with the means to understand product sustainability and RS are proud to a founding partner to help develop the tool.
The environment has had a well-deserved rest in recent months, at RS Sailing our staff have adapted quickly to working from home, with Microsoft Teams keeping up all in touch and up to date. We’ve started reflecting on our travel moving forward and we’ve promised that we’ll be more confident asking for a virtual meeting before hopping in the car/plane/train in future!
We aim to continually improve and to set the sustainability standard within our part of the sailing industry which we hope others will follow.