RYA steps up commitment to sustainability activities

As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability activities, the RYA has become a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact and renewed its environmental policy.

“The RYA recognises that the protection of the environment is an integral part of our business,” commented Phil Horton, RYA Environment and Sustainability Manager.  “We believe that environmental damage is avoidable so will do everything reasonably practicable to prevent it to ensure that our members can continue to enjoy the experience of boating in a clean environment.”

The UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, with businesses around the globe signing up to Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

As part of its pledge, the RYA will be making the UN Global Compact principles part of its strategy, culture and day-to-day operations and take the necessary actions to advance the broader development goals, in particular, the Sustainable Development Goals.

“There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals ranging from ending poverty and hunger to ensuring healthy lives and well-being for all and access to quality education.  The goals also look at life below the water and ensuring we conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development,” explained Phil.

“We will be looking at practical ways in which the association can implement the principles in each of the areas through reviewing our policies and ensuring that we promote the principles through our supply chain and at events with which we are involved.”

The RYA’s renewed Environmental Policy highlights the association’s commitment to complying with applicable environmental legislation, preventing pollution, identifying and minimising risks to the environment posed by RYA organised events and ensuring its continued improvement in performance.

“There are a number of factors we are looking at to manage and improve our ongoing environmental performance including the implementation of an Environmental Management System which conforms to ISO14001, ensuring measures are in place at RYA events to reduce the risk of pollution and potential environmental hazards, as well as ensuring we follow the waste hierarchy and considering our use of energy, amongst other things.”  Phil added.

Sustainability is a key factor in the ongoing strategic plans of the RYA and the association will be accountable to the UN, its members and relevant stakeholders to ensure it upholds its commitments.

To read more about the RYA’s commitment to sustainability activities and Environmental Policy visit www.rya.org.uk/go/environmentandsustainability.

The RYA’s Sustainability Team includes specialists in planning and environmental law, working alongside the outreach team that has been delivering The Green Blue programme since 2005. They support the RYA’s members and the wider boating community by responding to marine licensing applications on behalf of recreational boaters, influencing government policy and educating boaters about sustainability issues. The team also looks at how the RYA can minimise its own impacts on the environment both in its office environment and when delivering training and events.

Find out more about the UN Global Compact at https://www.unglobalcompact.org/what-is-gc.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.