It's great to see companies responding to environmental concerns. Sailors are close to the water, and see the effects of pollution and plastic waste close at hand, making us generally more environmentally aware, something dinghy and keelboat specialists RS Sailing acknowledge.
"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 focus on protecting the environment we all enjoy sailing in," explains the company in their recent announcement.
With that in mind RS Sailing has announced it is implementing a Sustainability Programme, which will involve analysing, improving and publicising, where helpful, relevant aspects of their boats and operations.
Four ways RS Sailing is 'going greener'
1. Recycling of hulls
A high percentage of RS hulls are made from the highest grade rotomoulded polyethylene – a material which is 100 per cent recyclable, a fact that has been little known and, therefore, under-used.
2. Recycling of spars and foils
Most RS spars and many foils are made from aluminium alloy – again fully recyclable. "We have set up a recycling collection service at RS HQ in the UK and are happy to extend this facility to other classes – if you have a broken spar you’re welcome to drop it to RS for recycling," says RS.
3. Green packaging
RS cardboard packaging is produced entirely from 100 per cent managed woodland materials with a high percentage of recycled content and 100 per cent recyclable. The company is changing its polythene boat wrapping to a material that is bio based – made from 50 per cent sugar cane waste, officially re-classified as paper and totally recyclable.
4. Clean energy and paperless office
RS explains: "Within our operations, among other things we’re implementing energy supply from clean sources, improving our own waste recycling, adopting a “practically paperless” office approach, using recycled products where possible and reducing internal transport before freight to our international customers."
The company says; "RS Sailing has benefitted from inspirational and knowledgeable input to our sustainability project from a number of experts and we’re planning to work alongside the technical team at World Sailing on the evaluation of more environmentally friendly FRP composite construction materials. We will work with our enthusiastic international RS dealers to extend best-practice and information worldwide. At RS Sailing we see 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."
This has to be great news for both the industry and our environment and RS joins other high profile marine companies, including Ben Ainslie Racing, in trying to do their bit or operate in a more environmentally-friendly way.
See our features on Environmentally-friendly powerboating and Marine litter: steps to cleaner seas.