Sustainability leads the way at the 2021 Southampton International Boat Show

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To mark World Oceans Day (8 June 2021), the organiser of the Southampton International Boat Show, British Marine, has pledged to make the 2021 edition the most sustainable and environmentally friendly in its 52 year history.

Taking place from 10-19 September, the event sees hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors attending the event. The footprint of the show covers over 65,000sqm with moorings for over 350 boats, making it Europe’s largest temporary marina.

Visitors at the show will be able to buy some of the newest and most advanced products made from recycled and recyclable materials, and discover the latest technological advances designed to protect the environment, with specific advice and guidance available from The Green Blue stand. A joint initiative between British Marine and the RYA, The Green Blue highlights sustainable and environmentally friendly products and services through its Green Blue Business Directory.

“From rope manufacturer Marlow, which makes its Blue Ocean Dockline using 100% recycled waste plastic bottles, and Henri-Lloyd’s new MAV Mid Hoody made from 17 recycled 1.5L PET bottles, to Halyard’s Wave filters which prevent oil or other pollutants being inadvertently pumped overboard, and Micfil Ultra Fine filters, which ensure cleaner fuel and oil, reducing emissions, and even the natural hand and surface sanitisers from Ecoworks that help keep people safe from COVID and are healthier for the environment too, this show is packed with products and services which are sustainable and help protect the environment which we love,” says British Marine’s CEO Lesley Robinson. “We’ve also asked all the exhibitors to pledge that any promotional items or give-aways at the show will be sustainable and recyclable.

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“This is our third year of a five-year sustainability pledge, and If we all make just one small change, together we’ll make one big difference,” continues Lesley.

All exhibitors at the show are being asked to sign up to a pledge which includes no single use plastic water bottles on stands, outlets, or hosted events; to nominate a sustainability champion on their stand to oversee waste management and recycling at the show; to offer only sustainable and recyclable promotional goodies; and to only use compostable, recyclable or reusable cups, plates and cutlery.

“These mandatory requirements for 2021 are in addition to actions implemented at the last show in 2019, which has already seen the ban of all plastic straws, reduced use of single use plastic for all show-related preparation and operations, encouraging the use of e-ticket and QR codes, and only using recycled paper if print materials are required. We’re proud that during the 2019 show over 7.5 tons of waste was diverted from landfill by exhibitor actions,” says Lesley.

For 2021, British Marine has focused on eight distinct areas for change at the show, categorised into Plastics; Paper; Catering; Waste and Recycling; Our Home; Travel; Access and Education; and Awareness.

“By clearly defining categories, we can help everyone attending or visiting the show to be aware of small or large changes that can be made by the organisers, the exhibitors and the visitors. This includes, for example, having plenty of water refill points throughout the show, avoiding the need for any single use water bottles, ensuring there are sustainable travel options and providing a donation opportunity for our environmental charity at the point of ticket purchase. It requires some pre-planning, for example using e-tickets, rather than printed tickets, using only environmentally-sourced give-aways at the show, and post event actions such as recycling stand materials as well as any activities during the show, like an organised beach clean,” says James Scott-Anderson, British Marine’s lead in environment.

Graham Allen, CEO of Henri-Lloyd says: “We are genuinely excited about the momentum that is taking place around sustainability and how it is being driven by companies and individuals rather than a grudging reaction to legislation. As a company we are striving every day to find better ways of reducing our footprint across all of our products and manufacturing, acknowledging that this is never ending pursuit to minimise our impact.”

For exhibitors that go the extra mile, there is also the opportunity to enter the Southampton International Boat Show’s Exhibitor Sustainability Award, which will be presented by The Green Blue’s ambassador Mike Golding on Press Day (10 September). Entries need to be received by British Marine before 10August highlighting the sustainability actions being taken by them both at the show and within the organisation.

Previous joint winners of the inaugural Exhibitor Environmental Awards in 2019 were RS Sailing and Spirit Yachts.

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