Southampton International Boat Show organiser British Marine and environmental awareness programme The Green Blue are raising the sustainability bar even higher at this year’s show, which takes place from 10-19 September.
British Marine said environmental best practice guidance and signage will be visible throughout the show including within its new zones. New zones at this year’s show are tailored to watersports, dinghies, classic and day boats and on the water activities.
All exhibitors are required to follow the sustainability pledge including new environmental requirements to follow on their stand and at their events. Single-use plastic bottles and plastic straws have been replaced with recyclable or reusable glasses, plates and cutlery on all stands, along with only sustainable and recyclable promotional materials being given away. Exhibitors also have a nominated person on their stand to oversee their waste management and recycling at the show.
British Marine also has a voluntary environmental charter and an Exhibitor Environmental Award. Exhibitors are encouraged to sign up to this charter and its additional environmental sustainability provisions in addition to the mandatory obligations. Those exhibitors that have signed up to this charter in the show will be denoted by a plaque, indicating that they have committed to those additional requirements and support the sustainable future of the marine sector.
The show’s Exhibitor Environmental Award will be running again this year following the inaugural year in 2019 when it was jointly won by RS Sailing and Spirit Yachts. The award is given to the exhibitor whose stand and operations at the show contribute the most towards sustainability; by making their stand reusable, by sharing ideas and resources to others or by implementing a green exhibit strategy. The award is open to all exhibitors and this year the winner will be presented by The Green Blue patron Mike Golding on Press & Preview Day on 10 September.
This year’s show will also see an increased presence from The Green Blue and its environmental partners who will be running a series of presentations and events on resources for consumers and the marine industry throughout the show.
The show will be a ‘bring your own bottle’ event again this year. Visitors are encouraged to use the water refill points onsite and not to bring any single-use plastic with them, and there will not be any single-use plastic products for sale. The show aims to beat the amount of recycled waste generated in 2019, which was over seven tons.
Organisers are also encouraging visitors and exhibitors to use public transport, bicycles, or electric scooters where possible and the entry e-tickets are environmentally friendly.
British Marine CEO Lesley Robinson said: “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. The ocean is our playground, and we need to take care of it and protect it now and for future generations to enjoy.”