Volvo and the environment

Environmental audit of Volvo Ocean Race to be carried out by Det Norske Veritas

Friday September 26th 2008, Author: Lizzie Ward, Location: United Kingdom
Sailing is still one of the purest and most nature-friendly sports, with fast and fierce competition depending only on the wind as the source of energy. The sailors in the Volvo Ocean Race are known to be concerned and focused on preserving the marine life as well as the pollution of our oceans. To take this environmental concern a step further, it was announced today that the Volvo Ocean Race is to undergo a thorough environmental audit together with DNV (Det Norske Veritas).

DNV Software has created a custom-built Environmental Performance System (EPS) for the Volvo Ocean Race which will involve and include the race organisers, the sponsors of the race as well as the teams and their boats. The main objective is to clearly identify areas for environmental improvement as well as creating a benchmark against which to measure future races.

"I am in no doubt that we need to grow and develop the Volvo Ocean Race in a sustainable way, and take our corporate social responsibility as well as our environmental management seriously. To be able to do so, we need to now establish a benchmark and then work out how to develop the different areas. I am pleased that one of the most recognised and experienced companies in this field will be working with us to conduct a proper environmental audit," says Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race.

"The boats and the sailors can become excellent ambassadors for a positive environmental message. I am confident that we can also develop our boats and energy consumption in a way that can benefit even areas and industries outside our race. Wind as an energy source is on its way back, even in shipping - and this we shall be part of," continues Frostad.

 “DNV Software is very excited to be a part of Volvo Ocean Race and its environmental effort through provision of our Environmental Performance System (EPS) for all race participants,” says Elling Rishoff, Managing Director of DNV Software.  “EPS  is piece of web- based environmental software which will calculate emissions from all areas of the race including fossil fuel usage for chase boats, air transport, container transport and the small amount used to power the electrical and electronic equipment onboard each race boat.   By comparing results from EPS against the Volvo Ocean Race’s acceptance criteria it will be possible to quickly establish where improvements are required,” he added.

The onboard media crew members (MCM) are also involved in our environmental programme as part of their duties are centred on a water-sampling programme run in conjunction with race partner Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics.  At a pre-determined time each day the MCM will take a sea water sample and test it with a ‘Luminometer’.  The results are recorded along with air temperature, cloud cover, water temperature and the GPS position of the boat.  The information is then sent back to Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s Goteborg laboratory where it will form part of an international study on the discharge of ballast water from ships. 

The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will be the 10th running of this ocean marathon.  Starting from Alicante in Spain, on 4 October 2008 with in-port racing, it will, for the first time, take in Cochin, India, Singapore and Qingdao, China before finishing in St Petersburg, Russia for the first time in the history of the race.  Spanning some 37,000 nautical miles, stopping at 11 ports and taking nine months to complete, the Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s premier yacht race for professional racing crews. 

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