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Home / The Club / Our commitment to the environment
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Home / The Club / Our commitment to the environment

Our commitment to the environment

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In order to continue ESC's proud heritage of sailing and watersports, we need to protect the environment on which our Club, and the sports that we love, depends.

Running the Club has an impact on the environment - we use energy, water, resources and we create waste. The waters in which we sail, kayak, windsurf, SUP, swim and row, we also share with wildlife.

To quote Jane Goodall, the famous primatologist "You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."

It is possible to make small changes to what we do and reduce the impact we have on the environment. We can also join in with community actions that protect our beautiful harbour.

Where did we start?

We all recycle in our homes, so it seemed natural to provide recycling bins at the Club, which we did in 2020. It was surprising that only 10% of the Club's waste was being recycled which meant there were easy gains to be had by simply changing our habits, such as recycling and reducing the amount of plastic being used. We are very fortunate to have a skilled and diverse membership and a member with expertise in environmental management offered to help to 'green' the Club and a small team began working to see what changes could be made that would benefit the environment.

We developed an Environmental Policy to provide the framework to set out how we might go about making these changes and to begin the transition. The Policy gained support from all Club committees and was approved in 2019.

To act on the Policy, we developed an action plan to set out the likely changes needed at the Club, and this, along with the Policy, was shared with the membership in the spring of 2020. Local green businesses, environmental groups, neighbouring sailing clubs and the RYA Green Blue, were invited to the launch as we wanted to 'make waves' for the environment and let the membership know that the Club had a plan and to encourage involvement. On the day, the BBC came to film us for a feature on BBC South Today. ESC was the first sailing club in the UK to develop an Environmental Policy and set out a corresponding action plan.

What are we doing now?

Our action plan has 3 key themes;

  • 1. Understanding the impact on the environment when we make decisions
  • 2. Reducing waste and avoiding pollution and making our Club environmentally friendly
  • 3. Working with our members and others in the local community, to create positive environmental change.

What have we done already?

We've already made some big changes. Working with Ollie and his team, ESC has phased out single-use plastics, individually wrapped biscuits, sugar and sauce sachets, bottled water, plus plastic straws and disposable cups. All lightbulbs are LED and the solar panels installed in summer 2023 are already significantly reducing the energy needed to heat the pool.

To reduce the amount of water we use and avoid wasting it, hoses used for washing boats have pressure triggers. Recycling bins have been placed around the Club, so that members can recycle plastic bottles, drinks cans, paper and cardboard.

We organise regular litter picks on the beach and Mountbatten Dinghy Park and our instructors make sure that the environment is part of the learning for sailors of all ages and abilities.

We have come a long way but we still will need the help of every one of our members, from our oldest to the youngest, if we are to achieve our environmental goals. We are grateful to everyone who has helped, suggested ideas and supported efforts to make ESC sustainable. By going green, we will save our blue.

Links to organisations and individuals we are involved with;

Clean Harbours Partnership:

Chichester Harbour Conservancy

RYA Blue Green

Follow this link to the Club YouTube and our Photo Library to see some great clips of our members' activities and the launch of our plan.


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