University Sustainability Challenge

The Green Blue

The Green Blue is the joint environment programme created by the Royal Yachting Association and British Marine launched in 2005 at the Southampton Boat Show. We help boat users, boating businesses, clubs and training centres to reduce their impact on coastal and inland waters to keep them in great shape for now and the future. The Green Blue raises awareness, supports practical projects, runs bespoke outreach activities and offers easy to follow advice to make boating in the UK as sustainable as possible.

The Green Blue - launched at the Southampton Boat Show on 19th September 2005 - is the environmental awareness programme set up by the Royal Yachting Association and British Marine. Its mission is to promote the sustainable use of coastal and inland waters by boating and watersports participants, as well as the sustainable operation and development of the recreational boating industry.

The Green Blue's objective is to help boaters and boating businesses to minimise their impact on the environment by raising awareness amongst industry and users; reducing harmful discharges; reducing environmental disturbance; and encouraging sustainable choices.

2017 Challenge winners receive their awards from Kate Fortnam of Green Blue and Peter Saxton, BUSA President at the 2017 Dinghy Show

Bangor USC demonstrate their reusable water bottles

University Sailing Sustainability Challenge (USSC)

The University Sailing Sustainability Challenge (USSC) is set up by The Green Blue, the RYA and British Marine’s environmental initiative and supported by BUSA. In pervious years there have been up to twenty USCs competing in the challenge. It would be great to have (your university) involved and part of the action as well.

Background to Challenge
The USSC has now been running for three years and due to its previous success is going ahead for the fifth year. The challenge was set up by The Green Blue to get the next generation of boaters becoming ‘green champions’ for UK sailing. We believe university students have a good background knowledge and passion for the environment and are great role models for the rest of the UK boating community.

This challenge offers USCs the opportunity to work with their sailing venues more closely towards a common aim and also provide USC's with the chance of making an environmental difference to their immediate sailing environment and win prizes and certificates for their achievements.

The Challenge Outline

The Challenge involves USC's undertaking a number of set sustainable actions. There is a Bronze, Silver and Gold Award level that can be achieved by your USC to take back to your Student Union with pride. To reach each award level there is a certain number of environmentally sustainable actions that must be completed by your club and sailing venue.

Each USC starts off by appointing one or two Sustainability Officers who act as The Green Blue’s my main point of contact throughout the challenge and will be responsible for getting the sustainable actions achieved, evidenced and emailed to myself, the Challenge Coordinator, at The Green Blue.

The Green Blue is introducing a new element to the Challenge. If your USC has previously taken part and successfully completed all of the actions at the Bronze or Silver level, you will be allowed to start completing the next award level. This is in order to allow clubs to progress and achieve higher levels of sustainability. However, if one of the tasks was only partially completed, all of the actions will need to be carried out again in the new year in order to qualify as completing that level. If you believe your USC is in this position, please contact me, and we will confirm the award level your USC can start competing from.

A cash prize draw will be held at the end of the challenge for the USCs that have achieved the most sustainable actions.

You can cheer on the University Sailing Clubs through the Sustainability Challenge by following us Twitter - @thegreenblue - or on the Green Blue's Facebook page.

Other links: The GreenBlue website has lots of information, resources, ideas and news. The University Sustainability Challenge is also described there.

Now in it’s fifth year, the Green Blue’s University Sailing Sustainability Challenge expanded yet again in 2019-20, with 14 universities getting involved. A joint initiative between the RYA and British Marine, and supported by BUSA, the annual challenge sees universities across the UK improve their club’s sustainability through activities such as litter picking, promoting reusable water bottle use and using the “Check, Clean, Dry” process to prevent the spread of invasive species.
Newcastle University Sailing and Yachting Club were the overall winners of the University Sailing Sustainability Challenge 2018-19, presented by BUSA President, Peter Saxton, on behalf of the RYA and British Marine’s joint environment initiative ‘The Green Blue’. Swansea University Sailing Club clinched second place, and Dundee University Sailing Club, the University of Sussex Sailing Club and the University of East Anglia Sailing Club were in joint 3rd place.
After all their work through the winter – auditing their environment, acquiring reusable bottles, installing spill kits, demonstrating ‘spill, clean and dry’, halting the spread of alien species, promoting good environmental practice, working with host clubs, team building……...the winners celebrate the experience....and the winning. Meanwhile, The Green Blue announces a 2019-20 Challenge.