Organizations in every industry are starting to recognize the importance of sustainability. Some industries must make much more drastic reforms on that front than others, because they have a terrible track record on environmentalism. This is why GlobeScan tracks the green performance of different organizations. They want to make sure that companies get recognized for the contributions to safeguarding the environment and promoting sustainability.
The jockey business hasn’t been terrible for the environment, but it hasn’t been great either. It is starting to recognize the importance of taking new steps to operate in a more sustainable way. Aintree Jockey Club is among the organizations that is most committed to promoting sustainability. They are trying to take new steps to promote it at the national level, and they can serve as an example for others aiming to be more sustainable in what they do.
Aintree Jockey Club is an Environmentally Friendly Model for All Jockey Clubs to Live By
A couple of years ago, a jockey club in Hong Kong was praised for its contributions to sustainability. Many UK groups took sustainability for granted, but that is changing. Aintree and other jockey groups are driving positive change to save the environment.
With the new horse racing calendar of events coming up, there’ll be endless opportunities for the usual fun of soaking up the sunshine with a cooling refreshment or placing your bets with TimeForm at the Grand National. But Aintree won’t be providing plastic straws and cups this year. Sustainability is the hot topic of the moment and with good reason – climate change has a direct impact on our environment and studies suggest we only have 12 years to change our habits before the negative impacts become irreversible. With this in mind, the Aintree Jockey Club is working to implement steps to reduce their impact on the planet while still ensuring a great customer experience.
With the Grand National such an important racing event in the horse racing calendar, it stands to reason that taking a more responsible approach will have a big effect in educating people on the importance of sustainability issues. So, what are the changes and how will they affect how the club runs?
The Jockey Club is the largest commercial group in horse racing in Britain and owns 15 of the leading racecourses, including Aintree. Due to the millions of racegoers attending events each year and the thousands of acres of land covered by the racecourses, sustainability and environmentally-friendly principles have become increasingly important.
The Jockey Club’s group sustainability and corporate social values manager, Kirstin McEvoy, explains that sustainability is about “raising awareness with the public and in sport” about the importance of greener initiatives. Through changing the practices that British horse racing is involved with, the Jockey Club hopes to make a difference by bringing this issue to the attention of the huge crowds of racegoers.
Aintree Jockey Club has its own Sustainability Executive, based at Sandown Park Racecourse, who works closely with the team to put a sustainable spin on work practices and marketing processes. The sustainability strategy that the Jockey Club has put in place has a combination of short-term and long-term objectives.
These include the below, which can also serve as ideas for other sports clubs and venues looking to become more sustainable:
- A reduction in annual energy consumption, both gas and electricity
- Higher proportion of recycled waste
- Printing all race cards on recycled paper
- Featuring environmental credentials in procurement decisions
- Sourcing local food suppliers where possible as part of the club’s catering division – Jockey Club Catering
The club is also hoping to incorporate electric vehicle charging points at the racecourse in the near future as well. The Jockey Club has stated that their strategy is continuing to evolve to include different objectives that will help reduce energy consumption and waste that the club produces. This includes cutting down on single-use plastic through switching to biodegradable straws, deposit systems on drinks containers and a closed-loop system at Sandown where plastic cups are separated from the rest of the recycling bins.
Sport is such a key interest for so many people and it’s a vast industry that encapsulates a variety of activities and processes. To merge sustainability into those processes can have a huge impact on the carbon footprint of horse racing and the reduction of waste, both physical and energy. Going forward, the Grand National will hopefully lead the way as one of the key horse racing events promoting a greener way of enjoying this sport.
Aintree is Committed to Sustainability
Sustainability is a major concern for companies around the UK. Aintree Jockey Club is among them. They are encouraging their peers to make positive changes to help the world we all depend on.