The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, now in its fourth year is due to kick off in just over a week. The race, billed as the World’s Toughest Row will involve 30 competing teams from across the world racing across the Atlantic Ocean for more than 40 days.
One team, inspired by the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015 decided to set a precedent of being the first carbon neutral rowing team to cross the Atlantic. The appropriately-named Carbon Zerow team will row the 3000 miles from the Canary Islands to Antigua & Barbuda, battling savage waters, unpredictable weather conditions, and brutal physical challenges.
Teammates Kyle, James, Brian and Philip have put sustainability at the heart of their ambition, and want to use the race to inspire others to live a low-carbon lifestyle. To ensure the credibility of the carbon neutral claim, the Carbon Zerow team approached the Carbon Trust. Our role is to help track and verify their carbon emissions throughout the project and independently verify the carbon neutrality of Carbon Zerow once the race is completed. To compensate for the unavoidable carbon emissions generated during the preparation phase and the race itself, Carbon Zerow will purchase certified carbon offsets, recognised under the PAS 2060 specification.
The Carbon Trust first designed a carbon footprint tracker for Carbon Zerow to help them capture data on the project. This data included the materials making up the boat itself and everything in it, including food, clothing and equipment, as well as whether equipment was purchased second-hand or not, and whether it was sold, recycled or sent to landfill after the race. The tracker also records all travel during the training and to and from the race, as well as boat transport and travel for sponsorship related activities.
As well as tracking their emissions and offsetting them, Carbon Zerow also committed to a carbon reduction plan. The team has committed to purchasing second-hand equipment where possible, travelling by bus or train rather than driving or flying where possible and avoiding red meat consumption for 2017.
Carbon Zerow will be raising money for the conservation work of the World Land Trust during the challenge. The Carbon Trust is excited to be supporting the team in their race, and look forward to seeing more carbon neutral competitors in both the Atlantic Challenge and similar events in years to come.