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Environment & Sustainability

Our environment is facing greater threats than ever before, climate change threatening our very resilience, we’re already seeing drier summers, more frequent and intense rainfall, more variable river levels and declining biodiversity.

Plastic pollution and sewage pollution in our rivers, air pollution alongside the waters we paddle are all contributing to the urgency of the threats to our blue spaces upon which we depend as a sport.

British Canoeing is committed to a sustainable future, reducing our impact on the environment and taking action to change behaviours which contribute to climate change.

"If working apart we are a force powerful enough to destabilise our planet, surely working together we are powerful enough to save it."

David Attenborough’s address at the global climate summit.

In November 2018, British Canoeing launched its Clear Access Clear Waters Charter (CACW), which sets out a vision for greater public access to our waterways alongside a commitment to protect and enhance our natural environment.

 The sustainability strategy will build on the work of the CACW charter by committing to be an organisation with established sustainability principles, reduce our impact on the natural environment and leading the paddling community towards a brighter healthier future for people and nature.

 In February 2021 British Canoeing established the Environment and Sustainability Advisory Panel (ESAP) an important element of our organisations commitment to protecting the places we paddle.

The purpose of the group is to support the development, monitoring and promotion of British Canoeing’s policy relating to Sustainability.

The ESAP reports to the board and has the following functions:

●        Influence how we embed sustainability within our strategic plan ‘Stronger Together 2022-25’.

●        Support the creation of the Sustainability Strategy for British Canoeing including a clear set of objectives outlining our actions to reduce our impact on the environment.

●        Review, monitor and feedback on the effectiveness and efficiency of British Canoeing’s Sustainability work, on behalf of the wider membership.

●        Assist in embedding sustainability in our work across membership, RDTs, Discipline Committees and other British Canoeing committees.

●        Assist in raising the profile of British Canoeing’s work on sustainability with key stakeholders and the paddling community.

Scroll down to read the profiles of the current Environment and Sustainability Advisory Panel members.

Any queries regarding the ESAP should be sent to [email protected]

Susan Hicks

Susan Hicks - Chair

Susan has worked for British Canoeing for 14 years and holds the post of Finance Director, she is Chair of the advisory panel and provides a link between the staff working group, the senior management team and the board to ensure that the work of the advisory panel is a key theme within the British Canoeing strategy and becomes embedded into the day to day operations.

Etienne Stott

Etienne Stott - Independent Member

Etienne is an Olympic Gold medalist and environmental campaigner. He loves the paddlesport community, with all its individuality, diversity and energy. Etienne is also a proud member of Extinction Rebellion and believes that peaceful protest for immediate action to tackle the climate and ecological emergency is necessary and justified. He is also a founder member of Champions For Earth, an organisation which supports and empowers athletes to speak out to save the planet. 

Being a member of British Canoeing’s Environment and Sustainability Advisory Panel combines both of Etienne’s passions; he wants more people to enjoy paddlesports and to do that, the planet’s future must be central to every decision made across society.


Lauren Collier - Independent Member

Lauren works in HR in the hospitality industry, where she leads on the wellbeing strategy and owns projects within the sustainability strategy. When not working, she can usually be found exploring waterways around the country on her paddleboard.

She credits her passion for the environment, and sustainability, to time spent on the water and believes that a greener, more sustainable future is possible if businesses, individuals and government all play their part.


Chantelle Grundy - Access and Environment Officer

Chantelle works on the Clear Access Clear Waters campaign for British Canoeing, leading on a range of environmental projects in the field of water quality; plastic pollution; access and volunteer engagement. 

Before her time at British Canoeing Chantelle worked at Lincolnshire County Council, managing and promoting a diverse programme of sustainable transport projects including working with businesses, schools, transport providers and key stakeholders.

Chantelle has always been passionate about environmental issues and is active in her local community, volunteering as the access and environmental lead at her local canoe club and volunteering with Plastic Free Lincoln, a community based scheme aiming to reduce single use plastic. In her spare time Chantelle enjoys paddling, cycling, wild swimming and gardening for nature.


Tony Hanson - Independent Member

A strictly amateur kayaker, paddling for reset and relaxation, and with a water sports instructor daughter.

Tony has been involved in general, facilities and environment management in leisure and estates since 1985, with 6 years as Environment and Sustainability Director at The Facilities Management Group. In 2009 Tony set up Environmental Solutions International Ltd, an environmental consultancy working with the leisure, estates & commercial property sectors, specialising in resource efficiency, compliance, and the achievement net zero and beyond.  

Tony, is a Certified Member of Institute of Workplace & Facilities Management (CIWFM), a Practitioner Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (PIEMA) and an Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (AMICE). Tony is also a member of the GB&I Golf Sustainability Committee along with representatives from the R&A, the Home Golf Unions, British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) and Golf Environment Organisation.  

In 2012 Tony was appointed a Golf Environment Organisation Sustainability Associate (GEOSA) providing application advice, and also performing over 40 GEO verification audits.  In 2016 Tony also became an Associate with The Planet Mark, the Eden Project endorsed Environmental Certification Programme. 

Over the last few years Tony has worked extensively with the Environment Agency, and water companies to provide advice to help the leisure sector transition towards more sustainable turf irrigation. 


Kathryn Jacques - Independent Member

Kathryn is currently studying for a Masters degree having recently worked in training management. Prior to this she spent 11 years working as an Environmental Manager, specialising in company environmental management systems/ strategies and railway energy efficiency.

Outside of work she’s a keen hill walker and recreational paddler of canoes, kayaks and boards, and has coached paddlesport for Scouts and Sea Cadets.