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British Canoeing Publishes Environmental Sustainability Strategy

British Canoeing has published its Environmental Sustainability Strategy which sets out how we plan to protect the places we paddle.

Sustainability Strategy Web

The strategy demonstrates the role we will play in securing a lasting future for paddlesport through positive action on climate change.

A healthy environment is crucial to our organisation and the paddling community. 

This is not only for our enjoyment of paddling, but for our health and wellbeing too. 

While paddlesport is not especially harmful to the environment, travel to places to paddle can increase pollution and our carbon footprint. 

Therefore we will take steps to reduce our own direct impacts.

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Paddlers must be the trusted guardians of our rivers and waterways, committed to leaving nothing behind but a ripple

– Professor John Coyne CBE, Chair of British Canoeing
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British Canoeing will continue to take action in caring for our rivers. Managing our impact on the environment will also continue.

Safeguarding our blue environments is of great importance for all.

We need to inspire young people who will protect them in the future, therefore the support of everyone will be invaluable going forward. 

Professor John Coyne CBE, Chair of British Canoeing, said:

“Paddlers must be the trusted guardians of our rivers and waterways, committed to leaving nothing behind but a ripple…

“British Canoeing, at every level, will take steps to reduce its own direct impact on the environment from its operations and events and will support and encourage our community to take their own steps.”

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It’s fantastic to see British Canoeing’s holistic approach to environmental sustainability. It clearly connects it to the mission of the organisation while articulating in detail the actions they will take across all their spheres of influence.

– Sara Kassam, Sustainability Advisor, UK Sport
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British Canoeing has set five ambitions going forward. These are:

  • Controlling our carbon footprint

  • Reducing our use of natural resources 

  • Advocating and promoting environmental protection

  • Creating paddling competitions/events that deliver positive environmental change

  • Improving our business operations

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The strategy recognises the amazing work the paddling community has already done.

The Big Paddle Cleanup, in 2022, saw more than a 1,000 volunteers fill 700 sacks with plastic waste and other junk. 

British Canoeing's Go Green membership has also helped pay for cleanup kits. 

The Paddlers’ Code shows how to best protect wildlife and prevent environmental damage. 

We are confident, going forwards, that the paddling community will work together to achieve our environmental sustainability ambitions.

The Environmental Sustainability strategy will sit alongside our organisational strategy until 2026. To find out more visit the Stronger Together microsite.