The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has introduced an environmental and sustainability assessment of the sport’s progress in a bid to aid long-term planning for stakeholders.

The governing body has stated that racing leaders require a ‘clearer overall picture of current environmental activity’ registered across the sport’s value chain components of breeding, training, racing, equine travel, welfare race days, and more.

“We believe that environmental sustainability is crucial to British racing’s long-term future and prosperity, which is why it is a key pillar of the Racing Foundation’s strategy,” commented Rob Hezel, Chief Executive of the Racing Foundation.

“A large amount of work has already been carried out across the industry, ranging from decarbonisation efforts to grassland management and waste reduction, so this work will help build an overall picture of where we are and where we want to be.

“The research project will actively engage with racing’s businesses, employers, and participants, and particularly “those with interest or specialist expertise in environmental sustainability”

The authority has claimed that the initial assessment will identify key sustainability issues, risks, and opportunities for racing whilst helping leadership bodies understand and communicate the risks of climate change to stakeholders and audiences.

Scoping assessments will cover the areas of environmental sustainability, including CO2 emissions, decarbonisation and renewable energy, management of key resources such as water and plastics, and potential for positive contributions through biodiversity. 

The research project will be undertaken by sustainability consultancy White Griffin, through a funds initiative by the Racing Foundation. White Griffin has commenced the assessment that will take place over a three-month period.

Ruth Dancer, Director of White Griffin, commented: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with the racing industry on this project. Racing is unique as a sport in terms of its relationship with the environment, so this is a really exciting area, with huge potential.”

As project lead, White Griffin is currently completing an initial scoping exercise, before moving to the wider industry engagement phase that will be initiated in January 2022

“Working closely with individuals and businesses from across the industry, we will explore the existing expertise and enthusiasm within racing, gather information about ongoing activities, and make recommendations on where there’s potential for further action,” Dancer continued.

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