British Marine, organiser of the Southampton International Boat Show, has pledged to make the 2021 edition the most sustainable and environmentally friendly in its 52-year history.

All exhibitors at the boat show are being asked to sign up to a sustainability pledge, which includes no single use plastic water bottles on stands, outlets, or hosted events; to nominate a sustainability champion on their stand to oversee waste management and recycling at the show; to offer only sustainable and recyclable promotional goodies; and to only use compostable, recyclable or reusable cups, plates and cutlery.

Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, said: “These mandatory requirements for 2021 are in addition to actions implemented at the last show in 2019, which has already seen the ban of all plastic straws, reduced use of single use plastic for all show-related preparation and operations, encouraging the use of e-ticket and QR codes, and only using recycled paper if print materials are required.  We’re proud that during the 2019 show over 7.5 tons of waste was diverted from landfill by exhibitor actions.”

For 2021, British Marine has focused on distinct areas for change at the show, including plastics, paper, catering, waste and recycling and travel.

James Scott-Anderson, British Marine’s lead in environment, said: “By clearly defining categories, we can help everyone attending or visiting the show to be aware of small or large changes that can be made by the organisers, the exhibitors and the visitors. This includes, for example, having plenty of water refill points throughout the show, avoiding the need for any single use water bottles, ensuring there are sustainable travel options and providing a donation opportunity for our environmental charity at the point of ticket purchase. It requires some pre-planning, for example using e-tickets, rather than printed tickets, using only environmentally-sourced give-aways at the show, and post event actions such as recycling stand materials as well as any activities during the show, like an organised beach clean.”

Robinson continued: “This is our third year of a five-year sustainability pledge, and if we all make just one small change, together we’ll make one big difference.”

For exhibitors that go the extra mile, there is also the opportunity to enter the Southampton International Boat Show’s Exhibitor Sustainability Award, which will be presented by The Green Blue’s ambassador Mike Golding on press day (September 10).

Southampton Boat Show’s sustainable exhibiting guide can be found here.