Cowes Week Ltd, the organisers of Lendy Cowes Week has announced its intention to work towards making the event more sustainable with the launch of a new sustainability initiative.

Lendy Cowes Week, which takes place this year from the 4-11 August, has an impact on the Island’s environment with 100,000 people visiting during the regatta.  CWL firmly believes that an event of this size should play its part in spreading the message about sustainability and minimising its own impact on the environment.

Working with the event sponsors and four Official Venues: Cowes Parade, Cowes Yacht Haven, Northwood House and Shepards Wharf, CWL will be raising awareness of sustainability issues and highlighting how we can all help to make a difference, both on and off the water.  Some of the initiatives planned for 2018 include installation of more water filling stations for the general public and competitors and improved waste recycling around the town.  CWL has already made changes at its base, Regatta House, by switching to a sustainably sourced electricity provider, putting a comprehensive recycling programme in place and committing to no single use plastics in Regatta House itself.

All Official Venues are committed to help reduce the use of polystyrene, Styrofoam and plastic cutlery and are looking into the wider use of reusable drinks cups that were trialled at the main Cowes Yacht Haven Bar in 2017. Banning the use of plastic straws across the event is also a key objective.

Official charity, The 1851 Trust, will be inspiring young visitors to Lendy Cowes Week through a series of hands-on sustainability workshops, to excite them to become innovators of the future and stewards of the environment.

CWL is also working closely with The Green Blue, the RYA and British Marine’s Joint environment initiative, and has signed up to the Sailors for the Sea ‘Clean Regattas Programme’, a voluntary, self-assessment tool that provides a system to benchmark what the environmental footprint is today and set goals for the future.

Meanwhile the IW Council staff at County Hall are learning to use a new electric vehicle with the trial of a Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid car.

This vehicle was received, on loan, from Leslies Motors by Councillor Dave Stewart, leader of the Isle of Wight Council.  Officers from a range of services will be trained to use the new vehicle, which will be one of the council’s pool of cars while it is evaluated and the council will be considering electric and hybrid vehicles for future replacement of cars and vans.  Kieran Tarrant, facilities and fleet manager, said: “This trial vehicle is already proving popular, and we are delighted to be contributing towards the council’s commitment to reducing the Island’s carbon footprint, as well as saving money in the longer term. Over the lifetime of the vehicle the cost of an electric car compares favourably to the conventional vehicles we currently use, with 283 miles per gallon performance. In due course I am expecting to use all six of the charging bays now provided at County Hall.”

Councillor Stewart said: “This is a great initiative; we really appreciate Leslies Motors helping us to put this car out on the road so that we can properly test its suitability. I’m looking forward to hearing from council staff using it as to how the vehicle performs, and I’m delighted we now have the first Isle of Wight Council electric vehicle.”