The International Canoe Federation has congratulated British Canoeing on its vision for the future following the release of its environmental sustainability strategy this week.

The “Places we Paddle” strategy sets out a roadmap to halve British Canoeing emissions by 50 per cent by 2030, and to reach net zero emissions by 2040. This year’s ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships at Lee Valley in London has been identified as a cornerstone of the plan.

“British Canoeing is showing the way in the global fight to reduce our sport’s carbon footprint,” ICF vice-president, Cecilia Farias, said.

“To make a significant and worthwhile impact will require a real team effort, involving our federations around the world. At the ICF we have set aggressive but achievable goals, so we would encourage other federations to follow the approach by British Canoeing.

“Change can be difficult, but our friends at British Canoeing have already shown their commitment through previous initiatives. The Places we Paddle strategy is ambitious, but it will make a real difference to the future of our planet.”

The Places we Paddle strategy sets out five ambitions – controlling British Canoeing’s carbon footprint, reducing its use of natural resources, promoting environmental protection, ensuring events deliver positive environmental change, and improving BC’s business operations.

British Canoeing serves a community of paddlers that cares deeply about the environment, the natural world and its sustainability. We have a responsibility to work together to protect and preserve our environment,” British Canoeing Chair, Professor John Coyne, said.

“The aggregate effect of individual action can be very powerful. Through positive action on climate change, we can help make our society more sustainable whilst growing paddlesport. Protecting and enhancing places to paddle can play a significant role in the wider challenge.

“We need to take urgent action as our environment is facing even greater threats than ever before. The climate crisis is dramatically harming the places we paddle. Hot and dry summers have seen extreme temperatures leading to low water levels and limited paddling in places, a lack of rain putting a huge strain on our precious wildlife.

“Our environmental sustainability strategy will support, promote and build on the great work already done in the community and deliver a measurable impact for the future of paddlesport and indeed, our environment.”

As part of the strategy British Canoeing will set out to deliver this year’s ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships with clear targets for minimising or offsetting the impact on the environment.

The ambition is to use the world championships to create and share best practice for the future delivery of international events.

You can find British Canoeing’s environmental sustainable strategy here.