The strategy, called ‘GREEN KNAVESMIRE 300’ is a commitment by the racecourse to do “the right thing for its horses, its people and its planet”.

Solidifying its environmental commitment, York said it is the first independent racecourse to become a signatory of the UNFCCC Sport for Climate Action – Race to Zero.

York Racecourse started the journey to reduce its environmental impact in earnest back in 2017, when it began making positive changes focused on reducing emissions.

The installation of two boreholes for irrigation and a commitment to the Leisure Water Operator Charter has significantly reduced extraction from mains water supply. 

Zero waste to landfill, sourcing from local food producers and suppliers and the eradication of many single use plastics, have all contributed to a reduction of the racecourse’s impact on the planet.

Additionally, York’s award-winning flower gardens act as a centre for pollinators and wildlife.

William Derby, York Racecourse chief executive and clerk of the course, said: “Everyone here is an incredibly proud custodian of York Racecourse and its home of nearly 300 years here on the Knavesmire.

“Since 2017, we have made considerable changes to our operations, leading to a more than 50 per cent reduction in our carbon footprint, this is eight years ahead of the requirement for Net Zero.

“The team feel passionate that the racecourse continues to play an important role in safeguarding our communities, both racing and local, for a further 300 years. 

“To enjoy a future that includes world-class horseracing, we recognise the urgent need to minimise our negative impact on the environment. GREEN KNAVESMIRE 300 is our ambitious plan for the future and as a sign of our commitment we have proudly signed up to the UN Sports for Climate Action initiative.”

The carbon footprint analysis and creation of York’s environmental strategy has been supported by leading equine environmental sustainability consultancy, White Griffin.

Director of White Griffin, Ruth Dancer, said: “It has been a genuine pleasure supporting the team at York Racecourse in solidifying their vision for sustainability at York. They have put in the hard work already in reducing their emissions by over 50 per cent across all of their operations and their grounds team are genuinely committed to finding innovative ways to support wildlife on the Knavesmire.

“Although there is a long road ahead, York have begun this process with a thoroughness and integrity which bodes well for successfully meeting their ambitious goals in line with the expectations of the UNFCCC Sport for Climate Action framework.”

To read more about the strategy, visit the York Racecourse website.

?  Read More  Ecology, Environment, Nature  

Ed Horner