Our continued commitment to the environment is being demonstrated at the Southampton International Boat Show (SIBS) through our charitable support and on-stand recycling initiatives as well as through our long-term investment in our marinas.
We're the primary supporter of the Blue Marine Foundation's innovative conservation project to replenish the Solent’s oyster population. This support continues at SIBS with fundraising efforts for this worthwhile cause being two-fold. We're running a raffle, giving members the chance to win a Musto BR1 jacket and trouser wet weather combo, worth over £300. In addition, we're inviting members to join the team for ‘Charity Hour’ in the lounge when all drinks are just £1. Proceeds from both events will go to the Blue Marine Foundation and our other chosen charity, Ocean Youth Trust South, topping up monies already raised this year through other charitable and sponsored events.
This year at SIBS, our on-stand initiatives are a reflection of our overall ethos to reduce waste, and recycle. Working with our waste management company, Suez, we've gone to great lengths to recycle everything we can to reduce our environmental impact of attending the show and to minimise our contribution to landfill waste. From glass bottles to dry mixed recycling, there are separate on-stand bins and boxes for the different waste materials, including a TerraCycle snack recycling box, specifically for sweet and chocolate bar wrappers.
Our Head of Marketing, Maxine Lane, says: “Our aim is to leave the show with just one black bin bag of landfill waste, which is quite a tall order considering our stand is very much a hospitality lounge for our members, giving them a place to relax while enjoying the show. However, we are determined to reduce our waste at the show this year and have taken the necessary steps to ensure that this happens.”
The recycling and charitable initiatives taken at this year’s boat show are just a small part of our commitment to the marine environment and wider boating community. There are many positive actions and investments being made across the group.
Ocean Village Marina has recently been awarded a SeaBin as part of the Secrets of the Solent National Lottery Heritage Fund project, following a successful application by marina manager, Scott Farquharson. The Seabin has been generously funded by DP World Southampton, owner and operator of the city’s container terminal, as part of its global commitment to protecting our oceans. The proposal confirmed the marina is able to meet the man power and infrastructural requirements to maximise the waste gathering potential of the SeaBin, as well as demonstrating our continued commitment to conserving the marine environment.
“We are delighted to have been awarded this innovative in water, waste removal system. The team here is keen to support any initiative that benefits the marine environment, improves water quality in marinas and ultimately the experience of our customers’ and other water users,” comments Scott. The SeaBin, supplied by UK distributor Inland and Coastal Marina Systems, will be installed later this autumn.
All the electricity that we purchase is ‘green’ energy from 100% renewable energy sources. We're looking to invest a further £500K in solar panels across four of our south coast marinas adding to the solar panels that have already been installed at Hamble Point Marina. These modern solar panels convert the suns energy into electricity which is then consumed on site by commercial tenants and MDL's marina operations.
Recently, state of the art filtration systems have been installed at Queen Anne's Battery and Mercury Yacht Harbour to filter and clean waste water from boatyard activities. This represents a substantial investment per marina. The multistage FiltaBund filtration system removes solids (eg paint particulates), organic matter (including non-native species), fine sediments and hydrocarbons. Most importantly for marinas, this bespoke system designed to our specification removes dissolved copper and zinc from antifoul paints that may have been stripped off in the hull washing process.
Once water has passed through the filtration system, the cleaned water meets statutory requirements for discharge back into the river or sea, thus helping to improve local water quality. We're planning to install filtration systems at a number of locations over the next few years.