Commitment n°1

Measuring the event’s carbon footprint, a founding step

The first pillar of the Vendée Globe’s environmental commitments is based on a preventive and proactive approach. In concrete terms, this means setting up measurement tools designed to evaluate and reduce the event’s carbon impact on the environment in a detailed and rigorous way.

By monitoring our carbon impact, we can assess and anticipate the consequences of the actions we take, and identify priority sectors for improvement. In this way, we are gradually building a strategy to reduce the event’s environmental footprint and promote more sustainable practices. To achieve this, the Vendée Globe is working hand in hand with Carbone 4 and Toovalu, recognised experts in the methodology and tools for measuring and managing impact.

Illustration : nuage de CO2 sur une balance. Il pèse lourd

In 2020, the Vendée Globe initiated the first carbon impact study for one of its events. Since then, we have been working closely with Carbone 4 and Toovalu to define a robust and pioneering methodology. Indeed, there was no official methodology for measuring the carbon impact of an offshore racing event.

Once the methodology had been defined with Carbone 4 and Toovalu, we were able to configure the Toovalu Impact measurement tool, adapting it to the specific typology of the event. This work will be useful for other offshore races, and represents a milestone.

The New York Vendée - Les Sables d’Olonne, also organised by the same team as the Vendée Globe, will be an opportunity to validate the methodology and use this tool by establishing a complete carbon footprint, encompassing scopes 1, 2 and 3. Relying on these 3 scopes means assessing all the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, whether or not the Vendée Globe is responsible for them, in order to identify the most effective ways of reducing them with all the players involved.

The Vendée Globe adopted an innovative approach to measuring its carbon impact. Following in the footsteps of Paris 2024, which has set itself the target of halving the impact of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Vendée Globe has carried out a forward-looking carbon assessment in order to estimate in advance the emissions linked to the event. 

To do this, the organisation has defined hypotheses that are intended to be as close as possible to reality (in terms of participation, origin of participants & means of transport, food, etc). The aim of this approach is to anticipate the consequences of the actions carried out, in order to identify the significant emission sources and put in place measures to reduce emissions before the event.

An effective post-event carbon footprint will be drawn up to measure the progress made and further refine the improvement targets for future editions.


graphique en forme de camembert qui reprends les chiffres du texte qu'il illustre

And in concrete terms ? 

Transport : 63% of our impact, 99% of which is visitor travel. 

Accommodation and catering : 28% of total emissions, and a third of these 28% are linked to catering.

The construction and life of the boats IMOCA boats for a Vendée Globe cycle account for 7% of the impact: construction accounts for a quarter of these emissions, with three quarters being emitted to optimise the boat.

Purchasing, energy, waste, water and the digital sector represent 2% of the event’s carbon impact*.

*Carbon footprints measure the equivalent of tonnes of CO2 emitted by all the actions carried out to organise an event. Some actions have a low carbon impact, but can have another significant environmental impact, while others can have a low carbon impact but a strong symbolic value.
Scopes 1, 2 and 3 are taken into account in this study.