Commitment n°2
Involve the Vendée Globe ecosystem

A responsible framework for public tenders 

The Vendée Globe organiser, chaired by Alain Leboeuf, who is also President of the Vendée Département, is a Société Anonyme d’Économie Mixte created in 2003. This structure is owned by local authorities such as the Conseil Départemental (majority shareholder), the town of Les Sables d’Olonne and the Pays de la Loire Region, as well as by 32 companies from the economic network of the Vendée. Subject to the public procurement code, its service providers are selected through public tenders. This enables the organisation to include environmental clauses to ensure that it works with companies that share its vision of environmental responsibility.

These clauses now apply to all high-impact sectors. Many contracts, such as the management of the village’s bar and restaurant, are concerned. When the current market is not yet mature enough to offer solutions that match the commitments sought by the Vendée Globe, these clauses send out a strong signal to service providers and initiate discussions aimed at developing these sectors.

port des sables d'olonnes vu du ciel

And in concrete terms ?

The marine signage tender, which concerns the production of flags and insignia on boat sails, includes rating criteria directly linked to the environmental impact of the solutions proposed, and more specifically on the «means implemented to control the environmental impact of the service (eco-design in production, percentage of recyclability of each element, eco-responsibility of materials, environmental certifications and labels, overall responsible approach of the company, packaging of elements, etc.)».

A charter to make exhibitors more responsible 

The exhibitors’ charter, initiated by the organisation of the Vendée Globe in 2020, was strengthened during the Vendée Arctique - Les Sables d’Olonne 2022 and will become even more ambitious for the Vendée Globe 2024-2025. Focused on the fight against disposable waste and the sustainable and circular management of resources, it aims to facilitate and encourage change among exhibitors, in line with the philosophy of the event, which wishes to support its ecosystem towards more responsible practices.

And in concrete terms ?

All exhibitors in the 30,000m² Vendée Globe village must (non-exhaustive list):

  • Comply with the AGEC law (Anti-waste law for a circular economy)
  • Not use single-use plastic objects (straws, cutlery, dishes, trays, etc.) unless necessary for food preservation
  • Do not use dispensable plastic packaging
  • Do not use plastic bags (even non-disposable ones)
  • Replace single-use paper napkins with reusable or compostable alternatives
  • Do not use single-use cups
  • Do not sell and/or distribute plastic bottles: drinks must be distributed or sold in a reusable container. Visitors will have access to water fountains.
  • Preferably offer labelled meats («Label Rouge», «AOC» or «AOP», etc.) or meats of French origin or raised in the open air, and seafood products from sustainable fishing or farming
  • Give preference to seasonal products
  • Give preference to local products (European scale at least, national and regional scale if possible)
  • Redistribute all food surpluses, by its own means or via the event organisation
  • Raise visitors’ awareness of sustainable food issues, either through its own communication media or through those provided by the event organisers.
  • Offer balanced food products
  • Set up actions to prevent food waste

Commitment n°3 
Minimising the direct footprint of the event village

Rethinking the waste cycle and promoting the circular economy

In collaboration with the town and the urban community of Les Sables d’Olonne, Trivalis, CITEO, LILOKAWA, La Ressourcerie culturelle de Montaigu and GOBI, the Vendée Globe is rethinking the management of waste by envisaging its route according to the 5Rs philosophy: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (as a last resort), and Return to the earth what can be composted.


illustration d'une tente en forme d'igloo avec écrit Village responsable

To make this vision a reality, a green team has been set up to raise awareness among the public, engage in dialogue with exhibitors, and ensure optimal waste sorting, including over-sorting*. 

Water fountains will be installed in the village, removing the need to distribute and sell plastic bottles. 

At the same time, signage has been redesigned in line with the circular economy, with the emphasis on reuse and upcycling.

*The green team will carry out a second sorting operation in a dedicated area at the back of the village. This will enable them to check that the instructions are being complied with, so as to maximise the acceptance rate of the bags by the collection services and therefore their correct sorting.

And in concrete terms ?

All the signage materials have been designed to be recycled after the event, either by the partners or by the organisers, who have joined forces with the LILOKAWA workshop and the Recyclerie Culturelle de Montaigu to reuse and upcycle the materials.

A capsule collection will be released ahead of the race, based on signage from the last Vendée Globe (2020-2021). Products from the 2024- 2025 collection will be available for pre-order in the 10th edition village. These unique products give a second life to our communication and information materials. 

illustration d'un hamburger : texte promouvoir une alimentation durable

Promoting sustainable food

Food and drink accounts for almost 10% of the event’s impact, and is directly within the scope of the organisation, which uses public tenders and the exhibitors’ charter to guide the village’s restaurateurs towards sustainable food. 

What is sustainable food ?
Sustainable food is characterized by the consumption of local, seasonal products from short supply chains. It favors a more plant-based approach, while reducing food waste.

And in concrete terms ?

Every day, local and seasonal products will be featured in the village's restaurants.

illustration d'un robinet et d'une ampoule avec le texte : Gérer l'eau et l'énergie de manière responsable

Responsible management of water and energy resources

By adopting a responsible approach to the use of valuable resources such as water and energy in the event village, the Vendée Globe is also highlighting locally produced green energy. This initiative is part of an approach that is in line with national objectives for energy sobriety.

Teams and visitors will receive information on eco-friendly ways of using water and energy resources, in collaboration with Vendée Eau and SyDEV.

Commitment n°4
Offering visitors low-carbon alternatives for getting to the village

Travel is the most carbon-intensive aspect of the event and the biggest challenge. However, for the organisers, it is an indirect impact, as the choice of mode of transport is the visitor’s decision. The role of the organisers is therefore to facilitate and encourage the use of soft mobility, to avoid cars used by just one person. The Vendée Globe, aware that such a challenge cannot be met alone, has joined forces with the Département de la Vendée, the town and the Communauté d’Agglomération des Sables d’Olonne, the Pays de la Loire Region, the SNCF Group, En Vendée, SyDEV and ADEME, to set up a Mobility Commission in January 2023.

Its aim is to establish a comprehensive range of low-carbon mobility solutions for visitors, and to make them desirable in order to change behaviour and habits. A dedicated communication campaign, relayed by all the mobility partners, will support the implementation of the scheme. Solutions focus on the use of trains, car-pooling, buses and shuttles, bicycles, non-thermal cars, walking, etc. 

illustration avec un bus, un train et un homme à vélo

And in concrete terms ?

  • Car parks dedicated to car-sharing
  • Regional train tickets on sale at a single rate of €5
  • Cycle parking facilities at the entrance to the village
  • In Les Sables d’Olonne: green natural gas shuttles, hydrogen buses, electric sea buses, self-service bicycles...
imoca en navigation

Controlling consumption on board IMOCA

A global approach

This approach to reducing the impact of travel also applies to the organisation of the Vendée Globe. The skippers, who inspire the general public and influence our imaginations, are also part of this approach, using the force of the wind to sail around the world. From 2028, they will have to stop using fossil fuels during their circumnavigation* (used mainly to run the technological equipment on board, and for heating). This has already been achieved in 2016 by skipper Conrad Colman, who is again a candidate for the Vendée Globe 2024. He wants to do the same for the next round the world race, and he's not the only one: Fabrice Amedeo has the same ambition. Yannick Bestaven, winner of the 2020 Vendée Globe, is co-designer of the hydrogenerator, a very good alternative to fossil fuels that has been equipping racing boats for several years now.

*Except for safety 

Arrivée de l'Imoca Paprec Arkea vue drone

Commitment n°5
Limiting the impact of IMOCA boats

A pioneering and committed class

The IMOCA Class, the association of skippers taking part in the Vendée Globe, was the first offshore racing class to vote for rules in favour of transition.

The IMOCA charter calls on the teams to measure and reduce their emissions. Each new IMOCA boat must undergo a Life Cycle Assessment of its construction. The use of alternative materials for removable parts (chart table, seats, bunks, etc.) are removed from the measurement weight of the boat, up to a limit of 100 kg. This measure encourages teams to innovate. Each competitor must have a Green Sail* in their set of sails, among the eight authorised on the circuit. An exceptional rule allows teams to come up with alternative motorisation solutions.

*Green Sail: The IMOCA class has worked with sailmakers to reduce the impact of the sails. Each skipper must take on board at least one sail that respects the criteria set by the rule (limiting waste, energy and transport).

A regulated innovation: Cap Carbone 2028
The regulations for the 2028 Vendée Globe, also known as the Notice of Race, will include a Cap Carbone to guide the construction of future new boats in order to limit their impact.

Our mobility partners