Britain's Alexandra Rickham has been appointed as World Sailings new head of sustainability ©WorldSailing

World Sailing has announced they have appointed Britain's Paralympic bronze medallist and sustainability expert Alexandra Rickham as head of sustainability.

The five-time sailing world champion is due to start her role in March and joins from Earth to Ocean, a specialist sports sustainability consultancy, where she set up SailGP’s sustainability programme and advised a variety of sporting property clients.

SailGP tracks and verifies carbon emissions by collaborating with One Carbon World and contributing to Blue Carbon Projects, such as helping to plant a billion trees, in partnership with the Worldview International Foundation.

The environmentalist advocate also became Earth to Ocean’s diversity and impact manager, and helped the global sailing league to become a world leading sustainable and purpose-driven global sports and entertainment platform.

The 40-year-old Briton, a bronze medallist in the mixed two person SKUD18 at London 2012, speaks out on accelerating climate action through regular appearances on The Sport Ecology Group’s Climate Champions and GreenSports podcasts and as a panellist for COPtimism and Sport Positive Summit.

Alexandra Rickham, left, is an accomplished sailor who won a Paralympic bronze medal competing for Britain at London 2012 ©Getty Images
Alexandra Rickham, left, is an accomplished sailor who won a Paralympic bronze medal competing for Britain at London 2012 ©Getty Images

"World Sailing has made excellent progress in sustainability and diversity since launching the Sustainability Agenda 2030," Rickham said.

"With targets across participation, gender equality, water quality, navigating wildlife and biodiversity, and taking action against climate change, World Sailing as the world governing body for the sport is taking direct responsibility while working with wide-ranging sailing organisations as a global force for change."

World Sailing begun its Sustainability Agenda 2030 in 2017 and aims to achieve numerous goals relating to training, venues and facilities, members, participation, and other aspects of the sport.

The governing body helps raise awareness of SailGP’s "Race for the Future", which aims to accelerate the transition to clean energy.

The World Sailing Trust - a global charity for sailing and young sailing athletes that targets improving access, participation and safeguarding - works with 11th Hour Racing, and manufacture Hempel to achieve an environmentally stable future.

Their partnership with Hempel commits to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and this determination is further aided by SAP, World Sailing’s analytics partner, assisting businesses to minimise greenhouse gas footprints through the Chasing Zero Emissions programme.

World Sailing and 11th Hour Racing also collaborate with The Ocean Race, an award-winning sustainability programme.

The appointment of Rickham is another move by World Sailing to increase their commitment towards fighting the climate crisis.

"We are all extremely excited to have Alexandra on board to spearhead our Sustainability Agenda 2030," David Graham, chief executive of World Sailing, said.

"As a founder of the UN’s sports for Climate Action Framework, World Sailing recently joined the International Olympic Committee and over 280 Sports Federations at COP26 to commit to the UN’s ‘Race to Zero Campaign.

"With Alexandra on board, we will be deepening our work with our global partners to create a sustainable future for our sport and protect our environment."