The Jockey Club has announced what it claims will be a pioneering collaboration to measure the environmental impact of five of its sites across England, while private investment firm Arctos Partners has joined forces with venue development, advisory and investment company Oak View Group’s GOAL sustainability platform.
The Jockey Club, which runs 15 of the UK’s racecourse, has teamed up with carbon and natural capital specialists, Trinity AgTech, and biodiversity consultants YourPact.
The pilot project is the first of its kind in British racing and will measure carbon emissions, carbon capture and removal and biodiversity at Newmarket’s training grounds and racecourses, The National Stud, and Haydock Park and Market Rasen racecourses.
The Club said gathering multi-site and independently verified data will help develop its environmental sustainability strategy and ensure positive environmental impact is a central consideration when reinvesting its profits back into racing.
‘Sandy’, Trinity AgTech’s technology platform, will be used to create a biodiversity score for each of the sites which will help to assess the current levels of biodiversity and understand how future projects, such as creating wildflower areas, can not only provide essential habitats for wildlife but also increase carbon removal.
The project has been funded by The Racing Foundation via the inaugural Green Award at the Racecourse Association’s Showcase Awards in 2022, won by The Jockey Club for its ‘Going Green’ Programme.
Kirstin McEvoy, sustainability manager at The Jockey Club, said: “Preserving the environment for future generations is a core part of The Jockey Club’s mission to build a more sustainable future for British racing.
“We have to have a positive impact on the world around us both today and in the future and partnering with YourPact and Trinity AgTech is another significant step in enhancing our responsible environmental stewardship.
“We are committed to using the latest technology to do this and this exciting project will also enable us to share the findings with other racecourses and spread the benefit across the industry.”
Anna Woodley, managing director of business development at Trinity AgTech, added: “We are delighted to be part of this pivotal project, which emphasises the potential of technology to drive sustainability in land-based industries.
“The horseracing industry has a huge amount of potential when it comes to land-based environmental solutions, and we are thrilled that Sandy can help The Jockey Club with accurate measurement and insights relating to its natural capital.”
Arctos adds industry insight to OVG’s GOAL
In the US, GOAL, founded by OVG, the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), and green building expert Jason McLennan, has agreed a strategic partnership with Arctos Partners to expand the tracking performance of the program and increase sustainable operations in venues around the country.
Launched just over a year ago, GOAL is a community of sustainability-minded sports and entertainment operators which provides a variety of resources for its members, including custom sustainability roadmaps for venues and franchises, data and analytics tracking tools to measure performance across several impact categories, and a collaborative dashboard allowing members to share intelligence and dedicated sustainability taskforces.
As GOAL’s private equity strategic partner, Arctos will provide proprietary data and insights to assist with advancing the platform’s pursuit of improved sustainability, social impact, and governance initiatives within the sports and live entertainment industries.
Arctos will seek to onboard several of its franchise partners to the GOAL platform, including major league teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and the platform’s first Minor League baseball team, the Sacramento River Cats. They join the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Wild, and New Jersey Devils as other Arctos portfolio teams that joined GOAL over the last year, in addition to founding partner FSG, owner of the likes of the Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Penguins in the US.
Chris Granger, president of OVG360, said: “Our mission is to empower venues and places of mass gathering to enhance and accelerate their sustainability efforts, regardless of their starting point. This partnership will enable us to broaden our efforts for the benefit of all.”
Jordan Solomon, partner at Arctos Partners, added: “Arctos believes in the importance of driving sustainability efforts in the sports industry and a data science-driven approach is critical to establishing and measuring best practices.
“GOAL is an ideal platform to advance this effort alongside Oak View Group and our professional sports franchise partners, while also enhancing performance across a network of world-class venues.”