Barcelona World Race - Flying the flag for the environment and continuous improvement in business

The Barcelona Foundation for Ocean Sailing is the first sports event organization in the World to simultaneously obtain these three ISO certifications for the management of quality, environment and occupational health & safety. Within the next year, the FNOB expects to obtain a further ISO Certificate for having a global vision of sustainability in events management, strengthening the Foundation and making it the first European sports event to be awarded such a distinction.

News JUL 5, 2012 16:44

Today the Barcelona Foundation for Ocean Sailing (Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona, FNOB), and creator of the Barcelona World Race, became the first sports event in Europe to obtain ISO* certification for the management of quality, the environment and occupational health & safety.  

Pointing out the importance of the ISO certifications, President of the FNOB, Maite Fandos said: “The Barcelona World Race has been a successful event both from a sporting and commercial aspect. Now it has taken a further step towards continuous improvement in managing and achieving business excellence. This means that as well as being a fantastic regatta in the offshore sailing calendar it also leads by example in being a well organised and commercially viable sporting event for sponsors and brands to align themselves with.”  

The FNOB was established in response to Barcelona’s Strategic Sport Plan and as an initiative to develop the nautical industry and the careers of professional sailors. The ISO awards presented to the FNOB  today are UNE-EN-ISO 9001:2008 certification, on quality management systems; UNE-EN-ISO 14001:2004 on environmental management systems; and OHSAS 18001: 2007 on occupational health and safety management systems; all based on implementations made for the 2010-11 Barcelona World Race –a unique double handed non-stop round-the-world sailing regatta created by the FNOB.  

These certifications are in line with the most important working areas with which the FNOB was created (Research & Development, Education & Knowledge, Science & Technology and the Environment), under the guiding philosophy of advancing towards continuous improvement in managing and achieving business excellence. Strategically, ISO certifications are an incentive for the FNOB to move forward in accessing new international markets and also to maximize environmental measures in the field of open sea sailing.   

This awarding of ISO certification further highlights the FNOB’s commitment to working towards zero emissions, the compulsory use of plastic and salinity sensors on the yachts participating in the Barcelona World Race and the optimization of educational, training, technological and innovation issues that were implemented during the 2010-2011 race and will continue for the 2014-2015 edition.  This philosophy has been extended to all of the Foundation’s projects and activities and sets the bar for all future activity.  

Presenting the award, Guillermo Pastor Auguet of APPLUS congratulated the FNOB team saying:  “On the basis that your organisation is fairly young, and in such a complex field where there are no established  protocols or guidelines, it is evident that you have made a huge effort in being innovative and setting a managerial example. Your are to be congratulated on achieving  ISO certificates in an area which will no doubt establish a precedent for other events going forward.” 

The importance of continuous improvement to the FNOB 

The development of FNOB projects (the Barcelona World Race, transoceanic events, regattas for promoting the IMOCA class and Campus educational activities) must advance in parallel with the growth of the organization itself. The Foundation has a deep commitment to creating valuable projects that encourage universities, companies and the FNOB itself into strategic relationships, thus creating an educational circle that generates optimum employment. The initiatives below merit special mention: 

- Agreement with the Institute of Sea Sciences (Institut de Ciències del Mar, ICM) of the Higher Council for Scientific Investigations (CSIC) to develop research, education and dissemination activities on water masses and oceanography. Project awarded by the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), as well as winning a prize for the best poster from the 44th Liège Colloquium on Ocean Dynamics.  

- Agreement with the Technical Centre Leitat, Sarrià Chemical Institute (IQS) – Ramon Llull University (URLL), Quantum Europa Manufacturing SL, Laminados de Catalunya, PJM Pujades SA, WIN –D Projecte, for developing a project to improve IMOCA Open 60 boats sailing. First successful experience of the IMOCA Open 60 RENAULT yacht, participant in the 2010-2011 Barcelona World Race. 

- Agreement with Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) – Interactive Technologies Group to develop a virtual, real-time game to follow the regatta. It should furthermore have the ability to be used as an educational platform. Succinctly entitled THE GAME, it has 48,189 online players. 

- Collaboration with the CIRE (Centre of Initiatives for Reinsertion of Prisoners of Catalonia) – Autonomous Government of Catalonia to recycle and reuse sails and items from the Open 60 boats that participate in the regatta. The FNOB reinvests all earnings generated from selling the materials this Centre creates into new production at the CIRE. More than 5000 items have been created in 2011 and to date in 2012. 

0The FNOB – extending its reach 

The satisfaction of the sponsors involved in the Barcelona World Race has been rated at an impressive 93%, with 89% intending to renew their sponsorships. These values were gleaned from more than 60 companies in a variety of sectors (automobile, insurance, medicine, retail, food...) and by media and technology companies that sponsor the regatta. Sponsors’ involvement is a key factor for developing and moving ahead with FNOB projects, as they help publicize and popularize ocean sailing and sailing in Spain. Often perceived as an elitist sport, the FNOB aims to expose this myth with the help and support of its sponsors. The numbers speak for themselves. The FNOB has skyrocketed from 10 sponsors in the first edition to over 60 today and this is largely due to the Foundation adapting and evolving with the changing needs and changes to modern-day sponsorship systems. The capacity to generate ad hoc hospitality products, generate experiences and have a vision of segmenting sponsorship and associating it with the values of the Barcelona World Race are key elements the FNOB uses to create loyalty among its sponsors. 

When considering the sponsors and educational reach of the regatta and transoceanic sailing, the FNOB has launched the Barcelona World Race Interpretation Centre, an exceptionally interactive space at which CISCO has implemented its Digital Media Suite technology for the first time in Europe. The objective is for this centre to be the reference point for transoceanic sailing, the FNOB and the Barcelona World Race, as well as representing the best tool available to sponsors and collaborators to experience sailing on the open sea.  

*ISO certifications are standards promoted by the International Standards Organization, whose headquarters are in Geneva. Its name is not an acronym –as most people may believe– but instead comes from the Greek isos (equal), and its main function is to seek standardization on product policy and safety for companies and organizations internationally.