At Quantum, real sustainability means using recycled materials and adjusting how we run our facilities, not purchasing carbon offsets to claim green credentials. We are proud to take part in meaningful initiatives with real impact. Moving forward, we're committed to continuing our efforts to expand our global sustainability initiatives.
Modifying Production Processes
Our production facility has been ISO Environmental Management System Standard certified since May 2011, and this year we started construction to swap the facility over to 100% solar power. This change will save an average of 3500 gallons of diesel each month from being burned in electrical power plants. We also continuously evaluate in order to reduce or eliminate material waste from our processes wherever we can. Our shipping process from production to Loft to customer has been adjusted to include recycled and recyclable materials, from cardboard boxes to recycled plastic wrapping around fabrics.
Making Material Choices
Quantum Sails has been using Challenge RBC bag cloth since late 2021. This cloth is a single-ply woven recycled polyester with environmentally-friendly C0 DWR on the outside, and a water-resistant PU coating on the inside. Each yard of bag cloth recycles 10 plastic bottles and saves about one pound of carbon emissions, as compared to standard nylon or polyester bag fabric. We also work with companies who repurpose our old and extra sails, keeping thousands of sails out of landfills over the last decade — more than 300 sails in the last two years.
In 2022, we introduced a full range of cruising fabrics built from recycled materials. We have been working with several suppliers to bring new materials to the market. Quantum’s new EcoSeries sail line is made of sustainable materials to power your sailing lifestyle. The EcoSeries, consisting of the EcoCross, EcoTri Cruise, and a cruising Taffeta EcoSkin, offers responsible sail choices without sacrificing performance or durability. Available for most cruising boats, EcoSeries sails are manufactured from diverted trash and plastic, recycled fibers, and use lamination processes that are kinder to the environment.
Adjusting Day-to-Day Habits
As a company, we are moving away from printing digital resources for regattas, events, and even in sales, opting for digital options in order to reduce the use of paper products. We prioritize sponsoring events that include green initiatives and specifically sponsor event aspects with sustainable features, and intentionally choose sustainable items for giveaways and regatta packs. Most recently, Quantum sponsored the reusable water refill station at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis and are in the process of purchasing a water refill station for use at more events.
We have created a sustainability checklist for our Lofts, covering eight topics:
2. Waste management
4. Products and packaging
5. Water conservation
6. Food management
We’ve begun to introduce these necessary changes to all our lofts around the world, and we expect every new loft and location to meet these criteria.
Racing Towards Change
Quantum Racing has followed numerous best-practices for sustainability for years, including the elimination of single-use plastics for water and food containers, utilizing an on-dock water filtration system, and choosing reusable water bottles that are also recyclable. Each race morning, the Quantum Racing team fills their water bottles using a portable filtration system plugged into the dock water supply. The water passes through a 4-stage filtration unit and a UV light at a regulated pressure, removing particulate, chemical and bacterial contaminates. These bottles are then taken aboard until racing starts, at which time they’re transferred to the coach boat, which also carries a reusable water jug and manual pump for refills. Quantum Racing is also using biodegradable hull cleaning agents. All food leftovers are donated to local food banks or pig farms at the end of each racing day. There are also separate recycling bags both onboard and on shore which all sailors are encouraged to use, in order to make our recycling processes more efficient.
Experts in More Than Just Sailing
In August of 2022, Quantum Sails hired Lara Poljšak as our Director of Sustainability. Lara has a Master's Degree in Sustainability Management and has worked with Q lofts, assessing ways to reduce their energy consumption and waste through recycling programs, making energy-efficient equipment swaps, and supporting green initiatives at local events. Lara sails at a professional level and has been a part of the Quantum Racing team since 2018, contributing her sailing talent and helping the team fulfill its sustainability policies.
“It’s an ongoing internal process that we will continue to improve upon day after day, and year after year,” says Poljšak. “We also aim to broaden the reach of our environmental messaging and increase the positive impact of our businesses on other businesses and within the communities that surround us.”
Quantum's green initiatives are an ongoing focus for our business, customers, and partners. Some of the projects on deck include buying and sourcing additional recycled materials, including a new recycled Dacron tape to be released soon. Our existing and flexible work-from-home policies for specific roles reduce commuting emissions and costs for many of our team members. Lara will continue her work with our local lofts and Quantum overall so that we can continually assess, evaluate and improve our best practices.