Sailing: Tom Dolan, supported by Smurfit Kappa, the most eco-responsible skipper in the URGO Le Figaro Solitaire

The Irishman, who completed his second URGO Le Figaro Solitaire last May, used the famous race to achieve one particular goal: to have the most eco-responsible vessel in the fleet. Supported by Smurfit Kappa since 2017, Tom Dolan has successfully reduced waste and carbon emissions thanks to the expertise of the leading paper packaging company.

Tom Dolan, known as “The Flying Irishman”, took part in the 50th edition of the URGO Le Figaro Solitaire from 27 May to 30 June. Tom has been living in France since 2010 and has been passionate about sailing since the age of 9. Another of his passions is the environment and his efforts to be eco-conscious. Aware of the environmental impact of his sport, the skipper launched a two-year sustainability plan at the beginning of 2019 with the aim of achieving the zero-waste objective and carbon neutrality.

The first major step forward in this plan was the Solitaire du Figaro, during which he set himself the objective of banning single-use plastic on board the vessel and reducing his carbon footprint. This was achieved through the expertise of Smurfit Kappa, a leader in the design and manufacture of paper-based packaging, which launched the Better Planet Packaging initiative in 2018 in an effort to reduce packaging waste and create sustainable solutions.

To succeed in his environmental challenges, Tom Dolan decided not to have disposable items on board, opting instead for reusable containers for his food and water (bulk food, aluminium flasks, etc.). He also chose to work with equipment manufacturers located close to home, install a flow meter to control his water consumption and use non-polluting transportation for himself and his team.

The aim of these actions was to establish a benchmark to be exceeded at each race.

“Tom Dolan’s commitment to the environment aligns perfectly with Smurfit Kappa’s sustainable development strategy. We are proud to support this skipper who, like our group, is constantly seeking to reduce his environmental impact,” said Jean-Christophe Bugeon, CEO of Smurfit Kappa France.

“Reducing waste and having a positive impact on the environment are fundamental elements of the Smurfit Kappa Better Planet Packaging initiative. This spoke to me because it ties in with my objectives: to have the most eco-responsible vessel in the fleet and set a new benchmark for carbon footprint monitoring,” explained Tom Dolan.