April 23 - Triple Olympic champion Ben Ainslie has unveiled British Airways' first One Destination Carbon Fund Project at Osprey Leisure Centre near Weymouth and the sailing centre where he will hope to pick up his fourth consecutive gold medal at this summer's Games.
One of British Airways' athlete ambassadors for London 2012, Ainslie is Britain's most successful ever Olympic sailor, having picked up gold medals in each of the last three Games, and earlier this month picked up a Finn class gold medal at the Princess Sofia World Cup regatta in Palma de Majorca.
The Osprey Centre has erected a series of solar panels to produce renewable energy and thus reduce their bills thanks to the Carbon Fund Project.
The Carbon Fund Project is the first of its kind from the official airline of London 2012, who launched the One Destination Carbon Fund in 2011.
The scheme supports low carbon community projects across Britain, such as providing community buildings with solar panels or wind turbines, through donations made by British Airways' customers.
Osprey Leisure Centre provides sports facilities for the local community, and Ainslie said at the opening of the project: "I'm thrilled to be back in Weymouth, opening the first Carbon Fund project.
"We all have our role to play in sustainability and with projects like this one, British Airways is making a real difference to local communities."
Ainslie subsequently held an event at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy where this summer's sailing competitions will take place.
British Airways is aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2050, and their head of environment, Jonathon Counsell, added: "The feedback we receive from our customers suggested they wanted to be able to support low carbon projects in the UK.
"We are delighted to have been able to provide Osprey Leisure Centre with funding, and look forward to contributing to many more low carbon projects."
Osprey Leisure Centre general manager Nigel Williams expressed his gratitude to the fund's support.
"As a community organisation we are very grateful for the contribution made by British Airways towards the installation of our solar panels," he said.
"Thousands of local people will benefit, while we reduce costs and our environmental impact."
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
April 2012: British Airways launches golden-dove planes to celebrate London 2012
March 2012: Blumenthal links up with Formans to produce London 2012 menus after ruling out "Olympic onion rings"
March 2012: Luisa Fernandez of British Airways - National pride fuels our longstanding support for the Games
February 2012: British gold medal hope visits Hyde Park with British Airways
February 2012: British Airways launch new advert based on London 2012 Olympics