Sustainability is an increasingly important and relevant issue in sports – and no sport is more affected by climate change than biathlon. The IBU must a strong stance on becoming an increasingly sustainable and environmentally-friendly sport, becoming a thought leader among International Federations.”
Olle Dahlin, IBU President
The IBU is committed to making its operations and activities fully sustainable along all three dimensions of sustainability: environmental, social and economic. The IBU’s vision is to establish biathlon as a leader in promoting sustainability in sport by 2026.
Sustainability within biathlon is defined as:
The everyday behaviours of everyone in the biathlon family that create an overall balance between our social, economic and environmental actions and impact in order to ensure that the current and future generations may continue to enjoy the joy of snow sports and nature.
In September 2020, the IBU approved its Sustainability Policy and Sustainability Strategy 2020-2030. As an outdoor winter sport, biathlon is directly affected by climate change so it is only logical that one of the central tenets of the new strategy is to become climate neutral by 2030.
Designed to deliver concrete benefits on a local level, the ten-year strategy is built around five Focus Areas and three levels of stakeholders as shown in the IBU Sustainability Framework below.
The strategic objectives for 2030 per Focus Area are:
- Climate: Reduce the carbon footprint of biathlon as a sport according to science-based targets (4.5% p.a.) to become climate neutral by 2030, and climate positive latest by 2034.
- Sport: Ensure environmental neutrality of the sport (air, water and soil).
- Communication and awareness: Lead in advocating for climate action and sustainable development within the biathlon family and winter sports for the global fanbase.
- People: Become the leading winter sport in terms of good governance, gender equality and diversity.
- Venue & Event: Enable biathlon venues and events to have a long-term positive impact on their host communities and the environment.
Ban single-use plastic and ensure 100% waste is re-used, recycled or composted.
To find out more, click below to download the IBU Sustainability Policy.
The IBU Sustainability Strategy 2020-2030 which outlines the specific actions and timelines for operational implementation will be available for download shortly.
IBU Expert Reference Group
The IBU has invited a leading group of experts to join its Sustainability Expert Reference Group (ERG). The ERG brings together international professionals and thought leaders who will contribute external advice to the IBU on its sustainability journey. Representing various fields and areas of expertise, it will play an important role in ensuring that the IBU’s sustainability strategy is complemented – and challenged – by diverse perspectives through external consultation. Read more here.
UN Sports for Climate Action Framework
As part of its commitment to climate action, the IBU is also a member of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework. Read more here.
The IBU is also a member of the Mountain Summit, a group of sports organisations led by the IOC and UNEP that are concerned with the current state of the world’s mountains and committed to protecting them. The aim of the Summit is to assess and minimise the negative impact of sports activities on mountain environments and leverage the power of sport to raise awareness about the importance of environmental stewardship when being active in the mountains. Read more here.