The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has published its first Sustainability Report, presenting key sustainability accomplishments in 2021 and the federation’s carbon footprint for the competition season 2020/2021. The comprehensive report also details the status of the IBU’s efforts to realise the targets set out in the Sustainability Strategy 2020-2030, approved in September 2020.
For biathlon as a snow sport, climate action is critically important, however it is not the only sustainability concern. The IBU has also set ambitious goals in growing grassroots participation, especially amongst the youth, and enhancing diversity and gender equality.
In 2021, the IBU’s key sustainability achievements per strategic Focus Area include:
Climate: Measuring emissions inventory for both the IBU as an Organisation and its main event series in the 2020/2021 season. Following an internal footprint calculation in 2020 and the implementation of initial reduction measures, this was the first time that the IBU events were included in the measurement. Notably, the IBU events followed a special schedule and were staged without spectators due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Thanks to the IOC DOW Carbon Action Award, the IBU’s reported emissions for 2021 were offset by Dow through projects that comply with the standards approved by the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA).
Venue & Event: Incorporating sustainability as a key selection criterion for the hosts of the IBU World Championships. Candidates bidding for the 2024 and 2025 Championships were required to outline their sustainability philosophy and plans for reducing the climate impact as part of their event concepts.
Sport: Banning wax products containing C8 fluorocarbons/ PFOA at all IBU events, in line with EU and EC regulations. The ban required written pledges to be signed by the national federations (NFs) and their service partners and was controlled by spot checks at events.
Sport: Launching the IBU Snow Network for the experts in charge of snow at the IBU events and conducting the first survey to collect data on snow production, storage, transport, grooming, treatment, and the overall sustainability of snow management.
People: Approving the IBU’s Gender Equality strategy 2021-2026 with three focus areas governance, sport, and portrayal. The strategy includes several objectives to be reached by 2026.
People: Introducing new areas within the IBU National Federation Development Support programme providing targeted funding forsustainability, gender equality and athlete recruitmentprojects.
Communication & Awareness: Staging the first Biathlon Climate Challenge where almost 8,000 fans joined one of ten different teams - all led by biathlon stars – and collected 100,000 treesthat were planted in Madagascar as they turned their physical activity into an opportunity to give back to the environment.
Communication & Awareness: Introducing the IBU Athlete Ambassador programme with 15 ambassadors from 12 countries to help raise awareness, educate, and support the aims of the sport in sustainability, gender equality and integrity matters.
IBU’s President Olle Dahlin said:
"The IBU aims to be a leader in the sport industry when it comes to sustainability. This inaugural Sustainability Report demonstrates that transparency and openness are key to us as we work to meet our commitments of being climate neutral by 2030 and net zero by 2040.”
“We are still in the early phases of implementing our long-term strategy and growing awareness among our stakeholders about how we can become better custodians of the planet. As we mature in our approach to sustainability, we will also further improve ourmeasurement and data collection and provide even better analysis and reports on our progress.”
The IBU is committed to creatingconcrete, positive future legacies. It continues to use the sport’s global platformto inspire its stakeholders andpeople around the world to adopt more sustainable lifestyles. During 2022 and beyond, its efforts will focus on continued progresson impact reduction especially through IBU events. Special emphasis will be put on making the sport energy-efficient and implementing sustainable mobility options as travel and transport to, from and within events remain a key challenge for all sports.
Click here to access the full Sustainability Report 2021