IBU sets up a sustainability expert group to provide external perspective

Following the adoption of the IBU’s long-term overall strategy Target 26, work is now under way on a comprehensive sustainability programme. To fulfil the ambitious goal of becoming a leader in sustainability in sport, the project aims to develop a strategic framework that will deliver tangible benefits to the global biathlon family across all three dimensions of sustainability - environmental, social and economic.

To effectively address the many sustainability risks and opportunities presented by the current situation, the IBU has invited a leading group of experts to join its brand-new Sustainability Expert Reference Group.

The Sustainability Expert Reference Group (ERG) brings together international professionals and thought leaders who will contribute external advice to the IBU on its sustainability journey. The members of the expert group share a passion to drive sustainable development in sports in general, and in biathlon in particular. Representing various fields and areas of expertise, the group will play an important role in ensuring that the IBU’s sustainability strategy is complemented – and challenged – by diverse perspectives through external consultation.

“Thanks to its worldwide fanbase, biathlon has a fantastic opportunity to connect with millions of people to promote the importance of concrete personal action to fight climate change. We all can help by making conscious good decisions on a daily basis. It makes sense for the IBU to take a leading role in promoting sustainable development in sport and I am happy to be part of the team,” said Laura Dahlmeier, the many time Olympic and world champion who serves on the ERG as the athlete representative.

“There is a need for strong leadership in taking climate action in winter sports, and the time for that is now. The IBU can show the way by driving cultural change and by implementing low carbon solutions across its operations, events and membership, as well as by reaching out to other winter sports, the winter sports industry and decision-makers. The Target 26 strategy even mandates that,” said Brita Staal, President of Protect Our Winters (POW) Europe.

The Sustainability ERG kicked off its work in early June. It will initially support the IBU staff in the development of the IBU sustainability strategy and policy which will be reviewed with all key stakeholders over the coming months before approval by the Executive Board and presentation to the 14th IBU Congress in Prague, Czech Republic, from 13-15 November 2020.

As members of the ERG, the experts represent themselves and not the IBU national member federations of their countries, unless so specifically mentioned.

Sustainability Expert Reference Group Members:

  • Yannick Aujouannet (FRA)

  • Denis Bochatay (SUI)

  • Franck Choquard (SUI)

  • Laura Dahlmeier (GER)

  • Erik Melin Söderström (SWE)

  • Daniel Osterauer (AUT)

  • Marisa Schlenker (USA)

  • Brita Staal (NOR)

  • Diego Züger (SUI)

About the Sustainability Expert Reference Group Members (in alphabetical order):

Yannick Aujouannet (FRA)

Acting both as Secretary General of the Biathlon World Cup Annecy-Le Grand Bornand and Event and Sustainable Development Coordinator at the tourism office of Le Grand Bornand, Yannick provides the local perspective of the IBU organising committees.

Denis Bochatay (SUI)

As Head of sport and events at Quantis International, a Lausanne-based consultancy specialised in environmental metrics, Denis works with various international federations and sport events to guide them towards sustainability, with a special focus on climate strategy.

Franck Choquard (SUI)

Serving as Head of Content & Servicing at Eurovision Sport, a division of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Franck represents IBU’s broadcasting partner that not only provides global coverage but also plays a critical role in increasing awareness and reducing the sport’s footprint.

Laura Dahlmeier (GER)

The many-time biathlon Olympic and world champion who retired in May 2019, Laura is an experienced alpinist and an author of a children’s book on climate action, who also serves as Ambassador for the Eagle Wings Foundation.

Erik Melin Söderström (SWE)

Erik is Climate and Snow Expert at Peak Innovation, an innovation eco-system supporting the development of smart sustainable solutions in tourism, outdoor and sports industries in Östersund, Sweden.

Daniel Osterauer (AUT)

Representing IBU’s marketing partner Infront, Daniel works with the commercial partners of biathlon, and helps channel their sustainability expertise into the IBU sustainability programme.

Marisa Schlenker (USA)

Marisa is a social sustainability expert who has worked on various gender and sport for development projects, including the Global Goals World Cup Erasmus + project, and Play Proud, along with supporting curricula/ toolkit development and different monitoring, evaluation and learning activities. She has recently become the Community Manager with Yunus Sports Hub.

Brita Staal (NOR)

In addition to being President of Protect our Winters Europe, Brita has broad experience with sustainability from managing risk, responsibility, and climate action in global supply chains as well as internal operations. She is also a trained Climate Reality Leader by Al Gore.

Diego Züger (SUI)

As Co-Director Marketing and a member of the executive board at Swiss-Ski, the Swiss national governing body for biathlon and other snow sports, Diego contributes the national federation perspective.

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