IBU discusses its sustainability strategy with European Commission’s Expert Group on Green Sport

This week, the IBU was invited to discuss its journey to becoming climate neutral with the European Commission’s Expert Group on Green Sport which met in Brussels from 6-7 June 2023. The Expert Group consists of representatives of the European sport movement and from the EU Member States and operates under the EU’s Work Plan for Sport that is set to run from January 2021 until June 2024.

The goal of the Expert Group on Green Sport is to draft a common framework for sustainable sport, including a series of recommendations in areas such as sport infrastructure, events, good practices, innovative solutions, and the sport movement’s contribution to the European Climate Pact.

During its intervention, the IBU took the opportunity to discuss the implementation of its Sustainability Strategy 2020-2030, in particular, its work to make the IBU events more sustainable and become climate neutral by 2030. This work includes a range of measures from decarbonisation and energy efficiency optimisation to sustainable snow management.

The IBU highlighted its measurement and data-based approach that enables the tailoring of the local sustainability activities to the circumstances and specific challenges of the different IBU events and venues across Europe. The IBU also stressed the need for partnerships with public authorities in the different EU member states if sport is to effectively respond to the challenge of fan travel which is the greatest area of environmental and climate impact by sport events.

In addition to the IBU, the Expert Group on Green Sport heard presentations by Tiberio Daddi, Professor at the Sant’Anna School University in Pisa, Italy, who presented the Erasmus+ Goals project which has created an environmental footprint calculator for football clubs; by Magdalena Jeckel, from Eintracht Frankfurt football club in Germany who presented the club’s ESG strategy; and by Christian Stamm, FIFA Sustainability manager, who discussed the sustainability plans for the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia/ New Zealand 2023.

Green sport is one of the priorities of the European Commission’s sport policy. The development and implementation of European policy in this field is the responsibility of the Directorate General for Youth, Sport, Education and Culture (DG EAC). Besides the socio-economic and environmental dimensions of sport, the current sport policy is concerned with the protection of integrity and good governance in sport (e.g. fight against doping and manipulation of competitions and promotion of gender equality), as well as with the promotion of participation in sport and other health-enhancing activity.

Image: areporter/stock.adobe.com

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