Sustainability Case Studies

Sustainability Case Studies


Viessmann and IBU joined forces to create the Viessmann IBU Climate Club Trophy to honor outstanding sustainability initiatives implemented by biathlon clubs worldwide. The IBU reached out to the Biathlon Family to identify current sustainable practices. Based on the multiple submissions received, the work of four Biathlon Clubs was explored in detailed case studies to promote their sustainable engagement and share any lessons learned. The Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Vermont, USA, Sports Club Biathlon Mania in Slovakia, UKS Kamieńczyk in Poland, and Deutscher Alpenverein (DAV) Ulm in Germany all provided insight into their engagement for a more sustainable future.

Craftsbury Outdoor Center (COC)

The Craftsbury Outdoor Center (COC) in Vermont is a non-profit organization with a mission to support lifelong sports participation, teach sustainable practices, and protect the surrounding land, lake, and trails. COC aims to be a model for sustainability, conservation, education, and stewardship in its community by minimizing ecological impact, conserving energy, and raising awareness through various initiatives. To achieve its goal, COC uses solar panels, sustainable heating systems, EV charging stations, and promotes sustainability through educational programs. However, the organization faces challenges due to climate change, requiring innovative snow solutions, and aims to transition to more energy-efficient systems for transportation and grooming. Future plans include installing more solar panels, transitioning vehicles to electric ones, retrofitting buildings, and expanding sustainability-related programming and outreach.

To read the full case study see: Case Study Craftsbury Outdoor Center

Sports Club Biathlon Mania

Sport Club Biathlon Mania, located in Slovakia near Banská Bystrica, stands out for its innovative approach to developing young athletes aged 6 to 15. Founded by former elite biathlete Dušan Šimočko, the club uses laser rifles to teach shooting skills, resulting in reduced ecological impact and significant cost savings. The club's main initiatives besides the laser rifles for training, are using a 15-seater bus for transportation, and creating hand-made medals from old air rifle cartridges. The club's success has led to plans for expanding its age range, and a group of volunteers is exploring fundraising initiatives to enable older children to remain part of the club.

To read the full case study see: Case Study Sport Club Biathlon Mania

UKS Kamieńczyk

The School Children Sport Club Kamienczyk (UKS Kamieńczyk) in partnership with the Karkonoski National Park and National Forestry is committed to fighting for a better tomorrow through sustainability initiatives. Emphasizing education and collaboration with its young members aged 7-15, the club aims to create lasting habits and inspire others to embrace sustainability. Addressing various IBU sustainability issues, the club participates in reforestation and clean-up actions, recycles lead ammunition shells, promotes sustainable food practices, and focuses on waste reduction, separation, and recycling. Initiatives like the Active Giving app and banning single-use plastics demonstrate its dedication to raising awareness and engaging members in eco-friendly practices.

To read the full case study see: Case Study UKS Kamieńczyk


DAV Ulm´s goal is to pursue measures that are environmentally friendly, economically sound, and beneficial for the sport. Faced with snowless winters due to climate change, DAV Ulm has focused on roller skiing and invested in its biathlon training center, growing its youth talent pool. To mitigate its own climate impact, the club has an operational sustainability strategy including water harvesting for snowmaking, lead bullet collection, energy-efficient buildings with air source heat pumps and a planned photovoltaic system as well as bus-sharing with partners to reduce emissions from travel. The club's emphasis on sustainability, roller skiing courses, and elite talent development has contributed to increased membership and grassroots participation in the region.

To read the full case study see: Case Study DAV Ulm

Organising Committee (OC) Award for Excellence in Sustainability 2022

In 2022 the IBU established a new annual award, to promote impactful and replicable sustainability and climate actions implemented successfully by the IBU event hosts. Its goal is to highlight the organising committees’ contributions to the aims of the IBU Sustainability Strategy 2020-2030, across the five different Focus Areas: Climate, Sport, Venue & Event, People, and Communication & Awareness. The award is divided into the categories of World Cup and IBU Junior Cup. The Organising Committees Arber in Germany, Hochfilzen in Austria, Kontiolahti in Finland, Martell in Itlay, Östersund in Sweden, and Ruhpolding in Germany participated with the following initiatives in 2022.

Arber, Germany

The goal of the project was to demonstrate sustainability and regionality in organizing major sporting events with no or low additional financial input. As a certified "Fair Trade district," the district of Regen/Arberland aimed to showcase how major events like the IBU Open European Biathlon Championships (OECH) 2022 at Arber could be held in harmony with the environment. The approach focused on environmental management, transparency, long-term structures, regional value creation, and public awareness of sustainability. It was achieved by implementing a holistic sustainability strategy, including regional food procurement, engaging local volunteers, exclusive partnerships with regional sponsors, using e-cars for VIP shuttle service, sustainable uniforms, rainwater usage, bamboo cups, regional catering, and reducing plastic usage. The next steps involve installing an e-charging station at the Hohenzollern Ski Stadium to promote sustainable mobility for athletes, coaches, spectators, and visitors.

To read the full case study see: Case Study Arber

Hochfilzen, Austria

The OC Hochfilzen further developed the sustainability credentials of the Biathlon World Cup in Hochfilzen, building upon a successful and long-standing user agreement with the local club, Austrian Ski Federation, and Austrian Military. They aimed to enhance the event's sustainability by implementing various initiatives, including a sustainable heating system, waste separation, reduction of plastic and paper usage, climate-neutral transport options, and the use of regional products. Challenges faced included obtaining authorization for electric vehicle charging stations within a military area and encouraging all visitors to use climate-neutral shuttle services. As the next steps the OC plans on increasing partnerships with climate-neutral producers and suppliers, incorporating more organic and vegetarian products in catering, installing electric charging stations, and intensifying efforts to promote climate-neutral transport options.

To read the full case study see: Case Study Hochfilzen

Kontiolahti, Finland

The OC Kontiolahti organized its events and operations in a sustainable manner, addressing environmental issues, promoting accessibility and inclusion, creating a tolerant atmosphere, and prioritizing safety. They established the Responsible Kontiolahti program, focusing on three elements: Environmental Sustainability, Inclusion and Accessibility, and Safety. They received an audited EcoCompass certificate for their environmental program and efforts were made to improve accessibility for physically impaired individuals and attract new audiences to the event. They offered specific services for disabled people, free entrance for children under 12, and free tickets for low-income families. The program was developed in collaboration with local, regional, national, and transnational partners. Developing the project further Kontiolahti wants to increase data collection for better tracking, update heaters to use renewable energy sources, and conduct more social inclusion projects, like engaging with Ukrainian refugees living in Kontiolahti.

To read the full case study see: Case Study Kontiolahti

Martell, Italy

The OC Martell aimed to make the Biathlon Martell and other events at the Grogg stadium more sustainable, inspired by the quote "Considering the end in everything you do, that is Sustainability" by Albert Schweitzer. They sought GreenEvent certification to maintain the natural beauty of the Stelvio National Park in the Val Martello Valley. The goal was achieved by identifying areas of impact and implementing measures to meet the GreenEvent certification criteria. OC Martell minimized exhaust emissions and CO2 emissions by incentivizing local accommodations and providing a free shuttle service for teams. They communicated sustainability initiatives to volunteers and staff, addressed accessibility for disabled people, saved energy in snow production, purchased regional and Fair Trade products for catering, implemented waste separation measures, and reduced plastic waste by using recyclable materials. They aim to make sustainability more relatable and see it as an important and sustainable investment.

To read the full case study see: Case Study Martell

Östersund, Sweden

The OC Östersund aimed to achieve a "fossil fuel free" Biathlon World Cup in Östersund, driven by the realization that winters were becoming wetter and shorter, posing future challenges. They collaborated with the regional government and local municipality, adopting the ISO 20121 sustainability event management system to devise sustainability strategies for the event. By implementing various initiatives to reduce emissions from international travel, energy usage, and waste production, they transparently communicated their efforts, successfully calculating a carbon footprint and addressing issues related to travel and transport emissions, energy use, sustainability communication, water and energy use for snowmaking, and waste production. However, the main challenges lied in managing international transport and waste separation, prompting the next steps to include installing waste separation racks in team areas and exploring partnerships for electric shuttle fleets, further enhancing their commitment to sustainability.

To read the full case study see: Case Study Östersund

Ruhpolding, Germany

The goal of the Ruhpolding World Cup was to replace diesel generators with a battery system, storing renewable energy from the grid to provide an eco-friendly backup for power supply during TV broadcasting and floodlighting at the Chiemgau Arena, located in a nature reserve. The Big Battery Box, a transportable 20-foot container with lithium-ion batteries, achieved this by utilizing green electricity from photovoltaic, wind power, and a small hydropower plant, resulting in a CO2 emission reduction of approximately 32 tonnes. The initiative successfully addressed the sustainability issue of emissions from energy use for heating, cooling, and power. Coordination was a significant challenge in implementing this innovative technology, but the Ruhpolding OC aims to continue improving the system by developing the stadium's cable infrastructure to accommodate future developments.

To read the full case study see: Case Study Ruhpolding