U.S. Biathlon and Soldier Hollow Nordic Center make event sustainability a major focus area

The BMW IBU Biathlon World Cup returns to the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center, in Midway, Utah, USA from 8-10 March 2024. This year’s World Cup not only sees the global biathlon stars return to North America for the first time after five seasons, but also features various new initiatives and enhancements, not least in making the event more sustainable.

Aided by the IBU Development support program, U.S. Biathlon chose to combine their efforts in making their internal operations more sustainable with those of the local organising committee for the BMW IBU Soldier Hollow World Cup. Goal of the project was to map U.S. Biathlon´s key levers of sustainability influence and to identify opportunities to improve resource-use efficiency of Soldier Hollow Nordic Center´s operations.

This cooperation has produced useful guidance on supply chain management and various improvements in waste management, including large scale recycling in the spectator and team areas, and for shipping materials; reductions in single-use plastic use and giving priority to supply chain partners that align with waste management guidelines; as well as catering with local ingredients. Team lodging is located as close to the venue as possible to enable the use of a mass-transportation system between the hotel and the venue.

Importantly, the biathlon stadium building at Soldier Hollow has been newly renovated and expanded and was simultaneously designed to become a low emissions building. To reduce overall venue emissions, Soldier Hollow Nordic Center has partnered with Heber Light & Power to utilize renewable energy sources for all electrical power needs at the facility. The renewable energy sources produced through the Clear Peaks Program will cover power needs from the snowmaking system to lights on the tubing hill to the competition management building.

Soldier Hollow General Manager Luke Bodensteiner said:

We are thrilled to partner with Heber Light & Power to ensure that all of Soldier Hollow’s electric power needs are coming from renewable resources. Sustainability is a priority throughout winter sport and this initiative will benefit the Heber Valley community, the kids in our sports programs, and visitors from around Utah and the world.

In addition, the Soldier Hollow World Cup will host researchers from the Texas A&M University and University of Florida who will be assessing the carbon footprint of spectator and participant travels to the event. The first-ever sustainability project funded by the IBU Research Grant program, the project will collect data from spectators to better understand their travel to and during the event in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the transportation modes used. The results from this modeling will create an accurate baseline for the IBU to better track its Scope 3 impacts and empower event organizers to better leverage secondary data from their events.

For more information on the Utah IBU World Cup, visit https://ibuworldcuputah.com

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