Requirements for sustainable Olympic equipment

November 16, 2020

When it comes to the selection of Olympic equipment, International Federations (IFs) can mandate suppliers and have a positive influence across the sports goods and equipment industry. As part of the 2024 Olympic equipment selection, World Sailing decided to add sustainability as a criteria within the evaluation process as an opportunity to impact the wider marine industry.
While all of World Sailing Olympic equipment contracts require that companies operate in accordance with the IOC Supplier Code, the new requirements include the existence of a company sustainability policy, a life cycle assessment of the product, ISO 14001 certification and an environmental improvement programme.
The board-sports industry is a huge impactor to the environment through all the materials used, production processes and raw material extraction. Added to this is the amount of different types of plastics used to make the boards. There are on average seven different types of materials, making it almost impossible to recycle.
One of the windsurf board manufacturers,
Starboard, stood out with an existing strong sustainability offering within their products.
As part of their bid, the supplier demonstrated how they could reduce the environmental footprint from the production of the equipment. They did this by conducting a Life Cycle Assessment of their products, as well as a plastic and carbon footprint assessment at the company level and taking measures to reduce the footprint.

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