The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has introduced the IBU’s Sustainability Strategy with a bold plan to balance the social, economic and environmental impact of the sport of biathlon. The Strategy follows a profound process which began following the approval of the new IBU Constitution and strategic plan called “Target 26” in October 2019.
The new strategy triggered a process for future proofing and progressing the sport recognising sustainability as a key priority in Target 26 and climate change as direct and urgent threat to the sport of Biathlon.
In the interest of maximising stakeholder buy-in through the process, IBU involved all key stakeholders in this strategic process including the National Federations (NFs), staff, athletes, organising committees, commercial partners, media, and fans. This is also in line with ISO 20121 standard’s core requirements for sustainable management, which the IBU aspires to follow.
The IBU’s Sustainability Strategy was designed around five focus areas:
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Title: Sector project Sport for Development
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Colombia, Indonesia, Morocco, Tunisia, Uganda, Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia)
Overall term: 2019 to 2022
Sport integrates and educates people and gets them moving. More than almost any other area, sport with its professional and voluntary structures reaches all social spheres, promotes participation and creates a feeling of togetherness across ethnic and social boundaries.
The 2030 Agenda confirms that sport makes a significant contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project contributes to several SDGs, including good health and well-being (SDG 3), inclusive and equitable quality education (SDG 4), gender equality (SDG 5), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16), and partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17).
The project uses sport to achieve development policy goals. Sport includes all physical activities that promote physical and mental well-being and social interaction, from popular and recreational sports, games and exercise to traditional forms of culture and expression, such as dance.
Sport can have a particularly positive effect on the development of children and young people. They learn about fair and tolerant behaviour, strengthen their self-esteem and develop the willingness to take responsibility. Sport also teaches life skills – abilities that help individuals to master difficult life situations and develop perspectives for their own future.
The German Government has recognised this potential and is focusing on Sport for Development as a cross-cutting theme of German development cooperation (DC) in order to achieve other development policy goals. These include education, employment, the private sector and health along with goals in the context of displacement and migration.
The project uses sport in development cooperation to secure long-term improvement in the lives of disadvantaged children and young people.
In a wide-ranging network with partners and local and international organisations, civil society institutions, sports associations, companies and academia, the project implements a range of projects with the partner countries. The German Olympic Sport Confederation (DOSB), the German Football Association (DFB) and the German Sport University Cologne (DSHS) are among the over-arching partners.
The project trains trainers, invests in sports infrastructure with long-term use, such as sports grounds and sports centres, and campaigns for fairly and sustainably produced sportswear. It also creates areas of learning for children and young people and improves their prospects through initial and continuing training.
A central component is the development of training manuals. These describe the methodology and support local trainers and teachers in applying it. The project works with local partners to adapt the approach to the conditions in each country. The manuals contain numerous examples of training units in different sports that are adapted to different age groups and cover different sports and social education topics.
Other focal points include policy advice on content and strategy, the further development of the German contribution with long-term national and international positioning, academic support, and monitoring and evaluation to review experiences and measure effectiveness.
By September 2019, the project had reached over one million children and young people in 37 countries through more than 50 projects, trained around 7,000 trainers and built and modernised 133 sports grounds in Africa alone.
From October 2019, the following partner countries will be among the focal points:
Colombia: The peaceful resolution of conflict, prevention of violence and the reintegration of internally displaced persons are the focus of the project in Colombia. A specially developed manual supports social reconciliation through sport. To date, 1,500 trainers and social workers have been trained in this area. They have reached around 90,000 children and young people.
Indonesia: In Indonesia, football is used to help schoolchildren learn positive values and life skills. Trained coaches and teachers run football training sessions for both girls and boys and also address topics such as health and prevention of violence.
Morocco: The first trainers have already been trained in Morocco. They have specialised in basketball, football and martial arts and come from communities with a particularly high proportion of migrants. Together with local partners, the project promotes access to integration services for migrants, refugees and returning Moroccans in these communities.
Tunisia: In Tunisia, the sports approach promotes the transfer of skills and career guidance for young adults in various areas. Activities promoted in the area of Sport for Development teaches them important personal and job-related skills.
Uganda: In Uganda, the focus is on athletics. The project there supports disadvantaged children and young people in disciplines such as running, jumping and throwing and in traditional sports. The trainers focus on life skills, health and social cohesion. There is a particular focus on children and young people with disabilities.
Western Balkans: In the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia), sport is used as a social learning environment to promote neighbourly understanding. To this end, the project is working with teachers, trainers and other multipliers to develop the relevant skills among young people and reflect on social issues with them.
To mainstream Sport for Development even more in the partner countries of German development cooperation, the project also, on request, advises interested DC projects and sports partners beyond the above-mentioned focus countries.
The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) has introduced a practical guidebook which provides guidance and support to FIA stakeholders and members to increase their sustainability performance in delivering events.
The “FIA Introductory Guide for Sustainable Events” has been designed to provide event organisers with the technical support and guidance to identify simple and clear actions for improving their sustainability performance. The focus is on small actions that can lead to significant changes allowing for a practical approach that can be applied to events of all sizes.
The guidelines are also in close alignment with the requirements of the FIA’s Environmental Accreditation Programme.
The application of the guidelines is meant to lead the user to achieve a two-star level, the second of a three-tiered accreditation system.The guidelines are structured around six key impact areas:
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Rising water levels, air pollution and the destruction of biodiversity on land might be at the top of our minds when it comes to climate change, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Under our oceans, the destruction of the world’s coral reef is something worthy of urgent attention.
Beyond providing natural beauty, coral reefs are of extreme importance to on-land and underwater life. They offer our coastlines a natural protection from damaging wave action and tropical storms, and assist in carbon and nitrogen fixing, a fundamental piece in the fight against climate action.
Moreover, as much as 25% of our marine life depend on them as they provide habitat, shelter and nutrients. An estimated 4,000 fish species rely on them at some point in their existence.
World Sailing's 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami was identified by World Sailing as the perfect opportunity to bring education and action together in alignment with the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) and the WS Sustainability Agenda 2030.
In partnership with their title sponsor, Hempel A/S, and the Rescue a Reef programme at the University of Miami (UM), the event managed to collect 250kg of marine litter, and create awareness among hundreds of athletes and volunteers.
• 250kg of marine litter was removed from a local mangrove ecosystem and 150 corals were out planted.
• Close to 150 athletes and local sailors were engaged in education and action against the impact of climate change.
• The project received positive feedback from the sailors, created a positive impact in the local community and provided sponsors with a new powerful platform to engage with the sailing community.
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In January 2020, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Sustainability Strategy was published, with five commitments, 22 strategic objectives and over 70 initiatives. The strategy was developed jointly by FIFA, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy. This unique tripartite collaboration means that the strategy considers all of the tournament organisers' activities, including those of the host country, and builds on the experience and standards of previous FIFA World Cups.
The strategy was developed in three steps: (1) A thorough analysis of the current context and existing strategies and requirements, then (2) the identification of strategic priorities through a materiality assessment and a human rights salience analysis, with both results eventually combined through an innovative process, and finally (3) the definition of concrete objectives and actions. Throughout this process, FIFA and the organisers engaged with internal and external stakeholders to shape an ambitious, meaningful and robust strategy.
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The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has been actively committed in the pursuit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an integral part of its sustainability strategy. Aware of the imminent threats of climate change, IIHF has joined the IOC as a participant of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework and pledged to stop plastic waste as part of the Clean Seas campaign.
In 2020, and five years after the publication of the “IIHF Manual for Sustainable Events”, the federation published a new document portraying the “IIHF Sustainability Vision”, a reflection of the IIHF’s aspirations in regards to sustainability within its organisation, its events and the broader ice hockey family.
The IIHF Vision for Sustainability spans across its different spheres of influence:
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The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) officially opened “Home Plate” on July 2020, its new headquarters in Switzerland, designed with sustainability at its heart. The move follows the merger in 2013 of the International Baseball Federation and the International Softball Federation and the acquisition in 2018 of the building which, after a complete renovation, now hosts its joint federation.
Seeking to leave a positive legacy for its community, sustainability was embedded in every step of the planning, conditioning and intended use of its new headquarters.
Twenty-four roof top photovoltaic panels, with a power output of 12 kilowatts, provide approximately 10% of the building’s electricity needs with the goal of increasing the capacity to cover 100% of its needs by 2025. The underfloor heating and cooling system use hot and cold water to maintain an ideal office climate, whilst all walls have been insulated with high density stone wool allowing temperatures to be maintained for up to 20 hours after the system has been switched off. The same stone wool increases fire resistance and acoustic comfort. All the lighting is made with LED technology and occupancy sensors to keep energy consumption levels to a minimum. The interior Saint-Gobain glass walls and doors feature fire resistant Ei-60 glass - double of the requirement by law.
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As Sustainable As Possible (ASAP) is a European based, National Olympic Committees’ (NOCs) mentorship and development programme on sustainability matters. Building bridges among organisations, the programme which started in 2020 and will span over a three-year period, is aimed to guide mentees into the creation of integrated sustainability strategies while giving mentors the chance to refine their own.
The ASAP consortium is comprised of six NOCs who will collaborate on a mentorship relationship. The German Olympic Sports Confederation, the National Olympic Committee and Sport Confederation of Denmark and the Finnish Olympic Committee serve as mentors to the Slovak Olympic and Sport Committee, the Hungarian Olympic Committee and the Czech Olympic Committee, who also serves as the coordinator for this project. The programme is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, supported by the IOC and is in close cooperation with the European NOC Sustainability Working group that gathers 12 European entities.
The ASAP project was established in order to:
World Triathlon, part of UNEP and IOC Clean Seas since 2018 and signatory of the UN Sports for Climate Action framework, has now taken a step further by creating guidelines aimed at its Local Organising Committees (LOCs). The goal is to provide guidance on best sustainable practices to be taken into consideration during the planning, and staging, of an event.
World Triathlon encourages organisers of all sizes to start with an assessment of their carbon footprint to establish a baseline and identify areas that might need to be prioritised. Regardless of their level of experience, organisers can then access a step by step guide to develop their own sustainability plans through a comprehensive approach across fifteen categories.
The proposed strategic areas cover a broad range of topics such as governance, staffing, mobility, waste and water management and biodiversity, among others. Each of them has then been linked to specific action points that event organisers can set in motion includingeighteen must have items, thirty-three recommended actions and seven aspirational elements.
The new guidelines also serve as a framework to their newly launched World Triathlon Sustainability certification system for 2021. Through the development of a sustainability plan and later execution, LOCs can achieve three levels of recognition which they will have to validate on a yearly basis.
The postponed 2020 Finals of the Billie Jean King Cup will see women share the largest annual fund in women’s team sports equalling the amount awarded in the men’s competition.
However, whilst the pay-gap in elite tennis is closed in terms of prize money and tennis performs well in terms of global participation with 47% female participants, significant off court challenges remain: 20% of coaches and 22% of certified officials are women, and female representation on ITF’s board sits at only 18%.
A 2020 ITF leadership survey highlighted the importance of female role models as one of the most important factors influencing women as they develop their careers. With the goal of increasing the number of women on and off the court, including those in decision making and leadership roles, ITF established the Gender Equality in Tennis Committee (originally called the Women in Sport Committee) in 2017 chaired by USTA president and ITF Vice President Katrina Adams. The following year, with the support of the Foundation for Global Sports Development (GSD), the Advantage All programme was launched including enhanced funding for workshops, education and professional development for up and coming female leaders, including coaches and officials.
• Having a gender equality strategy establishes clear objectives and targets for an organisation and its stakeholders to advance gender equality.
• The development of female leadership facilitates sustainable change in closing the gender gap and achieving equal representation.
• Ensuring equal opportunity in sport maximises commercial opportunities.