With sustainability taking on an increasingly important role in the delivery of its events, World Athletics has teamed with the organisers of the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 to create a series of initiatives to help reduce the event’s environmental impact and enhance its social impact.
The organizing committee of the Athletics Championships in Budapest is the first to fully apply the “Athletics for a Better World standard” system developed by the international federation. The essence of this is that the given event fully meets sustainability expectations – Fmbusiness reports.
The efforts of the Hungarian organizers play a decisive role in the course of the future Athletics World Championships events from this important point of view.
The Hungarian organizers set two sustainability goals. One is to encourage Hungarians to lead a healthy lifestyle with dedicated programs, the other is to achieve tangible results in urban rehabilitation.
In April, the World Cup organizers launched a reforestation program approx. half an hour from the National Athletic Center. This was the first such project, and hopefully, the cities organizing the next Championships will continue in their own locality.
A comprehensive waste management plan has also been implemented, and the organizers are also encouraging spectators visiting the competitions to arrive at the stadium by public transport.
Water refill points have been installed in designated media areas, such as the media centre, which will replace the use of approximately 342,000 plastic cups. It was also decisive for the organizers that disadvantaged members of society could also experience the magic of the event – the goodwill program was created for this purpose.
A sustainable congress
This year’s World Athletics Congress is the first in a primarily digital format thus eliminating the use of at least 182,110 sheets of A4 paper, roughly the equivalent of 18 15-metre-tall pine trees, or the carbon emissions produced by three round trip flights between Nice and London Heathrow.
The effects of climate change on sports and communities, as well as the solutions that organizers and hosts of sporting events can implement to deal with these effects, were examined in the panel discussions in Budapest. The discussions featured delegations from five Pacific island nations that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and are likely to become uninhabitable in the next 50 to 80 years.
On August 25, a panel discussion entitled Building Collaborations for Sustainable Events will be launched. A panel of leading professionals, researchers and scientists working at the interface of sport and sustainability will:
- review and examine the efforts of the international association and the organizers of the Championships in Budapest in terms of the feasibility of an event in line with WA’s sustainability strategy
- discuss the role of large-scale events in achieving sustainability aspirations
- discuss various collaborations and partnerships, and also responds to the expectations of partners and sponsors regarding the sustainability of events.
Green zone in the Stadium Park
The local organising committee has created a designated Green Zone in the stadium park which will host sustainability awareness-raising activities for spectators, daily quizzes (and prizes) and meet & greets with athletes over the course of the championships. A regularly updated schedule of athlete appearances and activities is here – worldathletics.org informs.
An active mobility study, coordinated jointly by the Health & Science Department and Sustainability team, will measure the benefits of active travel – in this case, mostly cycling, but also walking – at large sporting events.
By tracking the project participants’ commutes, the study will measure the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are avoided and the effect that active intermodal transportation has on local motor vehicle traffic. It will also evaluate how active mobility by staff working at an event can reduce its environmental impact. Measuring benefits to health and well-being is another focus of the project.