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Sustainability And Legacy Commission











In cooperation with several institutions, such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the IOC has launched a series of programmes and activities that contribute to raising awareness about the importance of sustainable development in sport.   

World Conferences on Sport and Environment

A biennial World Conference on Sport and Environment brings together representatives and partners of the Olympic Movement, as well as representatives of other entities involved in this field, i.e. governments, international and non-governmental organisations concerned with environmental matters, industry and business sectors, research institutes, media, etc.

The aim of these conferences is:
•  to regularly assess the progress made in the field of sustainable development by the Olympic Movement;
•  to give an opportunity to provide new knowledge on these issues by sharing experiences and expertise from different sectors of society;
•  to encourage cooperation in, and further development of, environmental policies in relation to sport.

The most recent conference was hosted by Sochi, Russia from 30 October to 1 November 2013. Past conferences have been held in Lausanne, Switzerland (1995), Kuwait City, Kuwait (1997) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1999), Nagano, Japan (2001), Torino, Italy (2003), Nairobi, Kenya (2005), Beijing, PRC (2007), Vancouver, Canada (2009), and Doha, Qatar (2011). 

IOC Sport and Environment Award

As the leader of the Olympic Movement, the IOC feels a strong social responsibility to actively promote a healthy environment and to set good standards. The IOC Sport and Environment Award forms part of these efforts and was first introduced in 2009 to recognise and celebrate the achievements of individuals, groups and organisations that have shown initiative and taken action to drive environmental efforts and projects within their community.

One award is given to a nominee from each of the five continents (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania) upon the selection of a jury composed of members of the IOC Sport and Environment Commission. Nominations for the Award, which is presented biennially during the IOC’s World Conferences on Sport and the Environment, can be put forward by National Olympic Committees, Recognised Organisations, International Federations and Continental Associations. 

2013 Awards Documents:

IOC 2013 Sport and Environment Awards – Invitation letter

IOC 2013 Sport and Environment Awards – Rules and Regulations

IOC 2013 Sport and Environment Awards - Candidature Form

Cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)


In 1994, after the closing of the XVII Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer during which special emphasis has been laid on environmental protection, and following the recommendations of its Centennial Congress in Paris, which placed environment higher on the agenda, the IOC signed a cooperation agreement with UNEP to develop joint initiatives in this field.

Agenda 21 for the Olympic Movement

As a result of the agreement, UNEP has worked closely with the IOC through its Sport and Environment Commission and the Department of International Cooperation & Development, on numerous programmes and projects. Among others, UNEP has participated in the World Conferences on Sport and Environment, and in the regional seminars organized by the IOC, and in the production of information materials on sport and environment such as the Agenda 21 for the Olympic Movement. UNEP has also developed working relationships with Organizing Committees of the Olympic Games in Athens (2004) and Torino (2006),  Beijing (2008) and continues to explore opportunities to support the work of future OCOGs like Vancouver, London and Sochi. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been recently signed with the Sochi organizing committee in promoting environmental issues for  the Games in 2014.

"Sport and the Environment" strategy

In February 2003, the UNEP Governing Council formally adopted a "Sport and the Environment" strategy, which seeks to further promote the linkages between sport and the environment among the general public. The programme seeks to develop partnerships with sports organizations, federations and associations to reach out to the public with environmental messages.

Learn more on the UNEP sport policy