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31 Mar 2009
Olympic News , Sport and Environment

First-ever winners of the IOC Sport and Environment Award

The very first winners of the IOC Award for Sport and the Environment were announced on the first day of the World Conference on Sport and Environment in Vancouver. The inaugural trophies were presented to five organisations representing the five continents which have made tremendous contributions to the implementation of outstanding practices in the field of sustainable sport and the environment.
How the winners were selected
The entries received illustrated not only the involvement of sport in driving the environment agenda, but also the importance of its contribution. The winners were chosen from among individuals, groups and organisations nominated by National Olympic Committees (NOCs), International Sports Federations (IFs) and Continental Associations. A jury composed of members of the IOC Sport and Environment Commission selected the winners for each continent, taking into account the following basic evaluation criteria: impact of the activity/initiative/project on the promotion of sustainable sport; ability of the activity/initiative/project to be carried on and to serve as a catalyst for sustainable sport practice worldwide; voluntary contributions and innovative approaches.
The first-ever award was awarded to:
- For Africa: Green Africa Foundation
- For America: Oregon Track Club
- For Asia: Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Organizing Committee (BOCOG)
- For Europe: German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB),
- For Oceania: “Rainbow Project” by Rowing New Zealand
Who are the winners?
Green Africa Foundation is a Kenyan organisation founded in 2000 to support ecological and environmental conservation with particular focus on arid and semi-arid lands in Kenya, where poverty is most prevalent. Recognising the impact of sport on ensuring environmental sustainability, the Foundation has launched a “Green Africa Sports” department, which sets up guidelines for sports organisers about environmental awareness, proper waste management, and creating and maintaining a green environment. Thus, on the occasion of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships held in 2007 in Mombasa (Kenya), the environmental project set up by the Foundation, in close cooperation with UNEP, was considered by the IAAF as having set a precedent for all future IAAF events. Its activities reach beyond athletics, going from table tennis to canoe kayak, and from golf to boxing.
The Oregon Track Club: The organising committee made the 2008 US Olympic Team Trials the first sporting event in North America to successfully implement and uphold sustainable initiatives such as those outlined in the Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21.  The Club has been committed to reaching a high standard of sustainability, including integration of sport with environmental, social and economic considerations. Its sustainable efforts have included providing shuttles and promoting cycling, reducing waste and encouraging recycling and composting. The competition area and adjacent Festival, known together as the “Superblock”, were powered by 100% renewable energy.
The initiatives led by the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau and BOCOG have significantly heightened awareness of environmental issues, leading to major advances in the areas of energy consumption, sustainable water consumption, transportation, waste management and air quality. The Beijing Games significantly raised the bar of incorporating sustainability in large scale events. Special efforts through institutional and technical tools implementation, established more than 160 projects within the greater Beijing area that will enhance the environmental legacy of the city and provide its population and visitors with a more environmentally friendly life.
The German Olympic Sports Confederation issues the “Green champions in sport and environment”, A Guide to environmentally-sound large sporting events”. This publication  provides guidance and examples of good practices undertaken in Germany by analysing the ecological impact, such as climate, transport, energy, waste, use of materials, noise, nature and landscape, catering, merchandising and communications, that the different parties involved in sport have on the environment. Through this Guide, the sports community will endeavour and be encouraged to adopt a responsible attitude towards the environmental and sustainable development issues related to the practice of sport. Published by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the German Olympic Sports Confederation, this Guide intends to encourage not only sports organisations, but also individuals, to be champions for sport and environment.
“The Rainbow Project” by Rowing New Zealand aims to host an environmentally sustainable 2010 FISA World Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro without compromising New Zealand’s unique environment. The Rainbow Project’s environmental actions include a carbon emission reduction scheme, a zero waste plan, educational programmes for the next edition, a comprehensive bio-security strategy for inbound equipment, environmental protection for all permanent and temporary infrastructures, and the inclusion of an environmental officer on the organising committee. One of the goals of the Project is that 100% of the spectators in will have the choice to make a positive environmental contribution. With an unquestionable green focus, the 2010 FISA World Rowing Championships should leave a positive and sustainable legacy.
 Learn more about promotion of sustainable development
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