Today, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Worldwide Olympic Partner Dow rewarded 10 International Sports Federations (IFs) for taking concrete action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
As part of the reward, carbon offsets will be offered to the IFs to compensate their unavoidable 2019 emissions.
The recognition is part of a joint IOC-Dow initiative which aims to boost the Olympic Movement’s efforts to help accelerate climate action. It was granted at the Sustainability Session organised by the IOC during the annual IF Forum, currently taking place in Lausanne.
“The Olympic Movement is fully committed to helping the world address climate change, and this recognition is an excellent reflection of this commitment,” said HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Chair of the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission. “We are delighted to see so many International Sports Federations undertake concrete efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. This joint IOC-Dow initiative will help accelerate these efforts, increase their impact and encourage other sports organisations to also take action.”
“Climate action needs to happen across industries and society,” said Dr Nicoletta Piccolrovazzi, Global Technology & Sustainability Director for Dow Olympic & Sports Solutions and a member of the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission. “Just as Dow is harnessing the Olympic brand to engage customers in projects that unlock carbon reductions across the value chain, so the IOC is using its influence to engage the world of sport. By combining the power of sport and science we are working together to make a bigger impact.”
The rewarded IFs include the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), the International Ski Federation (FIS), World Rowing (FISA), the International Golf Federation (IGF), the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), World Rugby (WR), World Sailing (WS) and World Taekwondo (WT), as well as recognised IFs the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) and the International Sambo Federation (FIAS).
In order to receive the offsets, IFs were asked to present detailed data on their annual carbon footprint, as well as their carbon reduction plans. They were also required to join the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, which aims to develop a climate action agenda for sport.
Carbon reduction measures undertaken by the rewarded IFs include initiatives in their operations and at events that reduce waste and assess and reduce the footprint of materials, food and equipment across their entire life cycle.
The FEI, for example, aims to use horse manure to generate power at events, and work with local authorities to feed the power back into the grid. By reusing and donating equipment, the FIAS aims to reduce freight transport and support local communities. World Sailing has committed to reducing its indirect emissions by 50 per cent and to becoming carbon neutral by 2024. Other IFs, including FIS, are working to achieve the ISO 20121 certification for sustainable events for their World Championships, World Cups and other competitions.
“We are absolutely delighted to receive this recognition from the IOC and Dow, which will allow us to offset our unavoidable carbon emissions,” said Andy Hunt, Chief Executive Officer at World Sailing. “As a sport, we have put sustainability at the heart of our agenda, and addressing climate change is one of our top priorities. We have set ourselves a target to reduce our actual carbon emissions by a minimum of 50 per cent by 2024, and there is no time to be lost if we are to achieve this goal.”
The carbon offsets offered as part of the initiative have been retired – which means they have been permanently removed from the market. They include a diverse set of climate solutions, from conserving ecosystems and avoiding deforestation to energy efficiency and renewable energy. The projects were implemented across multiple continents including the Americas, Africa and Asia, and comply with standards approved by the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA).
The IOC-Dow initiative will continue into 2020, during which more IFs, as well as National Olympic Committees, will be encouraged to join.
Almost 70 IFs attended the Sustainability Session, which focused on topics such as climate change, plastic pollution and sustainable events. Nineteen sustainability case studies were launched at the event, increasing the total number within the series to almost 80. The case studies feature sustainability initiatives of Olympic and recognised IFs, covering topics such as climate change, infrastructure, sourcing, mobility, gender, education and social development.