20 Major Sports Organizations Earn IOC Carbon Action Awards

22 Apr 2022 – To mark Earth Day (22 April), some 20 major sporting organizations won the IOC Carbon Action Awards. The awards recognize efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The 20 organizations, which include 12 International Federations (IFs), seven National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), won the awards on the basis of detailed data and carbon reduction plans.

“We set up this award to highlight some of the important work being done within the Olympic Movement to address climate change,” said Marie Sallois, IOC Sustainability Director. “We hope that this work will further inspire the broader sports community to take urgent action on climate change and other sustainability challenges.”

Highlights of this year’s awards include the following:

  • World Sailing has launched a circular economy demonstration project. They want to show that people can reuse carbon fiber from old sports equipment in the manufacturing process. The aim of the project is to reduce the embodied carbon footprint. That’s of sailing equipment and opens up the markets for carbon fiber recycling across other sports.
  • The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), motor sport’s governing body, has recently finalized its carbon reduction plan. It includes cutting its carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement. In 2021, the FIA also implemented an environmental management system certified according to ISO 14001:2015 standard.
  • World Rugby’s newly launched, comprehensive sustainability plan outlines carbon reduction up to 2030.
  • The Canadian NOC’s Toronto offices have been certified LEED Platinum and BOMA Best Platinum for their sustainability standards.
  • Spain’s NOC took all of its energy in 2020 and 2021 from renewable sources, allowing it to reduce its facility GHG emissions by almost 100 percent.

The 12 IFs which won the award include World Archery, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, the International Orienteering Federation, the International Skating Union, the International Sambo Federation, World Rugby, World Sailing, the International Biathlon Union, the International Federation of Sport Climbing, the International Golf Federation, the International Canoe Federation, and the International Basketball Federation.

The seven NOCs include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland, Spain, and Switzerland.

All of the awarded organizations are part of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework. Moreover, it supports sports entities to achieve a range of global climate-change goals. Including the 50 percent reduction of GHG emissions by 2030 at the latest. In addition, by December 2021, almost 300 sports organizations globally had signed the framework.

IOC Carbon Action Awards

the IOC Carbon Action Awards launched in 2019 and were originally formed as part of the IOC-DOW Carbon Partnership. The goal is to inspire climate action by recognizing the sustainability efforts of key sports organizations within the Olympic Movement. As part of the initiative, those IFs and NOCs that are demonstrably reducing their GHG emissions receive carbon offsets. Moreover, that’s to compensate for their remaining emissions.

The IOC itself has committed to becoming “climate positive.” That means bringing down its own direct and indirect emissions. The goal is 30 percent by 2024 and 50 percent by 2030. The IOC will compensate more than 100 percent of the remaining emissions. Moreover, those emissions are mainly through the Olympic Forest Project, which supports reforestation and land restoration in Mali and Senegal. It’s part of Africa’s Great Green Wall.

From 2030, the IOC will also require all Olympic Games to be climate positive by:

  • Minimizing and compensating their direct and indirect carbon emissions; and
  • Implementing lasting zero-carbon solutions for the Olympic Games and beyond.

Paris 2024 has committed to becoming the first Games with a positive contribution to the climate, even before the 2030 deadline.

With 95 percent of venues pre-existing or temporary, among other measures to avoid and reduce carbon emissions, officials expect the Paris 2024 carbon footprint to be half the carbon footprint of the previous Olympic Summer Games.

Paris 2024 will also compensate more than 100 percent of its residual emissions. In addition, it will use its influence to develop long-term carbon compensation projects. Therefore, becoming the world’s first Olympic and Paralympic Games with a positive contribution to the climate.

LA28 has adopted a radical reuse approach, which means it will leverage the best of Los Angeles’ iconic sports facilities and not require a single new permanent venue to be built. LA28 is committing to incorporating meaningful sustainability measures throughout its plans. Moreover, that’s as it aims to set a new standard for large-scale live events.

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