IFSC HOLDS SUSTAINABILITY SESSION DURING EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
The strategic vision of the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) is to “make the world a better place through Sport Climbing.”
As part of that mission, we are deeply committed to sustainability and protecting the environment as we carry out our daily activities, be it at the office or at our events.
During the European Championships Munich 2022, the IFSC European Sustainability Commission held an informal roundtable in the athletes’ lounge to discuss sustainability in Sport Climbing and the measures we can take to improve in this area. Open to all, the meeting was attended by athletes, coaches, judges, routesetters, technical officials and others.
Discussions were led by IFSC Europe Executive Board President Tijl Smitz, IFSC Europe Sustainability Commission Chair Charlotte Durif, and Federico Ferro, head of sustainability projects at the IFSC.
They began by outlining all the work the IFSC is undertaking in this important area, including the publication in 2020 of a set of Sustainability Guidelines that provide simple, practical and essential information for Member Federations and Event Organisers. The guidelines are aimed at helping event organisers develop effective sustainability programmes of their own, therefore maximising the positive impact of Sport Climbing in environmental, social and economic matters.
“The IFSC has implemented a number of measures in recent years, mainly focused on climate change, that we want to further develop,” said Smitz. “They include the Sustainability Guidelines, which were published just before the start of the pandemic in 2020, efforts to offset the carbon emissions of all our officials and staff travelling to our competitions, and recycling. At the end of each year, we review our actions and try to determine how to do even better the following year.”
IFSC efforts to offset our carbon emissions began in earnest in 2021. In April 2022, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded us for our actions to measure and reduce owned greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and for joining the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework.
“Another important initiative aimed at raising awareness of sustainability and encouraging proactivity in this area was to establish a sustainability award that we present to organisers of our European events,” Durif added. “We had a large number of responses from organisers that participated last year and with many more events being held in 2022, we expect the programme to be even more successful this year.”
One of the aims of the brainstorming session was to learn about different perspectives on sustainability from those attending, in particular athletes and coaches. Some of the suggestions were to improve the sports calendar to reduce travel, work with suppliers that are environmentally friendly, lessen the amount of food waste at events, create a value-chain checklist for every event, and to make it easier for all participants to choose sustainable options.
“We are doing a lot but we can do much, much more and we know it,” Ferro said of the IFSC. “This is why we are here today with you. We want to know your perspective on how we can improve as sustainability can’t work if it is only driven from the top down – we also need drivers from the bottom up.”
IFSC Europe Sustainability Commission Chair Charlotte Durif at the Munich 2022 session
Photo: Jan Virt/IFSC