SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES SUCH AS CLIMATE CHANGE, economic inequality and social injustice are “pressing concerns” for the sports community, says the International Olympic Committee (IOC), both in its management of day-to-day affairs and its “responsibility” towards young people and future generations.
With the publication of its sustainability strategy in late-2016 and the recently-unveiled Sustainability Essentials guide (from which the above paragraph was taken an paraphrased), the IOC has become unequivocal in its stance that both itself as an organisation, and the wider sporting industry, must be leading lights in sustainable practice due to its high profile and status.
Earlier this year at the Sustainable Innovation in Sport Conference in Amsterdam, the governing body’s head of sustainability, Michelle Lemaitre, cemented that position by “making a wish” – “for sport to step up and be the leading industry in sustainability”.
It’s true that for many organisations in the sports industry sustainability is just not a priority. But as it has become a key focus for the IOC (as demonstrated by its inclusion as one of the three strategic priorities of the body’s Agenda 2020 vision), it’s inevitable that related organisations will have to follow that director of travel.
The scope of the IOC’s own sustainability strategy is large, with several strategic intentions around five areas: infrastructure and natural sites; sourcing and resource management; mobility; workforce; and climate.