NEWS

EOC calls for sport to Invest in Our Planet on Earth Day 2022

The EOC has joined the call for sport to Invest in Our Planet on Earth Day 2022, recognising the pivotal role sport can play in creating a more sustainable future.

Earth Day is celebrated annually on 22 April, drawing attention to the urgent need to address climate change and for society to act more sustainably. Sport is central to this effort, with athletes and sports organisations able to set an example to the billions of fans around the world.

Sport is also directly impacted by climate change, with rising temperatures leading to a forecast of 10-20% less days of quality snow across the globe by 2050, which would alter athletes’ training regimes and the number of cities able to host winter sports events. Equally, there is concern that excessive heat will lead to 30-50 days of training per year cancelled in some countries by 2050 to protect athlete welfare.

The EOC has taken a number of steps to act upon and advocate for the need for more environmentally-focused operations within sport. Sustainability is a key pillar of the EOC Strategic Agenda 2030, which is set to be finalised at this year’s General Assembly. The EOC has also established a permanent Sustainability and Active Society Commission, with the mandate of advising the EOC Executive Committee on how the organisation can lead from the front and inspire Europe’s National Olympic Committees.

Furthermore, sustainability was a driving force behind the delivery of the recent Winter European Youth Olympic Festival Vuokatti 2022. One of the most significant concrete actions that was undertaken was minimisation of the plastic waste of water bottles by providing refillable water bottles to athletes. Additional detail on reducing the environmental impact of the EOC’s events will be outlined in the EOC Strategic Agenda 2030 later this year.

Berit Kjøll, Chair of the EOC Sustainability and Active Society Commission, said, “Sport is an integral part of society, and must play a stronger and an even more important role in tackling the environmental challenges we face. The ambition of the newly established EOC Sustainability & Active Society Commission is to further raise the awareness of what the European Olympic Movement can and shall do in order to make a difference in this field. Sport is in a constant fight against climate change.”