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International Biathlon Union makes progress, but CO2 emissions increase

March 21 2024 - News Release News Editorial

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has published its third Sustainability Report, tracking its progress against the governing body’s 57 targets for 2030. 

International Biathlon Union makes progress, but CO2 emissions increase

The targets are spread across five main focus areas including climate, sport, venue and event, people and communication, and awareness.

Climate is a key focus for the IBU, and the report includes a brief summary of the first complete carbon footprint measurement since the 2019-2020 season. This is because the COVID-19 Pandemic forced a two-season hiatus for fans between 2020 and 2022.

A more detailed Climate Transition plan will be published by the IBU later this year, detailing the progress made by the federation against its climate commitments.

The IBU’s own CO2 levels increased by 62.5%, and emissions per employee by 7%, in comparison to the baseline set in 2019-2020. The IBU said this was mostly down to much better and broader data quality, as well as the launch of the educational platform, IBU Academy.

The federation noted that for the first time, 100% of all IBU events measured their carbon footprint, including spectators.

Additionally, two National Federations joined the UN’s Sport for Climate Action Framework, while six received sustainability related funding under IBU Development Support.

Positive highlights from the report include launching a three-part, customised Sustainability Education course via the IBU Academy.

“There is much more we need to do, but we are confident that by continuing to build engagement and delivering concrete action, we will achieve our ambitious sustainability targets.” IBU President Olle Dahlin

The Biathlon 4All initiative was launched last year, with the goal of inspiring children to join the sport of biathlon. The IBU supports more than 75% of its National Federations with laser rifle equipment for delivery of a national action plan for children and youth recruitment, and training.

Elsewhere, the report noted that the first sustainability project under the IBU Research Grant programme began in collaboration with Texas A&M University. This will focus on investigating spectator and participant travel as part of a sporting event’s overall impact.

In September last year, the IBU officially joined the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) after organising the inaugural Para Biathlon Capacity Building Forum in August.

“In 2023, the IBU focused on implementing its sustainability strategy through collaborations,” said IBU President Olle Dahlin.

“This demonstrates the critical importance of working together with various partners to realise our sustainability goals. By working with like-minded partners from science, business and the sports industry, projects are more likely to be implemented, initiatives become more impactful through increased reach, and impacts multiply beyond what one organisation could achieve on its own.”

Dahlin added: “There is much more we need to do, but we are confident that by continuing to build engagement and delivering concrete action, we will achieve our ambitious sustainability targets.”

Image: KD on Unsplash

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