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Sustainability initiatives introduced for World Athletics Championships

August 17 2023 - News Release News Editorial

Organisers of the upcoming 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest have introduced a series of initiatives to ensure sustainability is a key feature of the event.

Sustainability initiatives introduced for World Athletics Championships

The Local Organising Committee (LOC) in the Hungarian capital embraced World Athletics’ ‘Athletics for a Better World’ standard, a system that advises and evaluates an event on its sustainable delivery. 

Locally, the LOC will focus on creating a health and wellbeing legacy to motivate Hungarians to be more active through programmes linked to the World Athletics Championships. Earlier this year, organisers also broke ground on an urban forest regeneration project, which will become part of a network of World Athletics Championships Legacy Forests across the globe. 

In terms of operational efforts, a comprehensive waste management plan has been put in place along with a campaign encouraging spectators to use public transport to attend events. Water refill stations have been implemented in the broadcast compound and media centre, ready to help eliminate an expected 342,000 single-use plastic bottles. Organisers also implemented a plan to increase accessibility, diversity and inclusion through a charity programme. 

Two panel discussions in Budapest will be held to discuss the impact of climate change on sporting events and communities. ‘Sport on the Climate Change Front Lines’ will take place on August 21, while ‘Building Collaborations for Sustainable Events’ will take place on August 25. The event itself will begin on Saturday, August 19 and conclude eight days later on August 27.

Elsewhere, the LOC has created a designated Green Zone in the stadium park to host sustainability awareness-raising activities for spectators, as well as meet and greets with athletes. 

World Athletics’ Health & Science Department and Sustainability teams will produce an active mobility study to measure the benefits of active travel to large sporting events, such as cycling and walking. 

The project will track participants’ commutes to measure the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are avoided, and how this will affect local motor vehicle traffic. It will also evaluate how active mobility by staff working at an event can reduce the environmental impact, and the Health & Science team will provide real-time heat index and air quality updates to athletes and team delegations. 

Image: Chau Cédric on Unsplash

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