Athletes in action
The Erasmus+ funded project will analyse federations' decarbonisation efforts
World Athletics, the International Biathlon Union, the International Floorball Federation and Swedish Floorball Federation will work together to explore how their respective sports can adopt more practices to mitigate their impact on climate change.
As part of the GAMES (Green Approaches in Management for Enhancing Sports) project – an Erasmus+ funded initiative – the project coordinators, the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, will analyse the climate governance and management models currently used in the three sports and support the development of decarbonisation strategies for each partner.
The GAMES project has five main aims:
– Raise awareness and increase the adoption of climate change mitigation practices by key sports actors
– Analyse the current climate change governance and management models adopted in athletics, biathlon and floorball and to develop a path towards decarbonisation for each sport
– Support athletics, biathlon and floorball with strategic objectives, programmes and operational frameworks aimed at mitigating, neutralising or offsetting greenhouse gas emissions
– Develop face-to-face and online training modules to improve the knowledge and awareness of sport organisation employees and supporters
– Leverage the popularity of athletics, biathlon and floorball to broadly increase environmental awareness
Touchline, the London-based sports and sustainability agency and publisher of The Sustainability Report, will support the project as communication and dissemination partner.
Over the project’s 30-month period, the GAMES partners will produce a number of deliverables, including sport and the environment webinars, a selection of workshops on decarbonisation and communication, a mid-term report and conference, a survey of sports managers and a final report and conference detailing the findings and achievements of the project, as well as regular updates via the GAMES website and newsletter.
“Achieving meaningful change in a battle against climate change, one of the greatest global challenges we face today, will require building innovative partnerships and collaboration across all sports, at all levels," said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe. "So we welcomed the opportunity to work with our colleagues at the IBU, IFF and SIBF on this important research initiative.”
Olle Dahlin, President of the International Biathlon Union, said: “Decarbonisation is a global imperative for us to have a fighting chance to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. As a Sports for Climate Action Framework and Race to Zero signatory, we at the IBU are committed to significantly reducing the emissions caused by our activities. We look forward to learning about and implementing the various decarbonisation best practices that will be uncovered across sports through the GAMES Erasmus+ project."
Tero Kalsta, sales coordinator at the International Floorball Federation, echoed Coe and Dahlin's sentiments.
“Since the International Floorball Federation decided to invest more into fighting climate change – signing the UN Sports for Climate Action network commitment in 2019 – we have been looking at ways to develop concrete actions,” Kalsta said. “With this ERASMUS+ project we get three things in one: an evaluation of our current status, new tools and the implementation thereof. Further, I am very impressed by the dedication of all participating parties and am confident we will see great results.”
Tiberio Daddi, associate professor at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies and a co-ordinator of the project, added: “Thanks to GAMES, our research group will be able to apply environmental management approaches to three different sports. This represents a natural evolution from the projects already carried out by Sant’Anna on the sustainability of professional and grassroots football.”
“Sport is one of the industries that is most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and therefore must be part of the solution,” said Matthew Campelli, sustainability partner at Touchline. “As the GAMES project aims to reduce the carbon impact of three very different sports, there should be valuable lessons and takeaways for the whole industry.”