In focus

GAMES partners kick off 2023 with athlete ambassadors, sustainability plans and improved governance

World Athletics welcomes ‘Champions for a Better World’, IFF plans for 2024 and IBU celebrates governance reform results

Aside from our core activities around the project, the GAMES sports partners have their own sustainability objectives and achievements. Each month, we explore their work.

World Athletics welcomes ‘Champions for a Better World’

World Athletics closed 2022 by announcing its inaugural group of ‘Champions for a Better World’, athletes who will lend their voices to sustainability campaigning within the sport. Under the initiative, the Champions for a Better World will advocate for more sustainable practices across athletics and encourage other athletes to take a more active role in addressing their environmental concerns.

The announcement comes alongside compelling new data, which reveals that more than 76% of athletes are seriously concerned or very concerned about climate change, with over 66% feeling impacted directly by its effects. Seven in ten (72%) believe climate change has already impacted athletics directly. Finally, 90% said that World Athletics does have a role to play in addressing sustainability in the sport. The survey was carried out at four different World Athletics championship events in 2022, with 737 athletes across 122 countries giving responses.

The athletes, representing each of the international federations six continental areas, hail from Brazil, Australia, the USA, the Philippines, Burkina Faso, Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand and Nigeria, and compete in events across the athletics landscape. They are:

  • Tobi Amusan, Nigeria – 100m hurdles – world record holder, 2022 world champion
  • Kelsey-Lee Barber, Australia – javelin – 2019 and 2022 world champion
  • Ajla Del Ponte, Switzerland – sprints – 2021 European indoor 60m champion, 2022 Olympic 100m finalist
  • Alison Dos Santos, Brazil – 400m hurdles – 2022 world champion, 2021 Olympic bronze medallist
  • Sam Mattis, USA – discus – 2021 Olympic and 2022 World Championships finalist
  • Eliza McCartney, New Zealand – pole vault – 2016 Olympic bronze medallist
  • Ernest John Obiena, Philippines – pole vault – 2022 world bronze medallist
  • Elena Vallortigara, Italy – high jump – 2022 world bronze medallist
  • Hugues Fabrice Zango, Burkina Faso – triple jump – world indoor record-holder, 2022 world silver medallist, 2021 Olympic bronze medallist

2023 shaping up to be a key year for IFF sustainability targets

After the Green Goal work undertaken for the Men’s World Floorball Championships 2022 in Zürich (full report will be available in Q1 2023), thoughts have immediately turned to sustainability plans for the same event in 2024, in Malmö, Sweden.

In addition to those plans, the IFF has started its application for the IOC Climate Action Awards 2023, which has two categories open to International Federations: Climate Action x Sustainable Travel (supported by Airbnb) and Climate Action x Innovation (supported by Deloitte).

The IFF is also facilitating conversations between equipment sponsor Unihoc and the World Sailing Trust and Carbon Fibre Circular Alliance (of which the IBU is also a member), a project that comprises of International Federations, sports equipment manufacturers, composite specialists and academics collaborating to find ways to reuse and realign carbon fibres.

IBU given ‘thumbs up’ for governance improvements

The IBU’s comprehensive governance reforms have been recognised in the fourth AIOWF Report, into the Governance of Winter Sports conducted by iTrustSport, as the federation moved up from Group B into Group A2 (scale D-A) with an overall score increase of more than 30%.

The IBU was commended by iTrustSport for its significant improvement and finished above the mean score for the seven winter International Federations. The IBU received close to the maximum score in the Transparency section, reflecting the federation’s commitment to being as open as possible. The IBU finished with the highest points in Transparency and Democracy of any of the IFs in the report.

The independent Biathlon Integrity Unit has become fully operational since the last report was conducted in 2020 resulting in a major improvement in biathlon’s integrity score close to the highest recorded. The IBU also performed well on two of the three new indicators for 2021-22: support is provided to enhance the governance of members and implementing a risk management programme.