UCI Cycling World Championships

2023 UCI Cycling World Championships publishes sustainability report

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The organiser of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships has published a Sustainability Report, bringing together the various activities and impacts achieved by the inaugural event, which took place in Glasgow and across Scotland last year.

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships were committed to embedding sustainability into the organisation, collaborating with partners to create a greener and more sustainable future for both cycling events as well as for Scotland.

The report builds on the independent Ernst nad Young socio-economic impact evaluation report published in February 2024

Sustainability was a core objective in delivering an innovative, world-class event that would provide a model for the future. The Championship’s Sustainability Framework and its ten high-level commitments were put in place, outlining core values and guiding principles mapped against the pillars of People, Place and Planet in alignment with and to drive progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships also signed the United Nations Sport for Climate Action Framework and was one of the founding signatories of the UCI’s Climate Action Charter, further cementing its ambitions to reduce cycling’s environmental impacts.

As part of its commitment to sustainability, the event undertook a voluntary Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) assessment mapped against the UN SDGs and using the UCI’s new Sustainability Impact Tracker. The report showed the championships contributed to 14 out of 17 UN SDGs, demonstrating the wide range of sustainable activities undertaken, highlighting the commitment to a sustainable approach to event delivery.

The championships were also the first event to use the UCI’s Sustainability Impact Tracker to measure its carbon emissions, with the report showing the total carbon footprint of the event calculated as 61.1ktCO2e. Most of these emissions fall within Scope 3 “Other indirect emissions” with the biggest contributing factors being in the “travel” category. This benchmark data will benefit future combined UCI Cycling World Championships and other major sporting events in Scotland and the UK.

Other achievements highlighted in the report include:

  • 86 per cent of stakeholders felt the Championships were delivered in an environmentally responsible way.
  • Appointment of EDP (Event Delivery Partners) Sustainability Champions to implement and drive sustainability measures within each individual event.
  • Development of a ‘Good Food Charter’ and the establishment of the Event Delivery Partners Sustainability Champions network, with learning and best practice captured to provide a blueprint for future events.
  • The creation of a Sustainable Procurement Code, which provided a link across the Championship’s Hub and Spoke delivery model, raising awareness of the minimum standards expected to support sustainability, EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) and low carbon emissions ambitions.

The championships’ commitment to sustainability also included social responsibility, with the report highlighted:

  • 97 per cent of people who attended the event felt it was inclusive.
  • 93 per cent of spectators with a disability found the event to be accessible.
  • Over 90 per cent of attendance at events were non-ticketed, facilitating greater access to watch and take part.

The Sustainability Report, along with other reports produced by the 2023 UCI Cycling Worlds Championships, will provide a baseline and a blueprint for future events.

David Lappartient, UCI President, said: “Tackling climate change is one of the priorities of the UCI’s Agenda 2030, with one of our aims being to make our UCI World Championships carbon neutral or negative. To do this, we need a base to work from, and I am delighted that we have a solid Sustainability Report from the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. The local organisers of last year’s inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships made great headway when it comes to sustainability and social responsibility, and I look forward to this momentum being continued at future UCI events.”

Paul Bush OBE, 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships chairman, said: “The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships aimed to champion sustainability in the world of sport, and we are proud of the effort we have made to drive meaningful change.

“The Sustainability Report provides useful insight, learnings and recommendations that will help deliver sustainable events and encourage innovation in the future.

“Collaboration and partnership working were vital to achieving our sustainability objectives and I thank everyone, from our funding partners, event delivery partners and local authority hosts to the athletes and spectators, for all their help in delivering on our ambitions.”

The inaugural 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships brought together 13 individual UCI Cycling World Championships, welcoming more than 7,000 elite and amateur cyclists from 131 countries, with around 1 million spectators attending over the 11 days of the event.

Image: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com