IOF wins another IOC Carbon Action Award

As in 2019, the International Olympic Committee has awarded the IOF for its action to measure and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Globally, 12 International Federations, seven National Olympic Committees and their Association (ANOC), won the awards based on detailed data and carbon reduction plans.

“We set up this award to highlight some of the important work being done within the Olympic Movement to address climate change,” said Marie Sallois, IOC Sustainability Director. “We hope that this work will further inspire the broader sports community to take urgent action on climate change and other sustainability challenges.”

The emissions of the IOF (President, Council, Commissions and Office) were calculated by the Environment and Sustainability Commission on the basis of detailed raw data collected by the Office. As in 2020, the emissions stayed at a very low level if compared with the baseline year 2019. Whereas in 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic imposed a drastic restriction on travels, the decision of the Council to rely primarily on videoconference facilities for its meetings and for Commissions as well in 2021 and for the future, was instrumental in keeping carbon emissions at a very low level.

The IOF, as one of the almost 300 sports organisations signatories of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, is committed to reduce its net CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels, in line with the Paris Agreement, and become carbon neutral by 2040. However, the IOF will even exceed its commitments by staying below the 50% level all the time until 2030.

As a winner of the IOC Carbon Action Award, the IOF will have its remaining emissions offset by the IOC, with a portfolio of ICROA-compliant GHG projects. These include the Olympic Forest Project, which supports reforestation and land restoration in Mali and Senegal, as part of Africa’s Great Green Wall.

However, the challenges that the orienteering movement will face in its efforts towards climate-conscious activities, are not easy. We need to upscale our efforts by including within our scope the main events, such as the World and Regional Championships of the four disciplines, in coordination with the National Federations hosting the events. And we must devise brilliant solutions to tackle the single most relevant source of CO2 emissions, that is mobility, without negatively affect the nature of our sport.