World Athletics has joined the list of global organisations turning to renewable energy to run their facilities in the fight against pollution and climate change.
The athletics governing body said its headquarters based in Monaco will this year be 100 percent powered by green sources.
This came even as the agency last week unveiled a10-year sustainability strategy in which it has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. To achieve this, the sports watchdog has broken the task into yearly targets – 10 percent annual cutbacks on its carbon emission.
The strategy aims to deliver gains across environmental, social and economic sustainability.
“We started on this path a couple of years ago when we made a commitment to assist the global campaign for improved air quality, and began installing air quality monitors in stadiums around the world, but it’s time for us to do more and I’m delighted to launch this roadmap for our organisation and our sport over the next decade,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe.
“We have already ticked one item off the list, by switching to 100 per cent renewable energy at our headquarters this year, and our ambition is to be a leader in organising sustainable events as we go forward,” he added.
Air quality is a key part of the federation’s sweeping sustainability strategy.
Cities bidding to host World Athletics events, for instance, will be required to commit to creating low emissions zones around stadiums and arenas to safeguard athletes and spectators from poor air quality.
Additionally, the athletics agency is racing to introduce a sustainable procurement code and travel policy, alongside best practice guides for its 214 Member Federations and its event organisers.
The strategy is built around six pillars – leadership in sustainability, sustainable production and consumption, climate change and carbon, local environment and air quality, global equality and diversity, accessibility and wellbeing.
The global corporate scene is witnessing a tilt towards renewables, with dozens of companies making commitments to source and consume only green energy.
American giants Apple and Microsoft, for instance, announced that their facilities are completely powered by renewable energy.
The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund is taking steps to divest from coal, as are some private banks, including HSBC. Several multilateral development banks, including the World Bank and French Development Agency (AFD), have pulled the plug on coal investment financing. Global insurance companies such as Allianz and AXA have equally announced that they will phase out insurance coverage for particular coal projects.
Major companies, including fossil fuel companies, now recognise the carbon risk to their operations, with some like oil majors Total and Shell foraying into solar energy.