International sports events often involve a number of challenges on sustainability – travel, transport, cultural and political differences between the participating countries.
In view of this, the Swedish Sports Confederation and the Baltic counterparts started the Baltic RECoord project on sports events and sustainability. Among other things, they invited local sports federations and representatives from the tourism industry to talks on sustainability.
Leif Johansson, who is responsible for the Swedish Sports Confederation’s international events, says there are many challenges but also great opportunities ahead – to influence visitors and create more sustainable sports events from a social, ecological and economic perspective.
– We want to be pioneers internationally and take part of other countries’ knowledge in this field to advance sustainability work globally.
He believes that sport has just woken up to sustainability.
– Commitment has increased during the journey. Today, we see great commitment from all countries involved in the project. The interest has also been great from Swedish destinations and special sports federations.
The project resulted in common guidelines on how to work with sustainability at sports events – “Winning Sports Events! Guiding Principles for Sustainable Events”
– Our hope is that it will be a document that is useful for inspiration as well as knowledge in the future, says Leif Johansson.
– Now it’s just hard work that counts. There is already a lot of knowledge about this today. The next big step is to work sustainably with sports events, so that sustainability is reflected in everything we do around the events.
– We are happy to see that this project has resulted in something as concrete as common guidelines. It shows that there is much to gain from collaborations across the borders in the region, says Camilla Wristel, Swedish Institute.
The project Baltic RECoord is funded by SI through the funding scheme “Seed funding for cooperation projects in the Baltic Sea region”. SI provides funding for joint projects in which organisations based in Sweden can start and expand collaborations to meet transnational challenges together with organisations from the Baltic Sea region countries including Russia and the countries of the EU Eastern Partnership. A new call opens 19 November 2020 and closes 11 February 2021.