Sustainability and ecologically green are buzzwords that have gained more and more importance in international sport in recent years and are becoming more and more essential. The world of sport must become green again, sports facilities must be built and designed in a sustainable manner and the environment must not be further polluted during major sporting events. Experts worldwide now agree on this. The implementation of "sustainable & green" is being worked on intensively and discussed with experts at various forums and events, and possibilities for implementation are being worked out.
In mid-September, the "SPORTOPIA" forum took place in Styria, the so-called "Green Heart of Austria”, in the city of Trofaiach. For the third time CSIT Sustainability und Green Event Specialist Jörg Meixner in coordination with the Austrian Handball Bundesliga Club “BT Füchse” organized the largest forum for innovation and sustainability in sports in Austria and Central Europe, a unique exchange place for experiences, ideas and intelligent solutions for sports organizations and companies. Internationally, Austria is already a pioneer for innovation and sustainability, such as environmental protection and sports, technologies, but also in the field of Human Rights and Sports. During the event, CSIT Secretary General Wolfgang Burghardt had many interesting discussions with the experts present on these important and indispensable topics and was able to take away some aspects and valuable inputs for CSIT.
Many interesting keynote speakers were present as Mr. Sigurd Meiche, the former Global Head of Sports from “Red Bull”, responsible for Red Bull Stratos Project / Felix Baumgartner, Wings for Life Run, Neymar Jr’s 5 and all global partnerships Americas Cup, Global Ironman etc., who was showing up “Social mega-trends and their effects on sports”. In any case also Mr. Georg Pangl, CEO of “Pangl Football Group”, former General Secretary of the “European Leagues – the Association of European Professional Football Leagues” and former CEO of the “Austrian Bundesliga”, who presented to the audience “Sustainability and digitalization - international trends in football stadium construction”.
Sports facility of the future
Participants included sports officials, active athletes, political decision-makers, companies with innovative products in the field of sports, planners, builders and operators of sports facilities, as well as interested professionals from the fields of sports, digitalization and sustainability. Discussed was "The sports facility of the future". The process of digitalization is bringing about massive technological, social and ecological changes. The area of life, that is sport, is not unaffected by this either. With this transformation, a new era is dawning that can point the way toward sustainable development. "SPORTOPIA" put this topic up for discussion for the sports sphere of life and developed solutions and scenarios for the sports facility of the future.
CSIT has also been consistently pursuing the path of "sustainable & green" (e.g. a partnership with the “Connect4Climate – Platform” of the World Bank Group) and pays meticulous attention to compliance with these new values in sports, when holding its CSIT World Sports Games and also Single Championships. The CSIT WSG 2021 in Cervia (Italy) were planned as a green event by the Italian specialist Mr. Andrea Nesi (AICS), but like many other major events, unfortunately fell victim to the Corona pandemic and could not be held. The topics will of course be taken along for the next WSG 2023 in Rome (Italy). There are many innovative ideas in the sense of the environment, which are also to be implemented.
After this forum Secretary General Burghardt convinced: "Our CSIT World Sports Games as an international major event are ideal for new ways, innovations and partnerships in this field!"
GAISF President Rafaele Chiulli and an expert on Sustainability and Green Events will give a presentation on this topic at the CSIT Congress on October 15, 2021 ONLINE and will be available to CSIT Member Unions for a discussion.
Pictures (top-bottom): Jörg Meixner, Georg Pangl, Sigurd Meiche, Michael Maurer (ASKÖ General Secretary)
© Bernd Haider