Sport and Environment

In his keynote address, IOC President Jacques Rogge said: “We have an obligation to use sport as a tool for positive change at the societal level. The 1992 Earth Summit helped us realise that we could serve humanity by serving the environment. After all, environmental sustainability is linked to our very survival as a species. Our values require us to act on two levels. First, we must do all we can to ensure that our own activities do not contribute to environmental degradation. At the same time, we have to use sport as a tool to encourage environmentally responsible behavior by others.”

He concluded: “As we near the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit, the Olympic Movement’s commitment to the environment is stronger than ever. That commitment was reaffirmed at the most recent Olympic Congress in 2009.” The IOC President added: “We are not here to celebrate past achievements, but to lay the groundwork for future success. The knowledge we have acquired, the partnerships we have formed and the availability of new technology are the building blocks for more progress. It is now up to us to make sure that when the world marks the 20th anniversary of the 2012 Earth Summit, it can truly be said that the Olympic Movement did its part to protect and preserve our environment.”

The 9th World Conference of Sport and EnvironmentAchim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, asked the audience: How can the way sport influences consumer choices and the psychology of consumerism, be enlisted in the race for sustainable lifestyles? How can we influence owners of stadia to mirror the achievements in terms of waste management and renewable energy of those organising the big tournaments and Games? He added: “I think the story of incorporating sustainability into sports has been one of the inspirational evolutions of the past two decades.”