7. Februar 2014

How can sporting events be increasingly climate and environmentally friendly?

George Kazantzopoulos

George Kazantzopoulos

George Kazantzopoulos is member of the International Olympic Committee Sport and Environment Commission, while being the Sustainability Officer at FISA-the World Rowing Federation- and also partnering with ClimatePartner since 2006.

As the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games start today we spoke to George about climate protection and sporting events.

ClimatePartner: Why is environmental protection important for international sport organizations like FISA?

Sports and environmental protection are closely linked because there is a need for healthy conditions for practicing sports – regardless if people practice sports professionally or not.

This link is very important because the negative effects of climate change affect our lives.

The international athletic community has to take responsibility, and sports are one of the best platforms to communicate climate protection. During the last four Olympic Games, for example, the organizing committees  tried to establish climate protection schemes for the national delegations and the spectators as well.

For international sporting events, which attract a lot of public attention, the commitment to the protection of the environment and the climate becomes an increasingly important topic.

ClimatePartner: FISA has a strategic alliance with the WWF international committing to Clean Water. What are these policy and guidelines about, and what are the most important facts?

Kazantzopoulos: FISA is the first international sports federation that has an environmental working group established since 2000 and that addresses the impacts of sports on the environment. Together with the WWF, FISA revisited  its environmental and sustainability  policy and guidelines, which are applied to all world class rowing events, such as world rowing championships. The local organizers must take these policies and guidelines into consideration, e.g. for correct recycling or avoidance of any impact on the water bodies. The main platform of this strategic alliance consists of clean water management because water is the most important global natural resource. FISA and the WWF communicate and conduct these projects together.

FISA and the WWF also plan and support jointly water conservation projects in developing countries.

FISA, the World Rowing Federation,  is a responsible entity that wants to take all possible measures to protect the environment and to reduce its carbon footprint. This is achieved by the implementation of  an specific environmental management system with carbon reduction targets.

FISA, “Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron” or in English „International Federation of Rowing Associations“ is the governing body of the sport of rowing. It is authorized, among others, by National Olympic Committees and the International Olympic Committee.

Weitere Informationen über FISA gibt es unter: http://www.worldrowing.com/fisa