IOF wins another IOC Carbon Action Award

As in 2019, the International Olympic Committee rewarded the OIF for its action to measure and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Globally, 12 International Federations, seven National Olympic Committees and their association (ANOC) won the awards based on detailed data and carbon reduction plans.

“We created this award to highlight some of the important work being done within the Olympic Movement to combat climate change,” said Marie Sallois, IOC Sustainability Director. “We hope this work will further inspire the wider sporting community to take urgent action against climate change and other sustainability challenges.”

IOF (President, Council, Commissions and Bureau) emissions have been calculated by the Environment and Sustainable Development Commission based on detailed raw data collected by the Bureau. As in 2020, emissions remained at a very low level compared to the reference year 2019. While in 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic imposed a drastic restriction on travel, the Board’s decision to rely mainly on videoconferencing facilities for its meetings and for the Commissions in 2021 and going forward, has helped to keep carbon emissions very low.

IOF, as one of nearly 300 sports organizations signatories to the UN Sport for Climate Action Framework, has pledged to reduce its net CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030 from 2019 levels, in line with the Paris Agreement, and to become carbon neutral by 2040. However, IOF will exceed even its commitments by staying below the 50% level all the time until in 2030.

As the winner of the IOC Carbon Action Award, the IOF will see its remaining emissions offset by the IOC, with a portfolio of ICROA-compliant GHG projects. These include the Olympic Forest Project, which supports reforestation and land restoration in Mali and Senegal, as part of the Great Green Wall of Africa.

However, the challenges that the orienteering movement will face in its efforts towards climate-friendly activities are not easy. We must redouble our efforts by including major events in our scope, such as the World and Regional Championships of the four disciplines, in coordination with the National Federations which host the events. And we need to design brilliant solutions to tackle the most relevant source of CO2 emissions, namely mobility, without negatively affecting the nature of our sport.

Dino J. Dotson