To mark Earth Day 2022, 20 major sports organizations were presented with the Carbon Action Awards of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which recognize efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The 20 organizations, including twelve international sports Federations (IFs), seven National Olympic Committees and the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), received the awards based on detailed data and plans to reduce carbon emissions.

“We set up this award to highlight some of the important work being done within the Olympic Movement to address climate change,” said Marie Sallois, IOC director of sustainability. “We hope that this work will further inspire the broader sports community to take urgent action on climate change and other sustainability challenges.”

Highlights of this year’s awards include the following:

  • World Sailing has launched a circular economy demonstration project to show that carbon fiber from discarded sports equipment can be used in the manufacturing process. The project aims to reduce the carbon footprint of sailing equipment and open markets for carbon fiber recycling in other sports.
  • The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body of motorsport, recently finalized its carbon emissions reduction plan, which aims to cut its carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement. In 2021, the FIA will also introduce an environmental management system certified to the ISO 14001:2015 standard.
  • World Rugby’s newly launched comprehensive sustainability plan calls for a reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.
  • The Canadian National Olympic Committee’s Toronto offices were awarded LEED Platinum and BOMA Best Platinum for their sustainability standards.
  • The Spanish National Olympic Committee sourced all of its energy from renewable sources in 2020 and 2021, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities by nearly 100 percent.

The 12 IFs that received the award include World Archery, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, International Orienteering Federation, International Skating Federation, International Sambo Federation, World Rugby, World Sailing, International Biathlon Federation, International Sport Climbing Federation, International Golf Federation, International Canoe Federation and International Basketball Federation.

The seven NOCs include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K.

All of the awarded organizations are part of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, which supports sports organizations in achieving a number of global climate change goals, including a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 at the latest, in line with the Paris Agreement. As of December 2021, nearly 300 sports organizations worldwide had signed on to the framework.

Launched in 2019, the IOC Carbon Action Awards – originally part of the IOC-DOW Carbon Partnership – were created to inspire climate action by recognizing the sustainability efforts of key sports organizations within the Olympic movement. Under this initiative, those international sports federations and NOCs that have demonstrated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from their organizations and events will receive offsets to compensate for their remaining emissions.

The IOC itself has committed to becoming “climate positive” and reducing its own direct and indirect emissions by 30 percent by 2024 and 50 percent by 2030. More than 100 percent of the remaining emissions will be offset, mainly through the Olympic Forest Project, which supports reforestation and land restoration in Mali and Senegal as part of Africa’s Great Green Wall.

Starting in 2030, the IOC will also require all Olympic Games to be climate positive by:

  • Minimizing and offsetting their direct and indirect carbon emissions; and
  • implementing permanent zero-carbon solutions for the Olympic Games and beyond.

Paris 2024 is committed to becoming the first Games to contribute positively to the climate, even ahead of the 2030 deadline.

With 95 percent of the venues already in place or in temporary use, Paris 2024’s carbon footprint is expected to be half that of previous Summer Olympics, and further measures will be taken to avoid and reduce CO2 emissions. Paris 2024 will also offset more than 100 percent of the remaining emissions and use its influence to develop long-term carbon offset projects to become the world’s first Olympic and Paralympic Games to make a positive contribution to the climate.

LA28 is taking a radical approach to reuse, meaning it will make the most of Los Angeles’ iconic sports venues and will not need to build a single new permanent sports facility. LA28 is committed to incorporating meaningful sustainability measures into its plans as it seeks to set a new standard for large-scale live events.