Flanders 2021 produces cycling's first-ever sustainability report for Road World Championships

Organisers focussed on limiting the event's environmental impact, measuring its carbon footprint at 2,292 tonnes of CO2

UCI Road World Championships Sustainability report
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Flanders 2021, the organisers of the 2021 UCI Road World Championships, has collaborated with consulting agency Deloitte to produce the first-ever sustainability report of a cycling event.

The report measured the championships' carbon footprint at 2,292 tonnes of CO2, which has been analysed by three dimensions, including environmental, social and governance (ESG). These dimensions take 14 key sustainability topics into account, based on the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) in order to reduce the event's environmental impact. 

Organisers stated they had a strong responsibility to host a sustainable World Championships in 2021, focusing on the event's environmental impacts while still showcasing the best road cycling in the world. 

Christophe Impens of Flanders 2021 said: "From our candidacy in 2018, sustainability was one of the absolute core values for the world championship. After all, a sporting event of this magnitude also has an important social role.

"Together with a multitude of partners, we have made a very strong commitment to reducing our footprint, to greener mobility and to an inclusive event. We are of course very pleased these efforts have had an effect and this has been investigated and established so comprehensively for the first time."

UCI president David Lappartient has commended the report, especially considering this is the first one produced for a cycling event. He hopes Flanders 2021 has pioneered the focus on environmental impacts within the sport.

He stated: “I congratulate and thank Flanders 2021 and its partners for recognising the absolute importance of sustainability with the delivery of a strategy that covered numerous aspects of the organisation of the UCI Road World Championships.

"This report will act as a catalyst for change, providing future event organisers with valuable feedback, data and benchmarks to reduce the environmental impact - and at the same time enhance the social impact - of their events.”

Flanders 2021 ensured the World Championships reused catering material and water, while there was a maximum use of electric cars and biodiesel for energy. Solar and wind-generated 95 per cent of the event's electricity too, with 34 electric and hybrid cars used in the main convoy. 

Approximately 350,000 litres of water was also saved at the event, with 162 vacuum toilets used to reduce water consumption. More than 200,000 reusable cups were also used, with a relatively low figure of 24.7 tons of waste collected - 29 per cent of which was recycled. 

Organisers also ensured public transport was more accessible, making 45 extra trains available during the Championships - allowing a total of 62,440 more passengers. 

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