World Triathlon is pleased to announce that the Organising Committee of AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds has been awarded with the Gold Certification of Sustainability by World Triathlon, for efforts and measures implemented throughout the event to contribute toward sustainability.
Two years ago, World Triathlon decided to implement the Sustainability Guidelines for event organisers as a tool to give the organising committees the means to initiate or continue their transition towards social and environmental responsibility. Taking this guidance on board, WTCS Leeds has become the first-ever World Triathlon event to achieve the Gold Certification. This shows the true commitment of everyone involved in the organisation of the event to the future, not only of our sport but also the future of the planet. This is a first step and efforts will need to be sustained in the future.
Sustainability is a central component for British Triathlon, with the national governing body for swim, bike, run in Britain establishing a Sustainability Commission to determine a sustainability framework for the sport domestically. AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds is a key part of the governing body’s operations, showing their commitment to a sustainable future for the sport.
“It is a great pleasure to see how the WTCS Leeds team has implemented sustainability into various areas of delivery and, whilst a number of them will be unseen by participants and spectators, there are a few that everyone will notice and be able to contribute towards”, said Marisol Casado, IOC member and World Triathlon President.
“Our organisation is fully committed to reducing the impact that our events have, and we have worked in the last few years to implement many sustainability measures within the organisation. To see now an event as important as Leeds taking all these measures on board is extremely rewarding for us all. We have been working with all our stakeholders, especially with event organisers, to implement sustainable measures across all areas of the events: governance, staffing, site & infrastructure, accommodation, procurement, mobility, energy, catering, waste management, water management, biodiversity, healthy lifestyle, merchandising, raising awareness, communication… and the efforts done by the Leeds LOC have overachieved our goals. Our most sincere congratulations to everyone involved in this”, she said.
Andy Salmon, British Triathlon CEO, said: “Sustainability is incredibly important to us at British Triathlon and we’re taking steps to ensuring that we, as an organisation and a sport, are operating and delivering activity sustainably.
“To be presented with the Gold Certification of Sustainability from World Triathlon shows the commitment we have put in place to ensuring the events we organise are delivered in a sustainable way, and is a great marker as we build towards sharing our sustainability framework later this year. My thanks go to the organising committee for ensuring sustainability is a central consideration in the decision making and planning for what is set to be another stellar event.”
Non Stanford, elite British triathlete and athlete representative on the World Triathlon Environmental Sustainability Commission, said: “Sustainability is a major area within the world of international sport and sporting events and I’m really excited that AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds has been awarded with Gold Level Certification.
“It’s the first event to receive the award and represents all the hard work that the organising committee have put into hosting a world class event in a sustainable way. For the British leg of the World Triathlon Championship Series to get this recognition is also something I’m personally delighted about, especially with it being in my home city.”
The WTCS Leeds’ organising team has been busy weaving sustainability into all areas of delivery and, whilst a number of them will be unseen by participants and spectators, there are a few that will be noticed.
This year will see 2021 built upon as, once again, the medals are made from wood that is from FSC certified forests in South Wales and the finisher gift is a specially designed pair of socks made from recycled plastic. FSC certified forests are managed in a way that preserves biological diversity, with the wood harvested in a sustainable way to promote forest ecology.
Sticking with the recycled theme, merchandise from the event will be available that is made using recycled plastics, with further items made with sustainable organic cotton also on offer.
All the merchandise comes in the unique AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds design, giving you a memento of your weekend that’s good for you and good for the planet.
How can you get involved in helping make the event sustainable?
The event brings thousands of participants, spectators, and volunteers from across the country to Leeds for the weekend. With many people making their way to the city, why not check out who from your club or local area you can car share with when travelling to Leeds and when getting around once you’re here.
We’re also excited to be working with the University of Leeds to provide a kit donation service, through which your old and unwanted kit can be gifted to communities in South Africa.
The University of Leeds is looking for cycling clothing in good condition (bib shorts, jerseys and gloves especially) to help support their successful Bambisanani project.
The project uses sport to inspire and motivate students. Staff and students from the University have close connections with the project where they deliver sports leadership training, academic lessons and deliver sport in local primary schools and orphanages.
Merchandise from the event that remains unsold beyond the sale period will be donated to the project, with merchandise from previous British Triathlon events also being donated.
When you’re on site you’ll see plenty of bins dotted around. These are for all waste that you have, with the bins being taken away and the contents divided into recyclable and non-recyclable materials by Leeds City Council. The non-recyclable waste is then formed into waste-derived fuel rather than put into landfill.
There will also be further sustainable changes to the finish area and racing experience to reduce plastic usage and waste. The cups from aid stations will be recycled or made from biodegradable materials, whilst the finish line water will be supplied in sustainably sourced cartons made from SC Certified paperboard and Bonsucro Certified sugarcane caps.
And most importantly. This is the first step of the journey, we all need to sustain the effort in the future so that the environmental impact of the event can be minimized