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Article published 05/06/2024

To mark World Environment Day (5 June), the organisers of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships have today published the event’s sustainability report.

The report bringing together the various activities and impacts achieved by the inaugural event, which took place in Glasgow and across Scotland from 3-13 August 2023.

As a purpose-led event, the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships were committed to embedding sustainability into the organisation.

The event organisers collaborated with partners and supported the value chain, driving progress to create a greener and more sustainable future for both cycling events as well as for Scotland.

The sustainability report, along with other reports produced by the 2023 UCI Cycling Worlds Championships, will provide a baseline and a blueprint for future events.

Read the full report

Sustainability achievements

Sustainability was a core objective in delivering an innovative, world-class event that would provide a model for the future. The Championship’s Sustainability Framework and its ten high-level commitments were put in place, outlining core values and guiding principles.

They were mapped against the pillars of "People, Place and Planet" in alignment with and to drive progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships also signed the United Nations Sport for Climate Action Framework. It was one of the founding signatories of the UCI’s Climate Action Charter, further cementing its ambitions to reduce cycling’s environmental impacts.

As part of its commitment to sustainability, the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships undertook a voluntary Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) assessment mapped against the UN SDGs and using the UCI’s new Sustainability Impact Tracker.

 

A British mountainbiker during the downhill event / Credit: SWPix

The report showed the Championships contributed to 14 out of 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This demonstrated the wide range of sustainable activities undertaken, highlighting the commitment to a sustainable approach to event delivery.

The Championships were also the first event to use the UCI’s Sustainability Impact Tracker to measure its carbon emissions. The report shows the total carbon footprint of the event calculated as 61.1ktCO2e.

Most of these emissions fall within Scope 3 (other indirect emissions) with the biggest contributing factors being in the "travel" category. This benchmark data will benefit future combined UCI Cycling World Championships and other major sporting events in Scotland and the UK.

Other achievements highlighted in the report include:

  • appointment of Event Delivery Partners Sustainability Champions to implement and drive sustainability measures within each individual event
  • development of a "Good Food Charter" and the establishment of the Event Delivery Partners Sustainability Champions network, with learning and best practice captured to provide a blueprint for future events
  • the creation of a Sustainable Procurement Code, which provided a link across the Championship’s hub-and-spoke delivery model. This raised awareness of the minimum standards expected to support sustainability, equality, diversity and inclusion, and low carbon emissions ambitions

Other key highlights

86%

of stakeholders felt the championships were delivered in an environmentally responsible way

97%

of people who attended the event felt it was inclusive

93%

of spectators with a disability found the event to be accessible

Over 90%

of attendance at events were non-ticketed, facilitating greater access to watch and take part

Key statistics of the inaugural 2023 event

More than 7,000

elite and amateur cyclists from 131 countries were welcomed

Around 1 million

spectators attended over the 11 days of the event

£344 million

of incremental spend, resulting in £205 million gross value added economic impact for Scotland

£220 million

of total visitor spend in Scotland

The inaugural 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships brought together 13 individual UCI Cycling World Championships.

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships had a TV audience of 537 million. It was broadcast in 130 countries, totalling around 14,000 hours of programming, and around 200 million hours were watched live on television globally over 11 days.

This report builds on the independent Ernst & Young socio-economic impact evaluation report published on 7 February 2024.

Read the impact evaluation

Equality, diversity and inclusivity achievements

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships’ ambition to drive awareness and highlight the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion have been recognised as well.

The Championships have won the Diversity in Sport Award and Diversity by Design Award at the Herald & Gen Analytics Diversity Awards and the Access All Areas Diversity and Inclusion Awards.

Tackling climate change is one of the priorities of the UCI’s Agenda 2030, with one of our aims being to make our UCI World Championships carbon neutral or negative.

To do this, we need a base to work from, and I am delighted that we have a solid Sustainability Report from the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.

The local organisers of last year’s inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships made great headway when it comes to sustainability and social responsibility, and I look forward to this momentum being continued at future UCI events.

David Lappartient, UCI President

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships were a truly memorable event and an excellent platform to showcase Scotland’s commitment to building a sustainable future.

This report shows that large international sporting events can successfully embed environmental and social responsibility as a core principle, benefitting the wider community as well as athletes and fans.

It's further evidence that the powerful legacy of the Championships extends beyond simply winning medals – in addition to boosting Scotland's economy and inspiring healthier lifestyles, they have also set the standard for innovative, world-class events.

Angus Robertson, Culture Secretary

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships aimed to champion sustainability in the world of sport, and we are proud of the effort we have made to drive meaningful change.

The Sustainability Report provides useful insight, learnings and recommendations that will help deliver sustainable events and encourage innovation in the future.

Collaboration and partnership working were vital to achieving our sustainability objectives and I thank everyone, from our funding partners, event delivery partners and local authority hosts to the athletes and spectators, for all their help in delivering on our ambitions.

Paul Bush OBE, 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships Chairman

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