With this summer’s IAAF World Junior Championships, Oregon 2014 happening at one of the most sustainably oriented locations on the planet – historic Hayward Field – the IAAF has decided to activate its landmark social responsibility program, Athletics for a Better World (ABW), at the event from July 22-27.
The ABW program harnesses the commitment and energy of the worldwide athletics family to inspire lasting change for social good. TrackTown USA and the IAAF are partnering with the city of Eugene to implement the ABW program at Oregon 2014 by pursuing certification by the Council for Responsible Sport, striving for the highest level: Evergreen.
“At TrackTown USA we are committed to producing world-class events and advancing athletics in a manner that inspires youth, protects the environment, and enhances the rights of all global citizens,” said Vin Lananna, president of TrackTown USA, which serves as the Local Organising Committee for the 15th IAAF World Junior Championships.
Oregon 2014 will see a broad range of social and environmental activations, all of which are tracked through the council’s certification system; a process that ensures transparency and creates a framework that can easily be replicated again and again.
“Globally, we are seeing events taking action to reduce their impacts,” said council executive director Keith Peters. “Oregon 2014 ranks at the top of the list, hence the reason they are in the running for the council’s first Evergreen certification for an international event.”
The ABW’s campaigns platforms of environment, inclusion, peace, and health were a natural fit with the LOC’s “We Can!” sustainability campaign to “be healthy, reduce emissions, and rethink waste”.
“The IAAF has recently launched a new social responsibility project, ‘Athletics for a Better World’, to activate a worldwide network of event organisers, area associations, member federations, volunteers, families, athletes, sponsors and other public institutions who share a commitment to the life-enhancing values of our sport,” said IAAF deputy director Nick Davies.
“We are delighted to be partnering with the LOC of the IAAF World Junior Championships and the Council for Responsible Sport in Eugene to help this event secure a historic Evergreen status. By activating projects that focus with the environment, health, peace and social inclusion, we are committed to making the world a better place.”
At the event, Be Healthy activations include the city of Eugene’s Starting Block and USATF’s Field Day programs to introduce youth to the sport of track and field, free water bottle filling stations, and healthy meal options, highlighting local farms.
Oregon 2014 is reducing emissions by becoming the first carbon neutral IAAF championship event. All event operations at Hayward Field will be powered by 100% carbon free GreenPower from the Eugene Water and Electric Board. Additionally, all event travel emissions in Oregon will be neutralised through a third-party carbon offset provider.
Hayward Field has been on the road to zero waste for years through the Rethink Waste initiatives. These include procurement practices that direct vendors to reduce waste in the provision of event goods and services, a wide variety of fan engagement elements, and a dedicated volunteer team ensuring material recovery throughout the event venue. Our goal is to recover over 75% of materials headed for the waste stream and into productive use such as composting through Eugene’s Love Food Not Waste program.
Athletes and fans will be able to learn more at the We Can! booth at the event, where they can participate in a sustainability scavenger hunt and earn a commemorative Oregon 2014 medallion made from reclaimed wood from local sources.
“A majority of people pay attention to sport, it is where our highest ideals of our self and community are embodied,” said Ethan Nelson, the city of Eugene’s waste prevention manager. “When we collectively work together to create an ‘ecosystem’ that carries an event’s activities out into the community and vice versa, we are really creating a better world for future generations.”