The training part of the 3 days meeting was conceived as an introduction into the sustainability strategy creation process for, in particular, the mentee organisations – National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. Prominent private sector speakers - sustainability expert Phil Cumming (Koru Sustainability), and Martin Peleška, director of Toyota Central Europe, Czech s.r.o. – were joined by representatives of the Olympic movement organisations to present the reasons why sport organisations should “go sustainable”, and to discuss the “how”. International Olympic Committee representative Julie Duffus offered all engaged Olympic Committees detailed guidance and all available materials. “Sustainability cannot be viewed as simply a project, it is a long-term process thanks to which you will gradually start to adopt a new way of working within the organisation,” said Duffus. An expert from the Spanish Olympic Committee, Manuel Praga, recommended an initial focus on simple changes that will, however, be visible. “It is nothing revolutionary; sustainability has long been a part of the Olympic Charter. It is also one of the working principles of the Olympic Movement,” said Praga.
The presentations of best practices (NOCs of Denmark, Germany, Finland and Spain) and the discussion on the essential steps in the strategy creation process set the scene for the last – interactive - part of the training - testing of the draft organisational screening tools. Organisational screening – the appraisal of the current state of play in the sport organisation – is the first concrete step towards the creation of an integrated sustainability strategy, which the mentee NOC will embark on in the following weeks. Once tested and revisited, the Organisational screening tools will be made available on this website as one of the main outputs of the ASAP project. They will be accompanied by a model “Introduction to Sustainability Training Programme”, which will be created based on the experiences and input gathered during creation and implementation of the ASAP training.
The first meeting of the ASAP team, which followed the Sustainability training, provided ample time to discuss administration-, communications-, and project management-related matters as well as the structure of the main project outputs, in particular the Sustainability Strategy Creation Roadmap. As the main working principles in the framework of the ASAP project is “mentor-mentee” cooperation, a thorough discussion needed to be organised to match mentee NOCs with mentor NOCs’ representatives. The following duos were formed: SK NOC – DK NOC, HU NOC – FI NOC, and CZ NOC – DOSB.
Assisted by their mentors, mentee NOCs will spend the following weeks and months (until June 2020) “screening” the activities and operations of their respective organisations, and creating a baseline for their sustainability strategies.