Tackling problems connected to mostly linear global value chains in sport apparel and equipment production is a gargantuan task, which requires a concerted effort of all actors, including ordering parties (such as sport organisation). Yet, this may sound rather daunting for an individual non-profit organisation, and especially one that is at the beginning of its sustainability journey. While, it can be argued that such an organisation can play its part, in particular by adopting a more sustainable approach to its sourcing decisions, this process will always be a long-term one with results visible only further along the way.
Therefore, while planning to step up to the plate and gradually make its sourcing more sustainable as part of its forthcoming sustainability strategy, the Czech Olympic Committee (CZ NOC) has decided to test the (more immediate) impact it can have on the other part of the “story of waste in sport” – consumption - in other words, its impact on people’s behaviour in and around sport.
Olympic Festivals organised this summer by CZ NOC in the country’s two biggest cities - Prague and Brno - will become such a test platform by providing the perfect ground for an awareness-raising and education project – Green Your Sport. Directly linked to CZ NOC’s Olympic Values Education activities at the Festivals, the project’s main aim is to “plant a seed of interest” in circularity among visitors and motivate them to reflect about their own behaviour. Under the slogan of “one man’s waste, other man’ treasure”, CZ NOC will provide visitors with a place to experience and experiment. Transformation of plastic waste into new objects (e.g medals), upcycling “atelier” for old sports cloths and equipment, waste recycling competitions and more will be on offer for everybody to try. The organisers hope that by providing visitors with such a direct experience, they will subconsciously integrate some of the recycling and waste reduction principles underpinning the activities.
As demonstrated earlier in this series of articles, partnerships and cooperation are key to meeting any sustainability-related objectives, and to advancing on one’s sustainability journey in general. The Green Your Sport project is no exception. Its creation, including the initial idea, would not have been possible without an excellent teamwork across several CZ NOC’s departments, financial support of the Czech Ministry of the Environment (national grant scheme for non-for-profit organisations), and newly established cooperation with environmental education NGOs and start-up Plastmakers, part of the Precious Plastic initiative, which focuses on plastic recycling.
And now, ready, set, go for the implementation.