Earth Day 2022: IOC presents Carbon Action Awards to 20 sports organisations, including the FIA


To mark Earth Day (22 April), some 20 major sporting organisations were presented with the IOC Carbon Action Awards, recognising efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The 20 organisations, which include 12 International Federations (IFs), seven National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), won the awards on the basis of detailed data and carbon reduction plans.

“We set up this award to highlight some of the important work being done within the Olympic Movement to address climate change,” said Marie Sallois, IOC Sustainability Director. “We hope that this work will further inspire the broader sports community to take urgent action on climate change and other sustainability challenges.”

Highlights of this year’s awards include the following: 

  • World Sailing has launched a circular economy demonstration project to show that carbon fibre from disused sports equipment can be used in the manufacturing process. The aim of the project is to reduce the embodied carbon footprint of sailing equipment and open up the markets for carbon fibre recycling across other sports.
  • The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), motor sport’s governing body, has recently finalised its carbon reduction plan to cut its carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement. In 2021, the FIA also implemented an environmental management system certified according to ISO 14001:2015 standard.
  • World Rugby’s newly launched, comprehensive sustainability plan outlines carbon reduction up to 2030.
  • The Canadian NOC’s Toronto offices have been certified LEED Platinum and BOMA Best Platinum for their sustainability standards.
  • Spain’s NOC took all of its energy in 2020 and 2021 from renewable sources, allowing it to reduce its facility GHG emissions by almost 100 per cent.

The 12 IFs which won the award include: World Archery, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, the International Orienteering Federation, the International Skating Union, the International Sambo Federation, World Rugby, World Sailing, the International Biathlon Union, the International Federation of Sport Climbing, the International Golf Federation, the International Canoe Federation, and the International Basketball Federation. The seven NOCs include: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland, Spain and Switzerland.

The FIA, as all of the awarded organisations, is part of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, which supports sports entities to achieve a range of global climate-change goals, including the 50 per cent reduction of GHG emissions by 2030 at the latest, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Launched in 2019, the IOC Carbon Action Awards – which originally formed part of the IOC-DOW Carbon Partnership – were created to inspire climate action by recognising the sustainability efforts of key sports organisations within the Olympic Movement. As part of the initiative, those IFs and NOCs that have demonstrably reduced their GHG emissions within the scope of their organisations and respective events are rewarded carbon offsets to compensate their remaining emissions.

This achievement contributes to the realization of the FIA’s environmental strategy for 2020-2030 adopted in December 2020. The FIA has developed an emission reduction action plan and has become carbon neutral in 2021 through offsetting. Our long-term ambition is to reduce the emissions of FIA own operation by 20% in 2025 and 50% in 2030 and become net zero by 2030.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA President said: “The FIA is honoured to be selected among the winners of the IOC Carbon Action Awards that highlight our carbon reduction plan aiming at reducing our carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement. This award also recognizes our environmental management system certified according to ISO 14001:2015 standard in 2021. We plan to go further with new ambitious targets to strengthen our climate leadership in sport and taking motor sport and mobility into a low carbon future.”

Felipe Calderón, President of the FIA Environment & Sustainability Commission, said: “As part as the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, it is important that the hard work being done by the FIA to manage and reduce the environmental impact of its activities is recognised by the IOC. We welcome this award, and now we want to accelerate our action and enhance efforts in encouraging and supporting our stakeholders – championships, motorsport and mobility clubs, drivers, fans, sponsors, suppliers – in their climate transition.”