The biggest sporting event since the 1972 Olympic Games – that was the European Championships in Munich this summer. Eleven days during which the whole of Munich was in high spirits as the European Championships in athletics as well as beach volleyball, canoe racing, climbing, cycling (including road, track, mountain bike and BMX freestyle), rowing, table tennis, triathlon and gymnastics got underway. However, the organisers of EC Munich 2022 have also set standards in terms of sustainability in order to keep CO2 emissions as low as possible. A sustainability management established in the structures had worked out a strategy to prioritise six focus topics.
Re-use of sports facilities
Many of the required sports facilities were already available. This avoided the construction of new sports facilities for which there would have been no further use after the event.
The Munich Olympic Stadium and the former Olympic grounds were built for the 1972 Olympic Games and have since been used, among other things, as a football stadium and for open-air concerts. It is the heart of the European Championships, with competitions in athletics, triathlon, gymnastics, BMX freestyle and mountain biking taking place here.
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Of course, existing sports facilities still had to be renovated and refurbished, but this in turn helps to ensure that these existing sports facilities can continue to be used in the future.
Only for track cycling was a temporary track built on the exhibition grounds.
Transport and mobility
The largest share of the CO2 footprint, however, was accounted for by the area of transport & mobility. Not only did all the athletes have to travel to the venue, but also the event equipment and the food and beverage supply had to be delivered.
For short distances between the individual sports venues, public transport contributed greatly to reducing CO2 emissions, and numerous golf carts were also used.
For all emissions that could not be avoided, three certified climate protection projects provided compensation. Among other things, visitors were able to make their “climate contribution” when buying their tickets. This was booked 10,962 times.
It is understandable that an event of this size generates a lot of waste through catering, packaging, flyers, banners and decorative items. A specific waste concept aimed at producing less waste and then separating and disposing of this waste according to type in order to recycle more resources.
Local added value
Many of the partners of the European Championships come from the Munich region and continue to benefit from economically sustainable actions even after the major event. Restaurants, hotels and the arts and culture scene had the opportunity to present themselves to a large audience. The region also hopes that the media coverage will attract more guests in the future and promote Munich as a tourist destination.
The European Championships in Munich brought together many people from different backgrounds. The focus was always on togetherness and the fun of movement. To ensure that this could be experienced by all people, great importance was attached to a barrier-free event. From the barrier-free website and barrier-free services to inclusive sporting activities before and during the event, a variety of measures were implemented.
Popular and competitive sport
Last but not least, grassroots and competitive sports hope that the charisma of such a large sporting event will motivate people to engage in health and exercise in the long term, for example through sporting competitions and activities in cooperation with schools and universities.
Because through sport, social values such as team spirit, fairness, integration, respect and a sense of responsibility can also be transported into society.
The European Championships in Munich have shown that even large events can be held in a sustainable manner if climate protection is taken into account from the planning to the organisation and implementation.