Athletes, coaches and functionaries need to travel to their practice or competition venues on a regular basis, frequently several times a week. To ensure that this can be done efficiently, sports clubs are increasingly relying on well thought-out mobility blueprint for their club members and spectators.

For sports clubs, the following goals are relevant to achieve sustainability:

  • reduction of CO2 emissions, pollutants and noise,
  • right of way for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport,
  • carpools and shuttle services etc., as well as efficient coordination using a sustainable transport system (transport blueprint),
  • information networking.

Sustainable transport management for sporting events

Environment- and climate-friendly mobility management is an essential element of sustainability, also in sport. This concerns ongoing club activities and joint practice sessions as well as occasional or recurring (large-scale) events.

Generally, to be active also means to be mobile and to transit from point A to point B, either from one’s home to the practice field or to the venue of a competition. Sustainable mobility means travelling these routes in a way that ensures minimal impact on the climate: where possible, avoiding single journeys in a car, resorting to public transport or switching over to energy-efficient and low-emission means of transport.

Saving energy and money

Not only is sustainable mobility mindful of the environment and climate, a more informed transport organisation also offers financial benefits. Using the club bus to take groups of people to competitions or other events saves mileage (and fuel costs) and cuts exhaust emissions by combining the individual trips into a single journey.

The club bus does not necessarily have to be a diesel- or gasoline-fuelled vehicle that produces emissions that are harmful to both the environment and the climate. Several types of vehicles with alternative drives or electric motors will do, too. Financial support, like the funds granted in the klimaaktiv mobil scheme, makes these alternative options – which are usually more expensive but more climate-friendly – affordable. The density of the required charging network is steadily improving. Anyone wishing to set up their own publicly accessible charging point can count on financial support.

Climate-friendly mobility for your event

Sport often involves competition. Therefore, sports clubs frequently have events scheduled on their calendar. Among the sustainability criteria for events to qualify as green events – an initiative launched by the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology – climate care and mobility are essential factors along with sustainable supplies and waste disposal or social responsibility.

For large scale events, this particularly includes visitor management. The object is to manage the additional traffic induced by the departures and arrivals of visitors in as environmentally and climate-friendly a manner as possible. However, local traffic management, including the traffic generated by actively participating sportsmen/sportswomen, coaches and accompanying persons, is key as well, especially when sporting events are carried out in multiple venues.

Managing visitor travel from and to venues

The event organiser’s most effective lever for visitor mobility is an attractive, and vigorously promoted, range of transport opportunities for visitors to get to the venues and back home that compels them to leave their own cars at home. Suitable implements include combination tickets to encourage public transport use, shuttle buses to bridge the ‘last mile’ from the railway station to the event venue, or other innovative travel opportunities such as an organised bicycle trip to the venue with the necessary on-site infrastructure, making available the practical necessities such as cycling clothes, for instance.

Carpooling encourages higher vehicle occupancy and reduces traffic holdups on access roads. Often, group travel to the venues by railway and/or bus is a more affordable and environmentally friendly alternative, also because of the social aspect (in public transport, discounts are almost always available for groups travelling together). For this option, the convenience of luggage transport is always a crucial factor.

On-site mobility management

Multiple venues are frequently needed, especially at large-scale sporting events with competitions in several disciplines, and these may not necessarily be in walking distance of each other. A clever shuttle system ensures efficient transit between railway stations or accommodations and event venues. These services should definitely be integrated into existing public transport systems, where they are available, so that no resources are wasted. Intervals could be increased on the main lines and remote venues could be tied into the network.

Innovative solutions, such as cargo bikes, would be suitable for various on-site transfers. Guidelines published by the German Protestant Kirchentag outline a wide range of ways to use cargo bikes at large-scale events – it provides lots of good ideas.

An overview of sustainable mobility criteria for events:

  • Opportunity to travel to the venue without using a passenger car (mandatory)
  • Communication focus on climate-friendly transport to and from venue (mandatory)
  • Mobility at side-events (mandatory)
  • Centrally located event venue for regional events
  • Event venue with public transport connections
  • Motivation to travel to the venue using environmentally friendly means of transport and supporting that option
  • On-site mobility when events last several days
  • Accessibility of accommodation
  • Mobility opportunities organised by the organiser
  • Contracting the services of transport companies