Excellent! Austria’s most sustainable sports clubs

Sports clubs from across Austria were honoured for their sustainable practices at the 8th Green Events Austrian Gala held on 13 June 2019 at Esterházy Castle in Eisenstadt. The awards went to FC Judenburg, Fitness Union Waldviertel and teco7 Training Technopool FC from Burgenland. The nominees further included ATV Auto Pichler Handball Trofaiach, LINZ AG Sportverein as well as SV Atemnot in Vienna of the organisation Diözesansportgemeinschaft.

Small- and medium-sized sports clubs can do much to ensure environmentally sound, social and economic sustainability and thereby contribute substantially to the achievement of the UN sustainability goals (SDGs). The climate-friendly journeys of sportsmen/sportswomen and fans to and from practice and competitions, the use of reusable crockery and cups as well as measures to foster social cohesion serve as excellent examples.

The award winners were selected by a jury of experts from the Environment Agency Austria. An assessment of their own sustainability performance using the online test developed by the sports umbrella associations in collaboration with the Environment Agency Austria, available at www.nachhaltiger-sport.at, and an action plan for the years to come, developed on the basis of the test results, were the two criteria used to choose the winners.

The 2018/19 award winners of the ‘nachhaltig gewinnen!’ competition in the category ‘Sustainable sports club’

FC Judenburg

On the strength of a climate-friendly transport plan, FC Judenburg intends to reduce emissions and thereby improve quality of life. For matches outside the district, all players are encouraged to use the bus leased by the sports club – those taking the car are no longer paid any mileage allowance. For trips within the district limits, players are invited to form carpools with at least three people. Minibuses are leased for youth games and tournaments; in addition, coaches help parents form carpools using social media. The pinewood trophies for the Zirbenland-Cup, which is organised by FC Judenburg, are a symbol of the club’s numerous other sustainability measures adoptedin environmental and social areas and in communications.

Fitness Union Waldviertel

The Training sessions are scheduled with a view to saving energy. Where possible, such workouts are scheduled one after the other in order to avoid having to reheat the gymnasiums. The club is also very anxious to reduce the amount of waste it produces. This it does by cooperating with other clubs in a mutual lending scheme where the sports clubs lend drinking glasses and crockery to one another. Furthermore, Fitness Union Waldviertel is committed to providing regional and healthy food. The club has been nominated the most sustainable sports club twice before and is continuously working on its sustainability. To honour the club’s efforts, it was received into the Hall of Fame of Green Events Austria. Fitness Union Waldviertel shows that even a relatively small sports club can implement multiple sustainable development measures.

teco7 Training Technopool FC

This Burgenland-based club has a procurement scheme that is geared towards climate care and resource protection. The aim is to offer healthy, regional and seasonal food and buy fair trade training suits and low-waste drinking bottles. To achieve this, the support of sponsors is actively sought. Trophies and medals will be produced in collaboration with regional charity institutions in the future. The purchase of reusable crockery has helped to significantly reduce waste volumes. All measures are integrated into a sustainability management system. Fields of action are prioritised and, based on this, specific measures are developed. The effectiveness of the action fields is assessed with a view to launching the long-term implementation of the measures.

About the ‘nachhaltig gewinnen!’ competition

The ‘Green Events Austria’ network, which ties in the federal government and the federal provinces, initiated the ‘nachhaltig gewinnen!’ competition (nachhaltiggewinnen.at) and has been presenting awards to sustainable sports and cultural events and functions since 2011 and to sports clubs since 2017. A total of 89 events and associations from across all the federal provinces took part in 2018/19, including 30 sports clubs, from family sports festivals, running events to world championships and 22 cultural events ranging from local circus events all the way to international film, music and media festivals. Thirty-seven events entered the competition in the ‘Festival’ category ranging from farm festivals to city and municipal festivals. Overall, these events managed to implement around 3,700 Green Event measures. The award ceremony was accompanied by the presentation of the eco-label for tourism and the special “oetickets award 2019”.