Ski racing and climate protection – is that possible?

The Ski World Cup Adelboden was a success – not just for the Swiss athletes, but also for climate protection. Annina Burn, Marketing Project Manager of the Ski World Cup Adelboden, comes to initial conclusions on the event and the sustainability measures with myclimate "Cause We Care".

Sustainability and sports can go hand-in-hand, as the Ski World Cup in Adelboden demonstrated this year.

What makes the Ski World Cup Adelboden stand out from the rest?

It is the unique atmosphere at the Adelboden ski race that makes it so fascinating. While the athletes approach the finish line, the crowd bubble in what is known as the "Adelbodner Hexenkessel" – the boiling pot. The audience is also well-known for being very fair, cheering for every athlete.

Why is sustainability important to you at this event?

As an outdoor event, we are directly dependent on weather influences. We rely on snow and cool temperatures. The warming of the climate has challenged us these last few years. So that we can continue to run the race in the future, climate protection and caring for our environment is very important to us.

To what extent do the actions in Adelboden go beyond the efforts taken by other ski races?

I have so far not heard of any Swiss race organiser reporting on their sustainability efforts. We communicate about our efforts and, since this year, we have a partner in myclimate which is professionally supporting and advising us on the implementation.

What was previously done for the environment? How did the sustainability strategy develop?

For years, the piste on the Chuenisbärgli has been prepared without chemicals. We have also been operating a park and ride system for a long time. Cars park in Reichenbach and the visitors are then transported to Adelboden by bus. Soil protection has also been a topic for some time, as well as the sorting and reduction of waste. These a just a few examples. The sustainability strategy has certainly become more professional and comprehensive. At first, it was only waste that was addressed. Now, for example, we concern ourselves with where the food and merchandising is sourced from.

What aspects of large events contain the most potential for increasing sustainability, in your opinion?

There is still lots of potential in many areas. For example, in the catering: the choice could be more local, regional, and focused on nutritional trends. Furthermore, we would also like a more environmentally friendly solution for the heated tents.

What can the spectators do themselves?

They can get actively involved in climate protection. So, for the first time this year, a deposit is taken for packaging. When returning cups and containers, ski fans can now also donate the deposit. When buying a ticket from the online store, fans can now make a voluntary contribution to the "sustainability pot". On-site ticket sales and parking fees already included the extra contribution.

What other efforts will there be in future?

We will continue to analyse our carbon footprint to identify the greatest need for action. We will then define further measures. As already mentioned, heating and food has a great deal of potential.

How important is the help of external partners when it comes to a sustainability concept?

For us, the collaboration with myclimate is very valuable, as it means we have a professional on side to support and advise us. The range of possibilities is enormous and myclimate helps us steer the focus towards those measures which have the greatest influence.

 

The organiser of the Alpine Ski Highlights in the Adelboden Hexenkessel are doing more this year towards sustainability – this is thanks to their participation in the myclimate "Cause we Care" initiative which identifies and takes up various actions to protect the climate. Visitors have the option to make a donation into the sustainability pot when purchasing a ticket and at the deposit return stands for drinks – which has twice the impact, as all proceeds are doubled by the organiser and invested into mainly local sustainability initiatives.

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