UCI hails "solid" sustainability report from 2023 Cycling World Championships. GETTY IMAGES

To mark World Environment Day on 5 June, cycling's world governing body - the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) - released its sustainability report from the 2023 Cycling World Championships which took place in Scotland last August.

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships were the first to bring together all 13 disciplines of cycling with the likes of Road, Track, BMX, Mountain Bikes and Para-cycling previously having separate global competitions. From 3-13 August, Glasgow and Scotland hosted the event with a total of 220 world titles awarded.

Ernst & Young published an independent report in February evaluating the socio-economic impact of the event. This sustainability report builds upon that with the World Championships, according to the UCI, "committed to embedding sustainability into the organisation, collaborating with partners and supporting the value chain to drive progress to create a greener and more sustainable future for both cycling events as well as for Scotland".

The UCI press release added, "Sustainability was a core objective in delivering an innovative, world-class event that would provide a model for the future. The Championship’s Sustainability Framework and its ten high-level commitments were put in place, outlining core values and guiding principles mapped against the pillars of ‘People, Place and Planet’ in alignment with and to drive progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

"The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships also signed the United Nations Sport for Climate Action Framework and was one of the founding signatories of the UCI’s Climate Action Charter, further cementing its ambitions to reduce cycling’s environmental impacts.

"As part of its commitment to sustainability, the 2023 UCI Cycling Worlds undertook a voluntary Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) assessment mapped against the UN SDGs and using the UCI’s new Sustainability Impact Tracker. The report showed the Championships contributed to 14 out of 17 UN SDGs, demonstrating the wide range of sustainable activities undertaken, highlighting the commitment to a sustainable approach to event delivery."

The championships were also the first event to use the UCI’s Sustainability Impact Tracker to measure its carbon emissions. The report showed the total carbon footprint of the event calculated as 61.1ktCO2e with most of these emissions falling within Scope 3 “Other indirect emissions” with the biggest contributing factors being in the ‘travel’ category. This data will be used a a benchmark for future combined UCI Cycling World Championships and other major sporting events in Scotland and the UK.

Also highlighted in the report was that 86 percent of stakeholders felt the event was delivered in an environmentally responsible way. Sustainability also encompassed social responsibility with 97 percent of people attending the event feeling it was inclusive, and 93 percent of spectators with a disability finding it to be accessible.

UCI President David Lappartient said, "Tackling climate change is one of the priorities of the UCI’s Agenda 2030, with one of our aims being to make our UCI World Championships carbon neutral or negative. To do this, we need a base to work from, and I am delighted that we have a solid Sustainability Report from the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.

"The local organisers of last year’s inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships made great headway when it comes to sustainability and social responsibility, and I look forward to this momentum being continued at future UCI events."

Event chairman Paul Bush commented, "The Sustainability Report provides useful insight, learnings and recommendations that will help deliver sustainable events and encourage innovation in the future.

“Collaboration and partnership working were vital to achieving our sustainability objectives and I thank everyone, from our funding partners, event delivery partners and local authority hosts to the athletes and spectators, for all their help in delivering on our ambitions."

The second UCI Cycling World Championships will be held in Haute-Savoie, France in 2027.