The sustainability programme of the 2023 Budapest Athletics World Championships has received the highest ISO 20121 sustainability certification, making it the first in the history of the World Athletics (WA) global competitions. According to the Sunday report of the organising committee, the core of the action programme involves utilising local workforce, maintaining a reasonable budget, reducing carbon dioxide and waste emissions, and preserving the event venue.
‘The sustainability initiatives of the 2023 Budapest Athletics World Championships set a good example of how sports should contribute to combating climate change,’ The Sustainability Report, an international journal stated. In the article, it was emphasised that the organisers will plant thousands of trees at the venue and throughout the city, which will cool the urban environment and refresh the air. It is noteworthy that the National Athletics Centre’s open and accessible leisure park significantly expands the opportunities for Budapest residents and visitors to engage in sports and leisure activities. Moreover, it is located in an area along the Danube River where polluting industrial activities used to take place but have been completely eliminated.
‘Transportation is an important part of the World Championships’ sustainability programme to encourage as many of the 400,000 attending fans as possible to use public transportation and other environmentally friendly means to reach the venue. To achieve this, the MÁV-Volán Group has introduced the VB2023 tickets, which allow round trip train or bus travel to Budapest from any part of Hungary during the World Championships for 2023 forints,’ the organising committee’s statement says.
The programmes organised on the sidelines of the championship also include health-promoting and awareness-building initiatives, such as the Everyday Heroes programme, which incentivises people to engage in sports and adopt healthier lifestyles through discounted tickets and advertisements. Additionally, the School Heroes programme introduces athletics to students. As stated, ‘Both programmes aim to show the wonders of the World Championships, the superstars of athletics, to the most receptive audience and inspire them for a lifetime.’ So far, spectators from 77 countries have purchased 180,000 tickets for Hungary’s largest sporting event in history, which will take place from 19 to 27 August.