ITU's commission gets a green light for sustainability

by Merryn Sherwood on 11 Feb, 2011 03:41 • Español

Triathlon is on its way to a greener future with the ITU Sustainability Commission officially up and running.

In its first virtual meeting this week, the commission elected Ian Braid as its Chair, Sikuade Jagun as its Secretary, Xiaoran Chen as the Asia representative and Sarah Groff as its athlete representative, as well as agree to hold monthly conferences.

“I am delighted to chair the ITU Sustainability Commission because it brings together two of my great passions, sport and the environment,” said newly elected Chair, Braid.  “The members of the commission are all very enthusiastic about our role.  I genuinely believe that with this focus the sport of triathlon can not only manage the environmental impact of sport but also be a catalyst for change through education and collaboration with our stakeholders throughout the world.”

In addition, the ITU Executive Board has accepted the commission’s terms of reference.

Now the next item on its agenda is engaging the wider triathlon community in its sustainable message.

The commission decided on two key priorities during its inaugural meeting - to look into an audit on the ITU’s environment impact and facilitate sharing of tips and tricks to help triathlon participants and fans make less of an impact of the environment, whether that’s during a race, at home or in the office.

“The sport of triathlon can not only manage the environmental impact of sport but also be a catalyst for change through education and collaboration.”
Ian Braid, Chair of ITU’s Sustainability Commission

It’s something the ITU Headquarters has already taken on board, led by Secretary General and Sustainability Commission board advisor Loreen Barnett. Long before green became a buzz word, staff were riding to work, recycling – including turning lunch scraps into potting mix with a compost bin, and turning off the heating overnight.

“I think it’s important that we realise it’s the little things that count, from just recycling efficiently we can cut a lot of waste,” Barnett said. “We’ve been able to get everyone to contribute in the office, really it’s nothing too hard, and now we are looking forward to bringing these values and sustainable practices to triathlon.”

The first step in getting triathlon’s wider family involved will be through Facebook and the ITU newsletter.

The commission was created in October last year with a goal to form a strategic plan to support the ITU’s sustainability values, including social, economic and environmental. In particular, the commission will focus on how each event and initiative affects the environment, and make sure that environmental issues becomes part of the decision making process. The commission is made up of five members from each of the Continental Confederations and has been elected for a period of two years.

The full ITU Sustainability Commission is…

Ian Braid (GBR) – Chair
Sikuade Jagun (NGR) – Secretary
Gerardo Zetina (MEX) – Commission Member
Xiaoran Chen (CHN) – Commission Member
Terry Sheldrake (NZL) – Commission Member
Sarah Groff (USA) – Athlete representative
Enrique Quesada (ESP) – Staff Liaison
Loreen Barnett (CAN) – Executive Board Liaison

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