World Environment Day, the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment, is celebrated every 5 June so European Athletics and its Green Inspiration Partner Mondo are taking the opportunity to highlight their commitment to sustainable sport.
European Athletics and Mondo have been collaborating for the last 15 months since a partnership agreement was signed at the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships although the Green Inspiration brand dates back to 2013 and European Athletics have been promoting sustainability initiatives for over a decade.
The inauguration of the Sustainable Sports Event Toolkit, which was launched in October 2009 an online analytical set of tools to help events become more ‘green’ and co-developed by European Athletics and the International Academy of Sports Science, saw European Athletics become one of the first international sports organisations to fully embrace the concept of sustainability.
A lot has happened over the subsequent decade and European Athletics now requires all bidders for their competitions to include proposals to ensure that the environmental impact is kept to a minimum.
Examples of activities embarked upon by Local Organising Committees of European Athletics competitions in recent years have included creating responsible working habits, promoting the use of public and/or eco-friendly transportation, reducing waste – including being water and energy efficient – and increasing recycling, all in an effort to protect the environment.
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Mondo for their part can proudly claim to be arguably the suppliers of the most environmentally friendly track surfaces in the world.
“We design, manufacture and supply sports solutions that are safe for the athletes who use them daily each day, and the structures and environment where they are installed. Our commitment starts with how we design our products, and it continues in how we select our raw materials, choose the energy sources that power our plants, all the way through to how our flooring is disposed of or recycled,” commented a company spokesperson.
The sustainability of Mondo surfaces begins in their factories with raw materials which include 38% recycled, contaminant-free material, such as vulcanized rubber granules, made from the soles of used running shoes, and 10% materials from rapidly renewable sources, such as rubber.
The main manufacturing centre, in the town of in Gallo d’Alba, which is certified to the ISO 9001:2015 quality management and ISO 14001:2015 environmental management standards and, once they have completed their life cycle, Mondo surfaces have been approved to be disposed of as non-hazardous urban waste.
In March last year, Mondo was proud to announce that all of its products now held Greenguard Gold certification, with the majority holding that standard since 2017, and prior to that Greenguard certification.
Greenguard Gold offers strict certification criteria, notable taking into account safety factors for sensitive individuals such as children and the elderly); and ensuring that a product is acceptable even for use in relatively sensitive environments such as schools and healthcare facilities.
Among other facts, all Mondo track products obtained Greenguard Gold Certification for low emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which can pollute the air and environment in which we live.
This reduction of VOCs is important not only to indoor arena, but also to outdoor facilities. Heat and sunlight facilitate emissions from products, and, during training and competition, athletes typically take in as much as 20 times more air than a person at rest.
In 2021, a number of European Athletics competitions – including the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland; the European Athletics Team Championships Super League in Minsk, Belarus; the European Athletics U20 Championships in Tallinn, Estonia; and the European Athletics U18 Championships in Rieti, Italy – will be held in stadiums that have Mondo tracks.