The Management Committee of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is meeting on 2 and 3 June at the Olympic House, headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne (Switzerland), with some members physically present and others joining by videoconference.
At its Management Committee meeting in February 2021, the UCI approved the fundamental principles of its Sustainability strategy aiming to make cycling one of the most sustainable sports in the world. Today it took another decisive step forward by approving the components of this strategy. The two key elements of this are: Sustainability guidelines and Sustainability targets.
This strategy was developed in collaboration with several working groups including representatives of cycling’s stakeholders.
The UCI’s sustainability guidelines aim to provide practical information on key aspects of sustainability for all its stakeholders – which include its 197 National Federations, event organisers and teams –, so they can develop effective sustainability programmes.
The document published by the UCI introduces its sustainability strategy, presents a broad overview of its framework (in particular the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the ISO20121 standard), and provides practical case studies from different cycling organisations, checklists to help organisers deliver sustainable events, and tools and resources to promote cycling as a mode of transport and to encourage better inclusion.
Additions will be made to these guidelines in the future: more tools will be made available to cycling’s stakeholders in a section dedicated to the subject on the UCI website.
The UCI’s sustainability targets pool the concrete goals that the UCI commits to achieving in its own activities. A calendar to achieve the targets – starting in June 2021 and finishing in 2030 – is integrated into this agenda. It includes the following objectives:
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions from UCI and UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) operations to achieve carbon neutrality with a 45% reduction of absolute emissions by 2030;
- integrate environmental, social and economic responsibility into the UCI’s policies, operations and decision-making processes;
- establish a taskforce to guide the development of a strategy of equality, diversity and inclusion in cycling;
- develop a sustainable sourcing strategy for the UCI and UCI events;
- share best practice and become a global centre for collaboration on cycling sustainability solutions, including providing National Federations with sustainability resources and education through the UCI WCC;
- develop a carbon calculator tool for use by cycling stakeholders;
- measure the UCI's environmental and social impacts to report progress against sustainability objectives and UN Sustainable Development Goals;
- work with organisations from the world over to protect and enhance the planet’s biodiversity;
- advocate for safe cycling everywhere and promote strong local economies through cycling and sustainable development.
With these new developments, the UCI means to strengthen the promotion of cycling as a means of helping address major challenges facing humanity, such as climate change, air pollution and health problems linked to inactivity.
As part of its policy for the promotion of women in governance, the UCI has modified its Constitution to include the obligation to elect at least one Vice President of each gender, for a total of four (three up until now). This provision, if approved by the UCI Congress in September 2021, will then be applied for the election of the Vice Presidents from among the members of the Management Committee.
Finally, the members of the UCI Management Committee were given a presentation on the recent activities of the International Testing Agency (ITA), in charge of cycling’s anti-doping operations since 1st January 2021 when they were transferred by the UCI from the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) to the ITA. This presentation came a little less than two weeks after the meeting of the ITA’s Funding Committee – organised on 21 May – bringing together representatives of cycling’s contributing families. The Management Committee applauded the smooth running of operations and was pleased to note the satisfaction of those concerned.
At the end of the day, the UCI President David Lappartient declared: “On behalf of the UCI Management Committee, I would like to thank the IOC and its President Thomas Bach for their warm welcome today at the Olympic House.
“The adoption of a concrete Sustainability Strategy by the UCI is an important development for reinforcing cycling’s contribution to resolving numerous major problems faced by our society today (not least climate change, pollution and inactivity), while at the same time pinpointing the responsibilities of all those implicated in our sport as they go about their activities.
“Moreover, it has been particularly important not only to support members of the cycling family with guidelines, but to set our own objectives which we commit to respecting in clearly defined timelines. It is the goal of our sustainability targets.
“The promotion of diversity, inclusion and equality occupies a fundamental place among our sustainability targets. It is with this in mind that we have undertaken measures to enhance, respect and promote diversity in cycling, whether that is within our Federations and its bodies or on a wider world scale, via the UCI World Cycling Centre and the UCI’s solidarity programmes.
“In the current world situation, the bike is undergoing an exceptional development phase. The UCI welcomes this development and continues to work to the extent of its possibilities to contribute to it.”
The meeting of the UCI Management Committee will continue tomorrow, finishing at the end of the afternoon.