Pontevedra, host of the Triathlon World Series Grand Final emphasizes its sustainability policies. The structural measures that the city has been implementing over recent decades, and logistical and organizational issues have been studied to the extreme, in order to achieve an event that is as respectful to the planet as possible.
The organization has a sustainability department that inspects all previous organizational work and provides recommendations on procedures, objectives and ways of doing things that comply with the criteria of reducing materials, reusing them or using the most environmentally friendly ones.
The idea is to find a balance between the needs of the people participating in the races, the public, supplier companies, etc., by keeping the essentials and avoiding ostentatious or insubstantial materials. Both athletes and spectators will hardly notice any discomfort, but with these procedures, experimental processes will be applied that may be an interesting way to achieve more austere competitions in the future in terms of material expenditure, minimizing single-use items.
The mobility highlights a series of 8 points that will be especially taken care of: move naturally, preferably on foot or by bike. The use of collective transport is recommended (the city has a local train and bus in its urban area) and if it is necessary to use a private car or taxi, try to share it as much as possible.
Pontevedra is an international example of sustainable mobility and has numerous awards from around the world. The UN Habitat award to name one, and from in New York, Brussels and Hong Kong, among others. It is considered one of the safest cities in Europe, an aspect that has been recognized by the EU road safety award.
Less single-use packaging
Refuse single-use containers, especially if they are plastic. For this, a replacement system for the majority of water bottles is being organized. Its function would be supported in glasses that can be filled in different places.
It is relatively easy to find local produce during the event, especially in relation to perishable food, as a large part of the food distribution is done by local networks and a large part of its products are sourced in Galicia. Likewise, the hospitality industry uses local products, high quality ingredients recognized in all areas.
Reducing waste is the fourth recommendation, which will be enhanced thanks to the installation of separation islands for different materials throughout the city, with signage and specific messages. A custom that is common in Pontevedra, which has also implemented a system for creating compost from food waste. Specific facilities have been scattered around the less central areas of the city, where the urban space allows for these type of containers in which the biological transformation of the waste takes place.
This composting system is also related to the sixth dimension of the recommendations, referring to taking care of the finite resources of the planet such as water and energy, measures to which all people must commit. Defend biodiversity and care for the natural and urban environment: the fifth recommendation.
The last two points refer to living a healthy life through physical exercise, not abusing alcohol and rejecting drugs and tobacco as lifestyle habits. Finally, we plan to plant trees to compensate for the carbon footprint caused by the energy expenditure and fossil fuel consumption caused by the event’s transport.
As highlighted in an infographic summarizing this dimension of the event, “the Grand Final must be faithful to the values of sustainability to achieve an event of great environmental quality and with the greatest respect for the planet and people”. This policy is part of the Good Loop line, of the Spanish Triathlon Federation, and is connected to local sustainability policies through the expression “Eco-city, eco-event”