The European Para Championships and sustainability

The mission of European Para Championships is to create a new standard for Paralympic sports worldwide. The event is determined to inspire people to get moving and play sports. We believe that the only route to success is that of collaboration. By making connections, daring to think big, and seizing opportunities where others only see limitations, we want to give Para sports the attention they deserve.

The event will have a permanent place on the European sports calendar. By organizing the event in 2023, we are building a concept that serves as a solid foundation for continuity towards 2027, 2031 and beyond.

Therefore, it is a matter of course for us to create a future-proof sporting event, in the broadest sense of the word. Among other things, this means thinking about the impact we have on our planet with the event. We also see this as part of creating a new standard.

The most sustainable event possible

Sports events in general contribute to climate change. Top athletes, fans and guests in many cases fly around the world to enjoy sports. In the process, they use temporary accommodations, consume a lot of energy and produce non-reusable waste, among other things.

At the European Para Championships, we look critically at these issues and try to be progressive where possible. For the first edition in 2023, we are especially looking at what well-considered choices we can make. We are aware that not every choice will be a sustainable one. However, this is our goal for future editions. That is why we are working on a long-term sustainability strategy.

But even in 2023 we are already taking many measures:

  • We go for the most sustainable and healthy catering possible, offering plant-based and vegetarian options and using as much local and seasonal produce as possible;
  • The VIP dinner during the opening ceremony will be completely plant-based, so we not only reduce our footprint but also introduce people to the benefits of plant-based eating;
  • We are partnering with RET to provide free public transport throughout Rotterdam;
  • We also encourage visitors to use public transportation by offering a free cup of coffee or tea as soon as people arrive by public transportation;
  • After the event we try to find new uses for all purchased materials so that they can be reused or upcycled;
  • When buying merchandise and promotional materials, we look for items that really have a function.
  • Where possible we use mains electricity and if this is not feasible we use battery packs instead of diesel generators.
  • In the long term, we encourage the possible organizers of a next edition to take even more steps on this theme and we transfer our lessons and advice.

Working together to make it happen

We cannot create a sustainable sporting event on our own. We need everyone involved, from visitors to athletes and from suppliers to hotel partners. We only have indirect influence on many aspects, such as the mobility choices of visitors and athletes. Therefore, we engage in dialogue with various stakeholders to explore what we can achieve together. We also offer as many sustainable options as possible for transportation to the event and to the city center courts and communicate this to visitors.

What makes the world of top sports unique is the network, but also the global stage. Two thirds of the world’s population is a fan of an athlete, club or competition. No other sector has a comparably large stage worldwide to spread a sustainable message. This is invaluable for the impact we want to make together, short and long term.

EPC donates clothing to Sportspullenbank

Good chance that soon, on one of the many sports fields or squares in Rotterdam, boys and girls will be running around in shirts worn by true European Para champions. Employees and participants of the European Para Championships collected sportswear and materials for Sportspullenbank Nederland. Reusing the items contributes to a sustainable economy. And above all, dozens of Rotterdammers who are unable to buy their own sports gear can now exercise and participate. Read the full article below.

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European Para Championships donates clothing to Sportspullenbank
19 Aug 2023

European Para Championships donates clothing to Sportspullenbank