Paris’ plan to push sustainability at major events

Single-use plastic water bottles are banned in Paris.

A wave of environmentally friendly initiatives continues in Paris this year when the Hyundai Archery World Cup returns for stage three in July.

The programme follows the charter of the 15 eco-responsible commitments of event organisers, endorsed by the French ministry of sport and World Wide Fund for Nature. The aim is put meaningful actions in place to reduce the impact of hotel accommodation, transport and catering on the environment during events held throughout France.

 “We want to be more respectful of the environment around us and limit the impact that large events can have,” explained French federation communications manager Julien Rossignol. “We see these World Cup events as a way of experimenting with initiatives we could then apply at national or local level.”

Under strict COVID-19 protocols last year, hotels were only picked from an eco-friendly list – with controls on water and energy consumption. Plastic water bottles were banned and replaced by fountains at the venue, and the on-site catering options were sourced sustainably with seasonal and organic produce, with only recyclable tablecloths and tableware in the food hall.

Most leftovers were distributed to food banks in the city.

“We source as much as possible from local producers in the Ile de France region,” said Matthieu Talaud of the catering company. “We can’t [redistribute] all food because of sanitary constraints, but we try as much as possible to redistribute it and not to throw it away.”

The sustainability plan tested last year has already been refreshed for the event in July. In 2022, electric buses will be used for 85% of transfers, while Hyundai France is supplying a fleet of hybrid vehicles for the event. Hotels have been brought even closer to the venues and volunteers will be issued with undated uniforms – so they can be reused in 2023.

“The directive given by our partners, particularly the city of Paris, has been clear,” added Rossignol. “They’ve been supportive and helpful in putting us in touch with suitable service providers. There’s real weight behind this issue.”

Paris’ three-year commitment to hosting a stage of the international archery circuit in the lead-up to the next Olympic and Paralympic Games makes it an ideal venue for introducing meaningful sustainability programmes – and changing the attitudes of everyone who attends the events.

“We want to involve the athletes a little more,” Rossignol said. “We plan to have ambassadors who can communicate and endorse the programme.”

Corporate social responsibility is central,” Talaud added. “These are small things but very important for both our agency and the federation – and something that needs to continue to grow.”

Paris will host the third stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup on 20-26 June.

Additional pictures courtesy Franck Moreau/French Archery Federation.

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