UCI begins mountain climb to becoming carbon neutral

The UCI has used World Bicycle Day as a platform to go public with its strategy to go carbon neutral, within which science-based targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction have been set out, among other goals.

The headline pledge is to see the UCI and UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) operations go carbon neutral, with a 45% reduction of absolute emissions by 2030 the target. Over and above that goal, cycling’s governing body plans to integrate environmental, social and economic responsibility into policies, operations, and decision-making processes from here on in.

The ambition aligns with the broader principles of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, to which the UCI signed up in 2020, pledging actions leading into 2030 that will see the sport reduce its footprint. This will involve a strategy to bring sustainable sourcing for UCI event components to the fore, as well as to develop a carbon calculator tool for use by stakeholders.

As part of the pledge, UCI President David Lappartient said: “As the world governing body for cycling, the UCI is committed to embedding sustainability into our organisation and providing a template for Continental Confederations and National Federations, event organisers, teams, riders, and partners from across the cycling world to follow. The UCI’s sustainability strategy aims to create value for all stakeholders and provide education, resources and support to ensure that cycling can play a winning role in achieving global climate change goals. The cycling of tomorrow is built today, and we must look towards creating a sustainable future for the next generations, together.”

Alongside came a raft of other focal points for the organisation, including the development of diversity and Inclusion strategies, as well as plans to work in closer alignment with organisations worldwide to protect and enhance biodiversity.

One such partner, the International Olympic Committee and its Director General Christophe De Kepper said: “The UCI’s new strategy to address climate change sets a strong example: reducing their own emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, and inspiring others to follow best practice. We look forward to our future collaboration, as we work to ensure that the Olympic Movement is at the forefront sport’s sustainability efforts.”

The subject of sustainability has been on the agenda for some time at the cycling org, with the UCI’s Bike City Forum discussing the impact of it events and the shifting trend of active travel mobility in prior years.