Event toolkit devised by Special Olympics sustainability team

Event toolkit devised by Special Olympics sustainability team

There are ‘eight key success factors’ for delivering sustainable events, say the authors of the toolkit, which has been designed to help organisers integrate robust sustainability programmes

A wide-ranging sustainable events guide – which provides strategic advice, templates and checklists – has been published by the team responsible for the 2018 USA Special Olympics’ first sustainability programme.

The Special Olympics Sustainability Playbook & Toolkit was developed to help organisers of large events become “more effective and efficient” in integrating robust sustainability programmes into broader event plans.

It shows event organisers how to craft job descriptions for sustainability professionals, design sustainability strategies, put together a sustainable sourcing code, and communicate ambitions and impact.

According to the authors of the playbook – Karlan Jessen, the Special Olympics USA 2018 director of volunteers and sustainability, David Muller and Tim Reeve – there are ‘eight key success factors’ for delivering a sustainable event:

Explaining the growing importance of incorporating sustainability commitments, and how they will “add value” to sporting events, the playbook demonstrates some of the milestones achieved by the event’s sustainability team.

During the course of the Special Olympics, which occurred in Seattle in July last year, 175 people volunteered to be part of the ‘green team’, 800 pounds of leftover food was donated to local food shelters, 4,000 reusable water bottles were distributed to athletes, and more than 5,000 bike share trips were taken.

Most significantly, the event generated $100,000 in extra sponsorship money specifically for the sustainability programme, while 15 individuals with intellectual disabilities were hired by Coca-Cola to work at the Games.

Two major sections of the playbook focus on a sustainability roadmap for executives and how to build a sustainability programme.

The latter explains how to devise key goals within a sustainability strategy and how to measure them. It also gives insight into the creation of action plans and advice on how to communicate sustainability intentions with key stakeholders.

The roadmap for executives details a number of key actions for board members (hire a sustainability-championing CEO, identify partnerships, check progress regularly), the chief executive (integrate sustainability throughout the event, hire a director of sustainability, secure adequate budget) and the director of sustainability (create a strategy, work closely with stakeholders, develop impact report).

And there is also advice regarding volunteer engagement and legacy creation following the event.

To read the full framework, click here.

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