Spectators at the European Athletics Championships will be able to travel free of charge on public transport from anywhere in Switzerland to the Letzigrund Stadium and then back home again, courtesy of an innovative measure to reduce the road traffic and thus the ecological impact of the event.
For the first time at a European Athletics event, a stadium ticket includes the fare for the journey from any destination on the country’s trains, buses, trams and even ferry boats.
The offer is one element of an extensive strategy implemented by the local organising committee, including proactive measures in social and economic sustainability as well as measures to protect the environment, for which the Green Inspiration label has been awarded by European Athletics.
“The free travel offer is a really impressive way to involve the public in both the event and environmental responsibility and we congratulate the LOC for their initiative in arranging it,” said European Athletics Director General Christian Milz as he announced the award of the label.
“Of course, such an offer shows the possibilities of the integrated transportation system in Switzerland, but it and the other proactive measures Zurich 2014 has taken also reflect the growing commitment by event organisers and others in our sport to sustainability.”
From the very start of the Zurich 2014 project, the LOC has been committed to being responsible about the impact and legacy of the championships. For example, it has partnered with energy supplier Erdgas to improve the energy efficiency of both the preparation period and the event itself and to support the volunteer programme.
Among other things, Erdgas has supplied all volunteers with reusable water bottles that can be filled at fountains set up by the LOC, thus reducing the environmental cost of producing plastic bottles and helping the LOC’s efforts to manage event’s waste and recycling.
The championships’ transport system is built around a fleet of environmentally friendly hybrid cars supplied by national partner Toyota.
Together with Swiss Athletics and national partner UBS, the LOC is supporting a long-term contribution to children’s fitness and the development of young talents through the UBS Kids Cup, which is a platform for promoting running, jumping and throwing at schools.
“Initiatives that engage the public and raise awareness about environmental responsibility or add to social capital, like volunteering programmes, or promote health and fitness are really contributing to the quality of life,” said Milz. “This is something that athletics and our events are particularly well positioned to do.
For more information on Zurich 2014’s sustainability efforts, click here.
The European Athletics' Green Inspiration label is given to qualified activities to promote sustainability and social responsibility inspired by European Athletics events. For more information click here.