The OCEAN project is moving forward after completing the second module of the Training Course for Climate Action Officers, organised by Lina Taylor, Olympian and Founder of Climate Executive Coaching. Climate Action Officers from each partner NOC had the opportunity to receive advice on leadership in sustainability from Climate Executive Coaching professionals as well as distinguished visitors over four weeks. OCEAN was honoured to have Nigel Topping, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion, Julie Duffus, IOC Sustainability Senior Manager, and Jon Wyatt, Sport and Sustainability Director of the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
Week 1 – Leading for Sustainability in Sport
Climate Action Officers shared their wishes regarding their NOC's environmental future as well as the difficulties they are facing when working on their NOC’s footprint. Coaches presented the "leadership value chain" to discover viable choices for a more sustainable sports governance. Climate Action Officers were given coaching tips that included key leadership qualities on how to get everyone on board.
Week 2 – Change Management Skills – Building Opportunities
OCEAN welcomed Jon Wyatt, Sport and Sustainability Director of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), who shared its management expertise and emphasised on the importance of effective communication across different levels of sports organisations, particularly between athletes and leadership boards. Furthermore, Climate Action Officers were presented with various personality types and how to use different communication techniques according to the interlocutor through practical exercises.
Week 3 – Culture Change Skills – Transformation Through Storytelling
The third session of the Training Course aimed to provide Climate Action Officers with information on how to implement a cultural shift towards greener sports. OCEAN had the privilege of hosting Nigel Topping, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion, whose role is to strengthen collaboration and drive action from businesses, investors, organisations, cities and regions on climate change, and coordinate this work with governments and parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Nigel Topping stressed the significance of good narrative and alignment of interests among many stakeholders when tackling sustainability strategy in sports.
Week 4 – Business Case for Sustainability in the Olympic Movement
Climate Action Officers had the opportunity to interact with Julie Duffus, IOC Sustainability Senior Manager, who discussed the business aspects of sustainability in sports with Manuel Parga, NOC of Spain, and Climate Executive Coaching experts. Climate Action Officers identified the beneficial impact that investing in sustainability can have on sports organisations.
The OCEAN project is thankful for the involvement of Climate Executive Coaching in this Module 2, whose specialists will continue coaching Climate Action Officers in the following weeks, this time in the format of individual meetings. The journey of OCEAN Climate Action Officers throughout the OCEAN project will continue with Module 3 in March 2023, when the consortium will assemble in Lausanne at the IOC and ANOC headquarters. Meanwhile, the Öko Institute will host Seminar 2 on carbon footprint measuring in December.
Following the first Module that took place in February in Brussels,, the 18 Climate Action Officers attended the second Module of the ‘Climate Action in Sport’ Training Course of the OCEAN Project online, which focused on their role and empowerment within their respective organisations.
During the first session, the Climate Action Officers received feedback and advice from experienced sustainability officers in charge of the green transition of their sports organisations.
🔹 Bianca Quardokus, Sport Facilities, Environment and Sustainability Officer at the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB);
🔹 Trine Keinicke Sørensen and Lasse Lyck from the NOC and Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF);
🔹 Marleen Wielemaker, Programme Manager Sustainability at the Dutch Olympic Committee*Dutch Sports Federation (NOC*NSF);
🔹 Warwick Waters, Head of Advocacy and Stakeholders Engagement at the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC);
🔹 Riikka Rakic, Head of Sustainability at the International Biathlon Union (IBU);
🔹 Jamie McKeown, Sustainability, Diversity & Inclusion Manager at World Rugby.
In a panel discussion, the speakers first presented their academic and professional backgrounds and then addressed various topics relevant to the successful completion of their missions as Climate Action Officers, such as: staff and board engagement, dedicated budget for sustainability/climate, internal and external communication, and tips for accurate carbon footprint measurement.
Based on this feedback and their personal experience, the participants were able to draw up a detailed description of the role of the Climate Action Officers in working groups (see here). To conclude, participants had the opportunity to share the first actions they implemented within their NOCs since the end of Module 1 of the OCEAN project, based on the pledges made while in Brussels (see here).
The second session was led by Matthew Campelli, Sustainability Director of Touchline and seasoned consultant on sustainability for sport organisations. In a session on the do’s and don’ts of strategic communication on sustainability, Climate Actions Officers discussed in groups the right approach to internal and external stakeholders of the NOCs, whose engagement in climate action is necessary for a credible carbon footprint reduction strategy. Participants were also asked to draft a concrete communication plan for their NOC in the framework of the OCEAN project.
The third and last session was dedicated to staff engagement and empowerment activities, with general tips as to how to build and carry messages to convince internal stakeholders to engage in climate action. This was followed by an experience-sharing on concrete activities that can be implemented within the organisation.
🔹 Lise Van Long, Sustainability Manager at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave an overview of the IOC Sustainability Strategy implemented since 2017, and then presented some concrete activities put in place to engage IOC staff and board members (e.g. Green Week, carbon budget for travelling).
Partner NOCs (especially NOC Denmark, NOC Bosnia and Herzegovina, NOC Romania and NOC Slovakia) then presented the in-house trainings and presentations already done with their staff and directors since the beginning of the project.
Module 3 of the Training Course for Climate Action Officers will take place at the IOC and ANOC Headquarters in Lausanne in Spring 2024. Until then, the carbon footprint measurement process will start with the data collection and Seminars provided by the Öko-Institut to support Climate Action Officers.
The OCEAN Management Team congratulates all 18 Climate Action Officers for their commitment to making our sport more sustainable!