Sustainable Design in Sport Forum 2008
Lausanne, 10 June 2008 - The inaugural forum on 'Sustainable Design in Sports' organised by the International Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS) in collaboration with Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), International Sports Engineering Association (ISEA) and the City of Lausanne concluded today on a high note leaving behind plenty of food for thought for all the stakeholders in the sports world. Right from the governing bodies of sports, represented by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee and the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) to the support industries, with Robin Cornelius from Switcher and Robbert de Kock from the World Sporting Goods Industry Federation (WFSGI), and the future leaders of the sports world.
Twelve stimulating presentation including perspectives from international sports organisations, sporting goods companies, sports infrastructure designers to the thought leaders of sustainable design in sports; made for an engrossing brainstorming session for over a hundred participants from sports organisations, related industries and students from more than twenty countries.
The day‐long conclave got off to a spirited start with Prof Jan‐Anders Månson, the EPFL vicepresident for Innovation and Technology Transfer and also President of the AISTS, raising alarm over the issues facing the sports world emanating from the global environmental challenges.
‐how to optimise performance. He called for a trans‐disciplinary approach to problem solving with an emphasis on minimising resources and optimising use.
Prof Månson appealed to the sports world to blend technology experience and scientific know
Prof Månson's views found an echo in the pioneering work being carried out by the Vancouver Organising Committee (VANOC) for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games slated to be held in Canada in 2010.
Ann Duffy, corporate sustainability officer at the VANOC 2010, elaborated upon steps taken to manage the social, economic and environmental impacts and the opportunities of the Games to produce lasting benefits, ocally and globally. She reiterated the importance of governance for sustainability at VANOC.
Duffy explained the sustainability management and reporting system put in place by VANOC to enhance accountability not only to their franchisers, the IOC, but also to the people of Canada and sports community at large. Duffy dwelled upon the sustainable attributes like energy‐saving features and heat management systems that are being used at the venues and villages in Vancouver.
Duffy was supported by IOC project manager on Games operations, Michelle Lemaitre, who is in charge of the organizing committee's environment and sustainable development function. Lemaitre explained IOC's stand on sustainable development and commitment to adhere to environmental needs.
Mike Mortimer, president of the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) voiced his concerns on climate change and its impact on his trade. He also expressed apprehensions about public reservation on paying a premium for goods with environmental labels.
Robbert de Kock, the secretary general of the World Federation of Sporting Goods Industry, presented the strides taken by the sports goods industry to facilitate sustainability and improving the environmental footprints.
However the speaker who stood out at the day‐long forum was Robin Cornelius, founder and President of Switcher SA. The revolutionary entrepreneur reinforced his commitment to sustainable development and social responsibility by appealing to people to buy less and wear longer, even if that is contrary to his business interests.
‐users i.e. the consumers. The entrepreneur has to be aware and accountable," stressed Cornelius.
"The time to act is now and to make a change we have to change our way of living by 90 degrees. We have to change our habits of consumption. The need of the hour is to educate end
He said that the sports industry has to lead the way in rising to the challenges posed by climate change and environmental crisis.
Rainer Quenzer, Managing Director of Nüssli International Ltd, Dr Miranda Kiuri, a member of the Sport & Environment Commission, Spanish Olympic Committee also an architect and Ignacio Dahl Rocha, Partner at Richter & Dahl Rocha Architectes presented the challenges to sports infrastructure development and how the architects are bracing to contribute to sustainable growth through different forms of architectural planning and design.
Matt Dolf, Assistant Director of the AISTS, showcasedSportEco the environment assessment tool designed by the sports academy.
Ecodesign, warned about the new challenges awaiting sports industry. Prof Wolfgang Wimmer, the managing director of the Vienna based firm, said: "We are living in a transitional period and completely new challenges await us, the business models ignoring sustainability are in danger."
The thought leaders of sports design represented by
‐product in their product development," he added.
"Design changes are required to improve environment performance. Engineers have to incorporate eco
The forum amply demonstrated that the sports world is aware of the challenges lying in immediate future but the million dollar question is to what extent is it willing to walk the talk. The answer remains to be seen.
Speakers of the day
Prof Jan‐Anders Månson, EPFL Vice‐President for Innovation and Technology Transfer /
Ms Ann Duffy, Corporate Sustainability Officer, VANOC
Ms Michelle Lemaitre, Project Manager, Games Operations
Mr Mike Mortimer, President, UIAA
Mr Robbert de Kock, Secretary General, WFSGI
Mr Robin Cornelius, Founder & CEO of Switcher SA
Mr Rainer Quenzer, Managing Director, Nüssli International Ltd.
Dr Miranda Kiuri, Member of the Sport & Environment Commission, Spanish Olympic
Mr Ignacio Dahl Rocha, Partner, Richter & Dahl Rocha Architectes
‐ Assistant Director, AISTS
Mr Matt Dolf, Research & Projects Manager
Prof Wolfgang Wimmer, Managing Director, ECODESIGN
Dr Jerome Payet, Researcher, Life Cycle Assessment Expert, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de
For more information, please contact:
Marketing & Communications Manager AISTS
Phone: +41 (0)21 693 85 98