Flanders 2021 - Sustainability Plan

Flanders had the honour to welcome the 2021 UCI Road World Championships from 18 to 26 September. The UCI Road World Championships were not just coming home to the cradle of cycling but also celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2021. This festive edition gave us the opportunity to look back on the previous century and cherish the many beautiful highlights. However, it also offered us the opportunity to look ahead, to face current challenges head-on together with the following generations, and to make new memories. After all, it is of crucial importance to remain critical and to keep going forward. In new times, with new challenges.

One of those challenges is sustainability. In the last few years, contemporary society has put more of a focus on being more aware of the environment. That is why the 2021 UCI Road World Championships in Flanders wanted to set the tone when it comes to sustainability, which was one of the core values of Flanders 2021 in addition to being state-of-the-art and innovative. We obviously wanted the event to leave a lasting impression on visitors and the TV audience, but at the same time we wanted it to leave a footprint that is as small as possible. To this end, a series of steps have been taken regarding sustainability.

For the first time ever in UCI Road World Championships history the CO2 impact of the event was measured. Since measurements have never been taken before, this forms a benchmark for future events. The organisation also proactively endeavoured to limit the CO2 footprint based on the various action points in the sustainability plan: from reducing the use of diesel generators to the use of a number of electric and hybrid vehicles and encouraging fans and visitors to travel on foot, by bicycle or by public transport.

Deloitte appointed as sustainability partner

With Deloitte appointed as sustainability partner, our organisation was fully committed to a new approach and was therefore taking an important step towards making cycling events more sustainable. The expertise that Deloitte enjoys in this area made it the perfect partner to advise the organisation in this regard, to assist with the development of the plans and to investigate the event’s impact. The report, together with the calculation of CO2 emissions, was to create a sustainability framework for future sport events.

Sustainability plan with 14 themes and some 60 action points

In the run-up to the 2021 UCI Road World Championships, the local organising committee, the Flemish government, Deloitte, OVAM and the host cities have developed a sustainability plan with 14 themes and some 60 action points, based on the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. View the plan here