18 March 2022

SANDA ČORAK: "Without the sustainable development of sports, there is no sustainable future for society."

SANDA ČORAK: "Without the sustainable development of sports, there is no sustainable future for society."

At the conference on sustainable development of sports, on March 16 in Zagreb, high-ranking guests from the sports and government world discussed challenges and issues of sustainable development achieved through sports. The Croatian Judo Federation is the first sports organization in Croatia and among the first in the world to measure the carbon footprint of a major sporting event, in this case, the IJF World Tour Zagreb Grand Prix 2021.

After the European Cadet Cup in Zagreb, which was attended by almost 700 competitors from 32 countries, the Croatian Judo Federation organized a conference JUDO – MORE THAN SPORT, where the main topic was sustainable development of sports and the study on measuring carbon footprint performed for the IJF World Tour Zagreb Grand Prix 2021.

After welcoming speeches by the President of the Croatian Olympic Committee, Zlatko Mateša, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, Mario Šiljeg and State Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Tomislav Družak, interesting presentations and panel discussions showed the importance of further discussions on this topic and the future of organizing sporting events. President of the Croatian Judo Federation and vice president of the Croatian Olympic Committee, Dr Sanda Čorak stated,

Judo is really more than a sport, it includes a philosophy of life. The basis of the ideas of the founder of judo, Jigoro Kano, talks about how human value is manifested through his/her contribution to society. Therefore, the goals of sustainable development, such as health and wellbeing, education, inclusion, equality and sustainable economic growth, largely coincide with the mission of our sport and the goals of the Croatian Judo Federation. But we alone will not achieve too much. We therefore invite all sports federations and organizations to join us in the Partnership for Sustainability so that we can achieve the sporting and social goals of our country.

President of the Croatian Olympic Committee, Zlatko Mateša © Tino Maric

Čorak during the first presentation and added,

In 2021, sports organizations, such as the International Olympic Committee and United Nations, has begun with the webinars for international federations which will soon have to start reporting on the activities and effects of sporting events they organize on the environment. Sustainable development is not just a ‘dead letter on paper’. It is essential that the whole sports ecosystem understands its importance and significance in the daily practice and organization of sport.

Through the presentation, the Deputy Secretary General of the Croatian Judo Federation, Ana Krauthacker, presented the specific activities undertaken during the IJF World Tour Zagreb Grand Prix 2021 and how they affect the organization and assistance to others, outside of competition and sports,

From the basic things in ecology, waste separation, packaging recycling, use of recycled paper, we added humanitarian character, and donated food. We also used the collected funds from recycling for buying sports equipment and helped homes for children in Zagreb and Velika Gorica (greater Zagreb area). By collecting plastic plugs, we joined the action of the Association of Leukemia and Lymphoma Patients.

The final presentation was given by dr.sc. Morana Česnik Katulić from EKONERG – Institute for Energy and Environmental Protection, an institution that was a consultant in the entire project and made a study of environmental aspects and calculation of the carbon footprint of the IJF World Tour Zagreb Grand Prix 2021:

It has been shown that the practice of separate waste collection is extremely favorable for the environment in the context of greenhouse gas emissions. This study, done for the first time in Croatia, calculated the carbon footprint of a sports competition and will serve as an excellent basis for reducing emissions in the future. Competition participants air travelling has been shown as a significant emission source. Although travelling to and from the city of sporting event is inevitable, it would be a good practise to replace this form of transport with others where possible, ideally by train. Overall carbon footprint of IJF World Tour Zagreb Grand Prix 2021 including Scope 1, Scope 2 and significant Scope 3 emissions amounts to 315 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

The discussion at the end of the conference, involving representatives of other sports organizations and representatives of institutions and corporations, showed that this topic is extremely interesting for the entire sports ecosystem and that it is necessary to continue with similar events.

Author: Bruno Blumenschein

Author: EJU Media