5:30 PM EST
min - read
Sam Scouller
5:30 PM EST
min - read

The 2024 World Juniors Championships (WJC) have become the first ever hockey event to receive the sustainable event certification  as organisers turn their attention to matters beyond hockey.

Organisers of the 2024 WJC, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation (SIF), have etched the 2024 WJC into hockey history even before the first game.

The IIHF has made their intentions clear of using the upcoming World Juniors in Sweden as a platform to address and improve some serious matters off the ice.

They had already set up the ‘puck of emotion project’ in a bid to make a positive and long-lasting impact on the hockey community and make hockey a safer and more welcoming sport.

Now, the IIHF have proudly announced their successful bid in certifying the World Juniors as an officially sustainable and environmentally-friendly event.

In their official press release, the IIHF described the effort as a “major joint investment in sustainability from all organisers behind the WJC.”

This makes the WJC the first ever hockey championship in history to be officially sustainable.

The certificate was issued by Greentime AB, a Swedish company which specialises in providing expert environmental advice for event organisers.

Simon Strandvik, CEO of Greentime said: “Ahead of this championship, the SIF together with the co-organizers have taken a solid step in the right direction. 

“Great efforts have been made, in everything from dialogue with partners to purchase of materials, and I hope that visitors will also be able to take part in this fine work.”

The certificate was awarded after the IIHF demonstrated compliance with Greentime’s criteria in organisation, social sustainability and ecological awareness.

While organising the 2024 WJC, the IIHF said they focused on; reducing the event’s climate impact, making the event accessible and inclusive to everyone, and, most of all, making a positive impact on hockey culture.

The IIHF have also said that they have made efforts in ensuring the event lives up to the certification throughout its duration through investments in arenas and specialist training for volunteers and staff.

WJC Director, Mikael Haglund, said: “Since the beginning, we have had high ambitions with our sustainability work and aimed for the [2024 WJC] to be more than just an event.

Mikael Haglund

“Our goal has also been to raise the level of sustainability work within major hockey events, both in Sweden and internationally. The process of achieving the certification has helped us structure and ensure the quality of work, now we evaluate and measure. 

“We are very happy to have been certified. This certification proves that our effort is at a high level and really makes a difference.”

In the IIHF’s official 2024 WJC sustainability policy they encouraged the championship’s partners to: 

  • Use fossil fuel free transportation as much as possible.
  • Avoiding single-use plastic and unnecessary flyers or souvenirs.
  • Avoiding food waste and the consumption of endangered species, such as red-listed fish.
  • Avoiding bottled water and instead refilling bottles from a tap.
  • Using organic or vegetarian food options.
  • Ensuring a recycling plan is in place for any products distributed.

The IIHF refer incessantly to their aim of reducing hockey’s carbon footprint throughout the policy and their press releases as they aim to clamp down on the sport’s global impact on the environment.
The policy closes with a rallying cry which will be upheld throughout the championship and into the future by the numerous organisations involved, ‘Together we can make a difference.’

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