Transformative Projects

Point-system Guideline for sustainable sport events

Partner Organization: International University Sports Federation (FISU)

Flooding during a football match and scarce snow falls before a ski competition are two examples of how climate change can impact sports events. The FISU is sensible to climate issues and decided to partner with E4S students to find a way to address sustainability in its sport games. As a result of the collaboration, the students drafted a Sustainability Guideline to help FISU set the basis of its sustainability journey.

The first part of the project consisted in analyzing existing sustainability guidelines and practices. The students remarked that most of them are helpful for specific events but are not easily applicable to the multiplicity and complexity of events organized by FISU.

The Federation hosts 25 different sport games with local, regional and global reach in over 150 countries. In order to represent the diversity of FISU’s games, the students developed an elaborate “point-system” guideline that is able to ensure flexibility and equity among the cities hosting the events. This point-system also allows to measure the sustainability impact, track progress and improve it over time.

The point-system takes into consideration the different national contexts and levels of infrastructure development, ensuring flexibility of choice for the Local Organizing Committees (LOCs) while still providing a common sustainability framework to guide their actions and improvements. The measures presented in the Guideline are expressed as recommendations on key topics and points to improve, while the LOCs can choose the most feasible and effective measures adapted to their sports event and local context. The goal of this system is to earn a certain number of points, which are acquired on the basis of the measures they implement. Developed countries need to reach a higher score than less developed ones. Moreover, the point-system is meant to be evolutive, as the target score increases over time with the cumulation of best practices.

The outcome of the project is a proof of concept specifically adapted to the needs of the Federation. The point-system has been developed in three parts: emission reduction (measured in GHG emission), waste management (amount of waste diverted from landfills or incineration) and educational recommendations. The next recommended step is to apply the system to pilot cases, which will further help to enrich the system, add additional dimensions (e.g. water and biodiversity management), impact categories and recommendations.

The point-system is meant to be used by the LOCs that are bidding to host the upcoming games. To win the attribution, the LOCs need to draft a sustainability implementation plan explaining how they will reach the minimum level of points. This tool can be also used during and after the event to measure the impact on the environment, track progress and plan improvements over the years. In this sense, the Point-system offers a practical tool for the FISU to manage sustainable across the large variety of event and to empower the LOCs to implement sustainability in a feasible way while ensuring equity between the different local contexts.

Students: David De Vitis, Mia Frey, Filippo Giustiniani, Soukaynah El Maliki

Company supervisorsSameer Janmohamed, Julien Buhajezuk, Paulo Ferreira


Experts: Emmanuel Bayle

Transformative Projects’ Lead: Samuel Wicki