Since 2018, June 3rd has represented a day of celebration for bicycle advocates and enthusiasts around the globe. Declared World Bicycle Day by the United Nations (UN), it highlights the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of this 200 year old invention, as well as its benefits as a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and sustainable means of transport, promoting health for all.
To mark the 4th edition of this global celebration, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is delighted to announce the next steps of its sustainability strategy. As part of this vision, the UCI commits to making cycling one of the most sustainable sports in the world and promoting cycling as a solution to address some of the greatest threats to humanity: climate change, air pollution and premature death from inactivity.
As part of its commitment to uphold the five principles of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, signed by the UCI in 2020, the UCI Management Committee has approved a vision for the sport’s sustainability with targets and actions for the UCI to be delivered as of 2021, through to 2030.
The strategy was developed in close collaboration with internal and external working groups, including cycling stakeholder representatives. The targets and actions announced for the UCI include, but are not limited to, the following objectives:
- Set science-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from UCI and UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) operations to achieve carbon neutrality with a 45% reduction of absolute emissions by 2030.
- Integrate environmental, social and economic responsibility into UCI policies, operations, and decision-making processes.
- Develop a Diversity and Inclusion strategy.
- Develop a sustainable sourcing strategy for the UCI and UCI events.
- Share best practice and become a global centre for collaboration on cycling sustainability solutions, including providing sustainability resources and education for National Federations.
- Develop a carbon calculator tool for use by cycling stakeholders.
- Measure the UCI's environmental and social impacts to report progress against sustainability objectives and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- Work with organisations worldwide to protect and enhance biodiversity.
The ongoing sustainability programme will support both the Sustainability Strategy of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and contribute to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
A first step in promoting greater environmental and social responsibility throughout the sport is the release of the UCI Sustainability Guidelines. This toolkit provides simple, practical and essential information on key aspects of sustainability for National Federations, event organisers, teams, and other cycling stakeholders to start the journey to developing effective sustainability programmes.
Additional support for the cycling world will be hosted on the UCI website from 2022, with dedicated action plans and resources for different user groups. The UCI will also host online Climate Action training courses to inform and engage the cycling family about the climate emergency and provide information on how the sport can operate more in a more sustainable way.
The UCI is committed to engaging with National Federations, event organisers, teams and riders to develop further sustainability and emission reduction targets for presentation to the UCI Management Committee in January 2022.
As part of this launch, the UCI President David Lappartient said: “As the world governing body for cycling, the UCI is committed to embedding sustainability into our organisation and providing a template for Continental Confederations and National Federations, event organisers, teams, riders, and partners from across the cycling world to follow. The UCI's sustainability strategy aims to create value for all stakeholders and provide education, resources and support to ensure that cycling can play a winning role in achieving global climate change goals. The cycling of tomorrow is built today, and we must look towards creating a sustainable future for the next generations, together.”
UCI Director General Amina Lanaya added: “Sustainability is already at the heart of the UCI's strategic plan for cycling. This announcement builds on the work the UCI has already been leading to develop women's cycling, cycling for all and solidarity programmes. It will see the UCI provide education, tools, and resources to help lead cycling towards a low carbon future. This is very positive news for World Bicycle Day!”
With the UCI Management Committee meeting at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper said: “ The UCI’s new strategy to address climate change sets a strong example: reducing their own emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, and inspiring others to follow best practice. We look forward to our future collaboration, as we work to ensure that the Olympic Movement is at the forefront sport’s sustainability efforts.”
Tune in to the UCI’s World Bicycle Day activities
Follow the UCI today on its social media channels to discover further news and messaging around the global benefits of the bicycle. We will also be hosting three Instagram Live Chats with riders and teams inspiring others through their actions in cycling:
- 10am CET - Orla Walsh (UCI World Cycling Centre trainee)
- 2pm CET - Michael Woods (first pro rider to commit to a carbon neutral season)
- 6pm CET - Douglas Ryder (Team Principal for Team Qhubeka Assos)
To ensure the cycling family can leave a wider social impact on World Bicycle Day, the UCI is also proud to promote the work of Qhubeka, a global charity that moves people forward with bicycles in Africa. Through their programmes, people earn bicycles, improving their access to schools, clinics and jobs, helping them travel faster and further, generate income and carry more.
Do not hesitate to support these actions via the Qhubeka donations page.