The IFSC’s roots are firmly based in nature. From the mountains and outdoor, the IFSC landscape has changed to more urban environments focussing on the elite and sporting perspectives.

Despite the shift, the IFSC’s history and beginnings compels it to continue the sustainability goals of an outdoor activity and lifestyle. However, just like the organisation, sustainability needs to now grow, develop, and adapt to fit our current place in the world of sport.

Sustainability in sport has a few meanings. There is of course the need to sustain nature, but there is also the need to sustain our sport for the future generations - this means for example financial sustainability to ensure host venues and federations can continue to provide the high quality of events the sport, its participants and its fans deserve.

The IFSC follows the IOC guidelines which highlights five key areas:

  • Infrastructure and natural sites
  • Sourcing and resource management
  • Mobility
  • Workforce
  • Climate

There are now purpose-built walls and arenas around the world capable of hosting world class events. This develops the infrastructure of Climbing and in turn also helps with sourcing and resource management by cutting down on the need to build temporary walls and mobilising a large workforce.

As an International Federation the IFSC holds events around the world – it’s the nature of elite sport. However, the IFSC appreciates the amount of travel this entails, and the sport department is already exploring ways to lessen this impact by holding competitions on the same continents closely together, as an example.

Even at the Olympic Games and on the Olympic pathway sustainability is on the IFSC agenda. There are legacy programmes in place to re-use holds and distribute to developing federations and countries. This was seen at Continental Olympic Qualification events and will be implemented again after Paris 2024.

Of course, the IFSC can always do better. The IFSC is a fast-growing federation, but still a fairly young federation, which must not forget its roots.

For many years now the IFSC has offset its carbon emissions with payments to organisations with valuable initiatives such as ‘myclimate’ – an organisation that finances high-quality climate protection projects and climate education work.

The IFSC has also joined forces with Sporting Giants to undertake a full assessment of its carbon footprint for 2022. This has led to the formation of a transition plan that has suggested a series of actions that can be implemented for the future.

The IFSC also made the crucial step in joining the UNFCCC Sports For Climate Action Framework to align with the IOC and other International Federations in safeguarding the future of the sport and planet. The IFSC Climate Transition Plan sets out the steps that will be taken to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030, and to achieve net zero emissions across our value chain by 2040. 

As the organisation and sport grows, so will the impact both in terms of nature and finances, and the IFSC will continue to develop its sustainability mission and plan to accommodate this growth and to ultimately ‘make the world better through Climbing’.

IFSC Partners