4 June 2024 – Düsseldorf

Sustainability: Pre-Games paper published

The Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games will pave the way for a more sustainable future in and through sport. Plans and objectives for this endeavour are now available in a pre-Games paper which underscores how sustainability has not only become a key concept in the planning of multi-sport events but has also been integrated into their operation. The paper sets the benchmark for the FISU World University Games. There has never been such an elaborate concept and it will set new standards for international university sport.

Under the title ‘'Zoom-in and Zoom-out’: the Sustainability & Legacy Approach', the pre-Games paper outlines the current status of the Organising Committee's sustainability management. The questions addressed are complex: what measures are being taken at the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games to ensure that the Games are as sustainable as possible? How will these measures contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals? How can a positive social impact be created and the values of sport – such as respect, fair play, cohesion, and commitment - be conveyed and strengthened?

According to Prof Dr Holger Preuß, the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU Games supervisor for Legacy & Sustainability, such concerns around environmental and social sustainability are playing an ever more important role alongside the traditional pursuit of economic goals. ‘The focus of our strategy for the FISU Games is on reducing environmental impact, strengthening the regional economy, and maximising social projects’, he says.  

Futurologist Anja Kirig explains legacy plan

In the paper, two perspectives are used and methodically applied when analysing the respective areas of focus and impact: The 'zoom-in' perspective, which looks at the sustainability strategy; and the 'zoom-out' perspective, in which futurologist and trend researcher Anja Kirig explains the legacy plan. Finally, the interactions between the two perspectives are considered, allowing the interplay between the two elementary aspects of 'sustainability strategy' and 'areas of impact along the megatrends' to be recognised. 

The pre-Games paper was developed on the basis of a participatory process and in close cooperation with the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the German University Sports Federation (adh) and the International University Sports Federation (FISU). In addition, the sustainability strategy was subjected to a scientific audit by the project 'Sustainable [major] sporting events in Germany' [in German “Nachhaltige Sport[groß]veranstaltungen in Deutschland”]. As part of this publication, the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games have signed the SportsforFuture statement and are therefore part of the Sport #forabetterworld movement. However, the paper does not mark the end of the sustainability concept. Rather, it serves to transparently present the current status (early 2024) of the planning, and to encourage and invite participation.

‘This pre-Games paper on Sustainability & Legacy is a milestone in our commitment and ambition to leave a positive impact on our environment and society through the Games‘, says Niklas Börger, CEO of the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU Games gGmbH.

‘It has been evident that the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 Organising Committee has put a major focus on sustainability and legacy since the conceptualisation of the FISU Games. It is great to see this now come to life in this comprehensive pre-Games paper, covering so many aspects of sustainability and legacy. We are seeing more of our event hosts integrate these important concepts into the FISU Games. We are confident that Rhine-Ruhr will host an exceptional event in 2025 leaving lasting positive impacts for generations to come‘, says FISU President Leonz Eder.

Please click on this link to read the pre-Games paper.