EUROPEAN UNIVERSITIES GAMES COIMBRA 2018 – PORTUGAL
During the multisport event European Universities Games Coimbra 2018, local organisers were encouraged to also pay attention on sustainability and introduce elements and activities in this field.
General description of the initiative
The European Universities Games of 2018 allowed the organisers to implement activities on three different areas of sustainability:
First, in terms of transport and mobility; participants were for instance encouraged to walk between the venues whenever that was possible. Bicycles were proposed for the staff and volunteers for short to mid-range distances; most bikes were donated by the University of Coimbra’s Sports Sciences and Physical Education Faculty, also used as a pilot project for the implementation of a bicycle sharing project at the University of Coimbra called Ucicletas. Participants were eventually offered an option to arrive to the venue by train, whilst the organisers made sure to have one of the welcome points at the train station.
In a second time and in cooperation with the City of Coimbra and Coimbra water company, water stations were set up, many of them remain in use also nowadays, and participants were given water bottles for re-fills. This private-public-partnership is a typical successful example to highlight whilst organising sport event.
Regarding the food procurement and management, the University of Coimbra provided all the food for the event. This department is also leading an initiative to combat Food Waste, which was also implemented during EUG2018.
This event was also the perfect occasion for the organisers to run education workshops in cooperation with ENGSO Youth; a workshop on sustainability was successfully held for participants (athletes, officials) and volunteers.
Water was offered mainly through the fountain system and participants were given the opportunity to re-fill their water tanks freely. The reduction of polluting transportation was also a success.
The multiple actions targeting the avoidance of food waste, including the service done during EUG2018, makes the University of Coimbra amongst the finalists for the Food & Nutrition Awards, in the category ‘Food Sustainability’.