Fiemme 2013: organizing committee wins gold medal for sustainability

All the wooden structures at the Nordic World Ski Championships are PEFC-certified and constructed by local companies.

Fiemme 2013: organizing committee wins gold medal for sustainability

26 February 2013 News

The greatest winner of the Nordic World Ski Championships, currently underway in Val di Fiemme, is already known: It's the environment and the local population, thanks to the smart choices made by the organizing committee. All the wooden structures are PEFC-certified and were constructed by local companies.

The awards stage, media centre, convention centre flooring, accreditation area, and fifty newly-erected guest houses scattered throughout the valley all have one thing in common: the wood used to build them originates from local, PEFC-certified forests. Thanks to this, the Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme are the first ever "green" event of its kind.

In addition to the beautiful scenery of sustainably managed forests that are providing the backdrop to the hundreds of athletes and tens of thousands of spectators, the decision by the organizers to source PEFC-certified wood and wood products from local businesses makes them a perfect candidate for the Gold Medal for Sustainability.

"In Lago di Tesero, in Predazzo and in Cavalese: The choice of wood for the World Championship buildings sends an important signal that the entire valley is committed to protecting the region's natural heritage and culture," commented Pietro de Godenz, President of the Fiemme 2013 Organizing Committee. "All credit must go to the municipalities, engineers, architects and businesses, but also to the local forestry sector."

More than 900m3 of wood were used for the buildings – a volume that can be replenished by local forests in a little more than 4 days. In addition to environmental concerns, organizers were keen that the local population and businesses should benefit from the event: "These Nordic Ski World Championships represent a turning point: in the past little attention has been paid to the source of the wood", explained Antonio Brunori, Secretary General of PEFC Italy. "In Fiemme, the wood has been sourced from local Val di Fiemme forests, thereby benefitting local forest owners and some 160 mainly small and medium-sized enterprises – logging companies, sawmills, artisans, construction companies and carpenters... Furthermore, after the event, the wood will be recycled and the buildings re-purposed: the media centre will be transformed into a youth hostel, for example."

The decision by the Fiemme 2013 organizers to privilege locally sourced wood from sustainably managed forests has been welcomed by millions of skiers globally. The organizers have gone well beyond the commitments made by the organizers of the 2012 London Summer Olympics, which relied on imported materials; at the same time they have thrown down the gauntlet to the organizers of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, who now have a lot to live up to!

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