The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will have a significant, positive, outcome for the city, its people, and its local communities. It will play a crucial part in the recharge and recovery of the region: from the kickstart it will provide to the economy, to the renewed sense of progressive pride it will instil in citizens.
We want to deliver the Games in a way that prioritises and supports long-term sustainable behaviour change. We want this to be the first Commonwealth Games with a carbon-neutral legacy and set a benchmark for future Games. And we are keen to use the Games to maximise our influence in addressing key socio-economic issues including equality, diversity, and inclusion; social value; accessibility and human rights.
Our pledge sets out our sustainability goals, it's our blueprint that outlines how the Games can help play its part to achieve a better and more sustainable future.
We are a dynamic organisation and as we evolve and travel through the lifetime of the Games delivery, so too will this plan. What remains resolute is that we are steadfast in this journey. It is far more than a policy; it is an underpinning tenet of how we operate and how we will exist as an organisation.
Sustainability - Our Seven Pillars
Our approach to sustainability has seven areas of focus:
Birmingham 2022 is committed to delivering a highly accessible, inclusive, and successful Commonwealth Games. Our ambitions for this Games include:
Defining standards and setting levels for accessibility across the Games using 'The BIG Standard'
Creating an 'Accessibility Advisory Forum'
To better inform Games accessibility planning
Improving Games Accessible Information
Integrating and improving Games information
A commitment to reducing the Disability Employment Gap
Through our Games recruitment and training
Achieve recognised certification which shapes and promotes accessibility and inclusion across the Games
For more information, please read:
2. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion
Equality, diversity, and inclusion are at the centre of these Games and embedded into all the Organising Committee's and key partner's activities, as well as into each strand of legacy work. We want to ensure there are low or barrier free ways to access the Games and surrounding events. And every legacy programme will consider how it can reach and include the people who might not ordinarily take part. Games Partners are committed to shifting the dial in their own organisations and leading conversations on difficult social and economic issues.
3. Job Creation and Social Value
This is the first Commonwealth Games to embed Social Value and to measure it. Suppliers' social value commitments are mapped against a set of 5 values: Sustainability, Health & Wellbeing, Inclusivity, Human Rights and Local Benefit. To identify, record and measure the Social Value, we're using a system called Social Value Portal and each of the contracted commitments is mapped against a set of national TOMS (Themes, Outcomes and Measures).
It is also the first Games to create and publish a Social Value Charter:
4. Human Rights
We want to ensure that in our delivery of the Games we always have the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in mind. In delivering 'A Games for Everyone' that celebrates the diversity of the Commonwealth and communities in the West Midlands, we recognise the importance of respecting, protecting and promoting the rights and freedoms guaranteed to all individuals under law. The Organising Committee has developed its Human Rights Strategy in collaboration with the Commonwealth Games Federation, building on commitments made at Gold Coast 2018 and aligning with the 2020 Human Rights strategy for host cities.
5. Carbon and Air Quality
Our ambition is to create a Carbon Neutral Legacy.
For us, this means taking responsibility for the Games climate impact in a credible and holistic manner. In the first instance, as a priority, we will focus on reducing the carbon footprint of the Games by focusing on our emission hotspots.
Where there are emissions which cannot be reduced, we have developed an offsetting strategy alongside our Nature and Carbon Neutral Partner Severn Trent which will offset the final carbon footprint of the Games. This strategy consists of planting 2,022 acres of new Commonwealth Forest across the Midlands region and will be supplemented, if necessary, by additional credible carbon credits from the voluntary carbon market. The new Commonwealth Forest, over time as the trees matures, is expected to sequester 240,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the majority of our forecasted carbon footprint. This strategy, alongside robust measurement and management, will have the effect of leaving a Carbon Neutral Legacy, the first of any Commonwealth Games.
We are also working in partnership with University of Birmingham to understand the impact of the Games on air quality by modelling the potential impact on air quality during Games time and also measuring air quality during Games time with sensors at the University of Birmingham, Alexander Stadium and Edgbaston Cricket Ground.
6. Circular Economy Principles to Minimise Waste
We want to significantly reduce waste and have a zero waste to landfill ambition. We're minimising waste by exploring ways to keep materials and products in use to help conserve natural resources for future generations. We are minimising the use of single use plastics through several initiatives and working with our partners and the voluntary sector to explore ways to recycle assets post games.
As part of our legacy to the region, playing our part in conserving and enhancing the natural environment for the benefit of local communities is important to us. Through our partnership with Severn Trent, our Nature and Carbon Neutral partner, in addition to the 2,022 acres of Commonwealth Forest mentioned in point 5, Severn Trent have also planted 72 tennis-court-sized Tiny forests in urban areas (representing the 72 participating nations and territories). We are also clearing 22 miles of canals through the 'United by 2022' partnership with the Canals & Rivers Trust, removing plastic and rubbish from the canals.