Open letter on sustainability from commission chair Steve Varley


This Global Recycling Day, the Chair of British Triathlon’s Sustainability Commission, Steve Varley, has written an open letter to the triathlon community to provide an update on the organisation’s sustainability agenda.


The start of 2022 has been an important time for the Commission, with draft objectives being drawn up by the working groups that we have established. Bringing together key staff from British Triathlon and the members of the Commission, the seven working groups have allowed us to pool experience from triathlon delivery and expertise in the sustainability sector to start mapping out our draft objectives.

These working groups cover all areas of the triathlon world including domestic and international participation, looking at sustainable practices within the swim, bike, run community as well as how British athletes engage with international competition and international organisations. Other working groups that have been set up include those looking at technical aspects of the sport and engagement with partners and stakeholders to broaden commitment to sustainable practices within triathlon.

The draft objectives that have been drawn together are vast and various and will help us to break down the different areas of swim, bike, run and how, as a community, we can work towards a sustainable future.  Once we have progressed the objectives further we will prioritise to focus on those that can make the biggest difference to the people, environments and communities that make up the sport. We will then share these with stakeholder groups for wider consultation.

We all have the responsibility to help shape and live out a sustainable future for triathlon, which is why the final agenda will be created through a process of consultation and support for implementation.

Sustainability is more than just being good stewards of the environment and reducing carbon emission and, whilst Global Recycling Day is a great opportunity to remind ourselves of a key component of environmental sustainability, for triathlon to have a sustainable future we need to look beyond just the natural ecosystems that the sport benefits from and impacts upon.

We know for example that in order for events in particular to be sustainable, reducing, reusing and recycling of materials and infrastructure is important for a long term approach to both event sustainability and environmental sustainability. Reducing carbon emissions at triathlon events and amplifying positive sustainability practices with organisers and participants will be one area of many we will focus on.

As we look forward to continuing to define a sustainability agenda for the sport, I hope everyone engaged in the triathlon community will feel a part of the process and have a sense of ownership and responsibility to work towards and commit to a sustainable future for the sport.

Kind regards,

Steve Varley

Chair of the British Triathlon Sustainability Commission


You can find out more about Steve and the sustainability commission by clicking here.

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