Featured, Mountain Protection, UIAA

Since first hosting a UIAA Ice Climbing competition in 2018, Finland has become a permanent and popular World Tour venue. From 18-20 February, the city of Oulu will host FINICE, encompassing the UIAA European Championships, UIAA Youth European Championships and Finnish Championships. Further details on how to follow the event will be provided on the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour website shortly.

Over recent seasons, in close cooperation with the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission and as part of the wider IOC Sustainability Strategy, the UIAA Ice Climbing Commission has established guidelines for the hosting of more sustainable competitions. This is in response to the UIAA’s signed commitment and participation under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Sports for Climate Action.

As a participant in this initiative, the UIAA is required and expected to adhere to five principles these being:

Principle 1: Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility;
Principle 2: Reduce overall climate impact;
Principle 3: Educate for climate action;
Principle 4: Promote sustainable and responsible consumption;
Principle 5: Advocate for climate action through communication

Further details of this commitment in relation to ice climbing competitions are provided in the UIAA Ice Climbing Athlete’s Handbook and the progress of the UIAA’s commitment to monitoring its environmental impact are detailed in its Annual Carbon Footprint Report.

FINICE has been one of the close adopters of this approach, using the UIAA’s carbon footprint calculator as part of its environmental plan for the event.

The FINICE sustainability plan aims to:

  • Evaluate each decision the organisers make from sustainability point of view
  • Review old practices – the way things have always been done
  • Invent new practices where they are needed
  • Develop FINICE competition to be even better each year
  • Educate organisers – we all learn while making the plan and doing the planned actions

Full details on FINICE’s impressive and robust sustainability plan can be found here.

“With the creation of this sustainability plan, we want to offer visibility of the actions have taken and walk through the competition organising process to find out what we have not been thinking before. We hope this serves as an example to all UIAA competition organisers,” explains FINICE’s Pauliina Björk.

“This is exactly the way we hope all UIAA Ice Climbing event organisers will embrace the sustainability considerations in running ice climbing competitions. It is great that FINICE have considered the wider aspects of sustainability as well including social and economic aspects – not just the carbon footprint number,” explains the UIAA Sport Events Coordinator Rob Adie.

Main photo: Organisers during FINICE, 2019