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Starting from the coming edition, planned for Saturday, April 1 2017, the Südtirol Gardenissima will boast Green Event status. The moniker was conferred as a result of the organisers’ commitment to continuing to deliver a large event that prioritises environmental and countryside protection.

Despite taking place against a snowy white backdrop, there is one skiing event that’s getting greener all the time. The Südtirol Gardenissima is also the world’s longest giant slalom and the latest edition takes place in Val Gardena on Saturday, April 1 2017. The event is being organised and will be staged in line with highly specific sustainability standards, something the organising committee has been working towards for several editions and which has now won the Green Event status.

A precious environment we have to protect
Large-scale sports events can have a negative impact on the areas in which they are held. Generally speaking, they take place in areas of great scenic beauty and charm which, unfortunately, the large crowds of athletes, however dedicated to their sport, can risk damaging.  Although a popular tourist destination all year round, Val Gardena remains an area that needs our protection. The Puez-Odle Nature Reserve, which was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009, spans the communes of Ortisei, Santa Cristina and Selva Val Gardena. For this reason, the Südtirol Gardenissima organisers have been committed to ensuring the competition is as sustainable as possible for the last several years and to making as little impact as possible on the surrounding countryside. That hard work has now earned the Green Event certification which is awarded by the Provincial Environmental Agency as part of the Province of Bolzano’s objective to reducing annual per capita CO2 emissions to under 4 tons by 2020 and to under 1.5 tons by 2050.

Precise sustainability criteria
To obtain certification, the Südtirol Gardenissima had to comply with very specific sustainability criteria such as the creation of value at local level and the incorporation of sustainable mobility,  differentiated waste collection and disposal, the use of FSC paper for printed materials, prioritising seasonal regional foods and, of course, social responsibility in terms of sponsor and supplier involvement.  Candidates for certification are observed for a year under “Going GreenEvent” status. Then, at the end of the event, a final report is drawn up for presentation to a special committee. The latter, in fact, gave the go-ahead for the Südtirol Gardenissima’s addition to the list of fully-certified events starting from the 2017 edition. This is a major coup for the organising committee and rewards the awareness, commitment and focus of all of its members in prioritising environmental protection even during large-scale events.