The Invictus Games, founded by Prince Harry in 2014, have become a beacon for wounded, injured, and sick service personnel and veterans worldwide. This year, Düsseldorf, Germany, is set to host the sixth edition of the games. However, this year’s event is not just about sportsmanship and competition; it’s also about embracing environmental sustainability and positively impacting our planet.
Sustainability at the Heart of the Games
As the world increasingly recognizes the urgent need to incorporate environmental sustainability into our everyday lives, Price Harry and the organizers of the Invictus Games 2023 have taken significant steps to ensure that the event aligns with eco-friendly principles.
The Invictus Games, according to Prince Harry, have always been about more than just sports; they are a platform for positive change. As the founder, his commitment to the well-being of wounded, injured, and sick service personnel and veterans goes hand in hand with his dedication to environmental sustainability. By ensuring sustainability is a key event focus, Prince Harry’s vision ensures that the legacy of the 2023 Invictus Games will extend far beyond the competition.
One such initiative is hosting the games around a centralized venue. Unlike other large sporting events such as the next World Cup, which is set across the entire United States, or future European Football tournaments across multiple countries, the Invictus Games are based in a single city. Following the success of the 2022 Invictus Games in The Hague, where all accommodations and activities were in one place (Zuiderpark), Düsseldorf has adopted the same approach.
This promotes efficiency and reduces the carbon footprint of transporting participants and spectators between multiple locations. A novel addition to the 2022 Games was the yellow bench concept, which aims to create spaces for people to listen to each other. While primarily a symbol of communication and support, these benches can also be seen as a nod to sustainability by encouraging people to spend time outdoors and connect with nature.
Some think that more could be done, though. As is common with events of this nature, the true environmental impact is often under-reported, as emissions generated by travel and tourism go unaccounted for. While the Games encourage public transport use where possible and is better than its multi-city tournament counterparts, it is undeniable that no matter what is done, the Invictus Games will be a net negative for the environment.
🇬🇧 #IamAllNations – Here are our highlights of Day 1️⃣. Enjoy the unforgettable moments.🌟
— Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 (@InvictusGamesDE) September 10, 2023
A brighter future
As the Games begin and athletes from 21 countries compete in various sports, it is important to acknowledge the Invictus Games’ commitment to a sustainable future. By embracing environmental sustainability as a core value, the Invictus Games make a meaningful attempt to make this year’s iteration as green as possible. While more could undoubtedly be done, the legacy of the Invictus Games should not be measured in medals but in its impact on society, both socially and environmentally.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Prince Harry launching the 2020 Invictus Games. Featured Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.