EThekwini Municipality will be the primary host for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Durban. The Games are proposed to be held over 14 days in July 2022 in various existing or soon to be upgraded sporting infrastructure.

To build upon the City’s previous experience of developing ecological offsetting mechanisms for hosting mega-events, the City contracted a consultant, who undertook a six month process of investigating and designing a Sustainability Programme roadmap for the event. The Roadmap was developed through reviewing past greening programmes and lessons learned as well as reviewing the latest relevant national, local and international policies, conducting personal interviews and communication with a number of municipal and other stakeholders. The aim of the programme would be to use the opportunity of the CWG to further the city’s transition to sustainable built and natural environments and improved governance systems. Because there is a focus on creating a positive legacy from the hosting of the event, municipal line functions (and other organisations) should be actively involved in developing the event sustainability plan, and implementing it. This will provide an opportunity to build human capital and to create a positive institutional legacy of proactively integrating sustainability principles and approaches into projects and programmes. The roadmap will therefore provide a guide to the Climate Protection Branch’s work programme for future climate change adaptation implementation.

The background research done identified the following key approaches which informed the direction that the sustainability programme would take:
  • Leverage transitionary processes.
  • Build on existing foundations.
  • Enhance ‘resilience’ through a balanced mitigation-adaptation focus.
  • Escalate benefits through partnerships, collaboration and shared learning.
  • Account for the full range of costs and benefits.
  • Use internationally recognised sustainability frameworks and reporting systems.
  • Lead in legislative compliance.

Sustainability Programme Workstreams

These key approaches lead to the drafting of the following 8 workstreams with associated goals that were presented at a stakeholder workshop for review and discussion to inform the direction of the Sustainability Programme:

Sustainability Coordinating Structure
Climate-smart buildings, infrastructure, transportation & operations
Climate-smart waste management
Responsible hospitality & tourism
Event climate & ecological footprinting
Climate resilience-building mitigation & legacy projects
Sustainability awareness, education, communications, and reporting
Legal compliance

Next steps
A workshop for a transformative work programme will be held. The Climate Adaptation Branch will be linking with the organising committee of the 2022 CWG, ensuring that the Branch work programme is transformative to allow offsetting for future events. Please see a copy of the Sustainability Programme Roadmap for the 2022 Commonwealth Games here.