2023 UCI Cycling World Championships Sustainable Procurement Code

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Keywords: Sustainable Procurement Code, Circular economy, 2023 UCI Cycling Worlds, 2023 Cycling Worlds Sustainability Strategy Framework, People, Place and Planet, Circular procurement, Climate Change, Resources, Zero Waste, KPIs, Scottish Government, legacy

Contact: Available in pdf document above


The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, being held in Glasgow in August 2023, is the first championship where 13 UCI world championships will take place at the same time, making it the biggest cycling event ever. 

Events will take place at a number of existing venues in Glasgow and elsewhere in Scotland. 

The 2023 UCI Cycling Worlds has underlined its ambition to be a leader in environmental innovation and sustainable development in sport by becoming a signatory of the United Nations Sports for Climate Change Action Framework.  

At the heart of the 2023 UCI Cycling Worlds is a goal to effect transformational change by using its global platform to encourage more people to ride bikes and demonstrate how cycling can be one of the greatest weapons against climate change (link) 

2023 Cycling Worlds will be responsible for core functions and will undertake some procurement activities directly, while public and private sector Event Delivery Partners will lead on the development of aspects such as detailed competition and event delivery, and event and venue design and delivery. This includes the procurement of relevant goods, services and works (e.g., temporary, and permanent construction and infrastructure).

Procurement process

Sustainable Procurement Code
In support of the 2023 Cycling Worlds Sustainability Strategy Framework (which in turn supports the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Scottish Government sustainable procurement duty, which public sector delivery partners are obligated by and which private sector event delivery partners are encouraged to apply), the Sustainable Procurement Code has been established.

This sets out the role of the procurement of goods and services, for the 2023 UCI Cycling Worlds, in delivering the People, Place and Planet objectives in the Sustainability Strategy Framework, so that this sets an example for future similar Championships.


It sets minimum sustainability standards, requirements and intended outcomes, as well as the encouragement of good practice, for the 2023 Cycling Worlds and event delivery partners and their suppliers, while working in collaboration with commercial partners.

 The 2023 Cycling Worlds recognises that a systemic, circular approach to procurement is the best way of delivering the principles in a sustainable and cost-effective way. The sustainable and circular approach advocated by the Code is as follows:

  1.  Utilise products and materials that are already available.
  2. Can existing products or materials be repaired or refurbished if required and if cost effective?
  3. If no internal products are available, are refurbished or remanufactured products available from external sources?
  4. If reused, repaired, refurbished or remanufactured products are not accessible then purchase new, using circular principles and criteria.
  5. Maximise external reuse and resale value of excess products and, only where this is not possible, recycle.

The Code developed with support from Interreg North Sea Region ProCirc provides the framework for sustainable and circular delivery of the event by embedding the circular approach into procurement decisions and contracting between summer 2022 and the 2023 event.


  • To require/ encourage sustainability outcomes that are aligned with the international and national context.
  • To set minimum requirements/ objectives which suppliers must meet/ are encouraged to meet. 

Principles - the Code sets out key good practice procurement principles of:

  • Non-discrimination and equality of opportunity – supporting the relevant involvement of SMEs, third sector organisations and supported businesses as suppliers or sub-contractors, while reducing inequality.
  • Transparency – to demonstrate that sustainable procurement is embedded within procurement process and relevant contracts, and to ensure that intended outcomes are monitored.
  • Relevance and proportionality – focus on themes and contract requirements which reflect the objectives to minimise the life cycle environmental impact of the 2023 Cycling Worlds, support Scotland’s net zero targets and circular economy strategy and relevant legal requirements, while ensuring that staff and sub-contractors are treated fairly, and the responsible sourcing of goods and services.

The 6 themes of the Code are:

Climate Change – to minimise emissions as much as possible arising from the use of energy and vehicles as well as those embodied within products and materials procured.

Resources – to use substances, materials and products that represent a low risk to human health and the environment, are legally sourced, are as sustainable as possible and contribute directly to the circular ambitions of the event.

Waste - to stage a ‘Zero Waste’ to landfill 2023 Cycling Worlds through the relevant application of the waste hierarchy and circular approaches.

Fair Work – ensure that supplier and sub-contractor workforce is well-rewarded, well-motivated, well-led, has access to appropriate opportunities for training and development, is diverse and inclusive, and can influence decision making, while ensuring no discrimination and promoting equality, within workforce and engaging with volunteers, spectators, and the local community.

Ethical - products and services supplied and used within relevant services procured are sourced and produced under a set of internationally acceptable ethical guidelines and standards.

Environment and Community – to prevent pollution to air, land and water, to prevent noise and nuisance, enable healthy and sustainable choices, protect and where relevant enhance biodiversity.

Application of the Code
The principles will be applied in a relevant and proportionate manner, reflecting the public and private sector event delivery partners, existing contractual arrangements, the market for procurement requirements and the 2023 Cycling Worlds sustainability ambitions.

The Code therefore adopts two levels, which will be reflected in a relevant and proportionate way in the procurement of products, services and works:

  • there are minimum requirements within the Code where compliance is mandatory, for example in keeping with existing regulations or Scottish Government policy, such as working practices, plastics bans, sustainable timber policy etc; and,
  • recognising the diversity of the delivery partners, the events and supply chains, the Code seeks to go beyond minimum requirements and encourage innovation and practices that are aligned with the 2023 Cycling Worlds Sustainability Strategy Framework for both future cycling world championships, and events in Scotland. 

Procurement requirements for the Championships will range from professional services to technology and memorabilia. Key reuse products and areas for example may include:

  • Electronic and electrical equipment (technology)
  • Fixtures, fittings and equipment (FF&E)
  • Memorabilia
  • Sports equipment
  • Ceremonial items and event delivery
  • Temporary overlay including signage
  • Temporary stands, e.g. outdoor venue seating

Waste may arise from temporary materials & overlay, marketing & collateral, catering & packaging and other e.g. hazardous and be generated via the Championships and suppliers workforce, spectators, event participants and admin and media.


It is inevitable that major environmental impacts and carbon emissions for global events such as the 2023 Cycling Worlds arise from the transport of participants and their equipment as well as spectators within and from outside Scotland. The Code seeks to address those impacts which it can directly control while also seeking, where possible, to influence others. 

Initial estimation of environmental outcomes
Estimating environmental outcomes from the application of the Code is inevitably problematic given the nature of the events, eventual contract requirements and other limitations. The following is a very indicative estimation.

If the focus on circular outcomes within the Code are turned into practical implementation before and during the 2023 Cycling Worlds the following provide some initial indications of the impact on waste and carbon:

  • Approximately 813 tonnes of waste.
  • Between 12 Tonnes and 32 Tonnes CO2e.

This is based on:

  • £17.5m expenditure (based on limited data regarding planned procurement by 2023 Cycling World Championships Ltd – in practice additional expenditure will take place by event delivery partners), with an indicative estimate of c15% relating to materials and products to which circular approaches may apply.
  • 25% of the 15% relates to waste that would otherwise be generated, of which 45% is assumed to be steel, 50% plastics and the remainder timber.

NB. The above outcomes are very indicative estimates based on the assumptions shown. It is also recognised that these cannot be accurately determined at this stage, and outcomes will depend on the extent and nature of services procured, application of the Code by event delivery partners and suppliers, the development of market capability to support circular outcomes leading up to the Championships, assumed costs and weight of equipment and materials as well as reporting of outcomes through contract management in due course.

While the development of the Code reflected lessons from previous events and experiences of Interreg NSR ProCirc delivery partners, including, among others, London 2012, Glasgow 2014 and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and Flanders 2021, the application of the Code requires the monitoring of outcome-based impacts. 2023 Cycling Worlds will implement and oversee a schedule of Contract and Supplier Management [to be agreed between Cycling World Championships 2023 Ltd, event delivery partners and suppliers]. At the point of contract award contract specific Key Performance Indicators (KPls) and Service Level Agreement (SLA) will be agreed with contracted suppliers. This includes real-time monitoring of, for example, waste and the application of circular outcomes.

Relevant supplier review meetings will be scheduled to provide a formal route of monitoring, measuring and reporting on contract and supplier performance. It will also provide a platform for suppliers to appraise the contribution of the purchaser to the contract.

While tenders for required goods and services are in development, identifying outcomes from these will be clear after the Championships.

Lessons learned

  • As highlighted in this Code a key principle of the first combined cycling world championships is to set a benchmark for a range of future events to build on, with the aim to create a positive legacy.
  • While support from Interreg NSR ProCirc helped the development of this important Code, follow on work by Sustainable Procurement Limited and Sustainable Global Resources has included training on the application of the Code to event delivery partners and will include help after the Championships to better identify outcomes and lessons learned. This may include the practical application of the Code to procurements, environmental outcomes arising, the experience of event delivery partners and suppliers and how 2023 Cycling Worlds acts as a catalyst for further improvement in sustainability.
  • The engagement to event delivery partners has sent a clear message regarding the objectives of the 2023 Cycling Worlds and the importance of being able to apply key sustainability principles to this and future events.