As well as being the biggest equestrian event ever hosted in Denmark, Herning2022 will set a new benchmark for sustainability at major sporting events.

The organisers of this year’s FEI World Championships may have decades of experience in equestrian sports and major events, but this time they are embracing the challenge of “thinking green”.

In fact, it was their ambition for a more sustainable approach to temporary events that helped the World Championships decide the choice in Denmark’s favour.

Herning2022 will create a new benchmark for sustainability at major sporting events. Image source

“We have simply turned it upside down in relation to how most people approach the work with sustainability” says Jens Trabjerg, one of the Organisers. “Instead of just looking for where we can do it less harm environmentally, we look for where we can do more good.

“We want to create lasting positive impacts. Hopefully we can help inspire participants, the audience, and the press, and get people to take greater responsibility for our planet.”

The high ambitions for the new approach to sustainability have created a very special mindset in the entire Herning2022 organisation. The employees, who work to first and foremost create a fantastic equestrian event, will also have sustainability in mind. 

Having estimated that the World Championships will emit around 4,000 tons of CO2 (not including the transport from participants and the public), and by choosing green solutions whenever possible and buying off-setting credits, the event will be CO2-neutral.

In addition, the Organisers will help plant 20 hectares of forest in collaboration with Herning Municipality: VM-Skoven, which during this century will bind approx. 12,000 tons of CO2.

The Organisers’ special focus on sustainability fits very well with Herning Municipality’s strategy to create responsible development and growth for the benefit of a richer nature, a cleaner environment and to reduce the climate impact.

Herning2022’s sustainability effort is based on three general principles:

1. Create lasting positive impacts even though an event like this is temporary by nature.

2. Think circular. By buying recycled solutions whenever possible and make sure that products and materials are re-used after the event, as well as renging or borrowing instead of buying new.

3. The third principle is to integrate sustainability in the dialogue with the many suppliers that a large event such as Herning2022 requires.

Jasper Steinhausen is responsible for the sustainable efforts and calculations said he wants to work with partners and suppliers so that together, they can raise the bar.

“We will use Herning2022 to engage participants, guests, and the community to make better choices, so that together we make the world better in the future. Specifically, we have, for example, collaborated with MCH Exhibition Herning on waste management and sorting as well as catering, which future events will benefit from” said Steinhausen.

He also acknowledges that there will be areas where Herning2022 will be challenged; “It may be due to unavoidable requirements for equestrian competitions at this level, what is available, qualities, finances and what is doable in time before the World Championships kick off in August. But we will, as much as possible, go for a solution that considers the environment, quality, deliveries, and the overall economy.”

The FEI World Championships Herning, Denmark 2022 will be held from 6th to 14th August.

There will be competitions in four disciplines: Dressage, Jumping, Para Dressage and Vaulting.

The Organising Committee behind the Championships in addition to VM Herning 2022 ApS, are also the public partners, Sport Event Denmark, Herning Municipality and Dansk Ride Forbund (Danish Riding Association).