The power of the bike can be a force for good in Scotland

By Ellis McKinnon, Sustainability Manager, 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships


Glasgow and across Scotland is no stranger to hosting major international and sporting events, and in the past 10 years alone we’ve delivered the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the 2014 Ryder Cup, the 2018 European Championships, UEFA EURO 2020, and COP26 in 2021.  

This year, our country’s stellar reputation will be further strengthened as Glasgow and across Scotland host the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. It will be the biggest cycling event ever as 13 UCI World Championships are brought together for the first time into one mega event. Taking place across 11 days from 3-13 August, this historic and innovative event is a must see as over 2,600 elite athletes compete for the coveted UCI rainbow jerseys.  

Part of maintaining this reputation for world-class events is ensuring that we’re committed to and embedding sustainability across the Championships.  Our policy team is leading the way on this work and, in collaboration with the numerous local authorities and delivery partners, and as a signatory of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, we’re committed to measuring and understanding our impact as much as possible whilst aiming to reduce emissions and embed best practice where we can. 

 An example of some of these best practices include: 

  • Each individual event’s footprint is being monitored for energy, waste, water goods and travel including Scopes 1, 2 & 3. 
  • We are encouraging staff and spectators to consider active travel options to venues – secure bike parking provision is available at venues and 50 Brompton bikes will be available for staff to use across the 11 days. 
  • Glasgow was awarded UCI Bike City status with more than £8.6 million granted to Glasgow City Council in 2023 to promote the city’s active travel network and sustainable transport methods. 
  • We are strongly encouraging the use of main’s electricity at every venue where possible to make use of Scotland’s abundance of renewable energy.  

If you’re interested to learn more about how we’re implementing sustainability practices across the Championships, we’ll be publishing a sustainability report following the event. Look out for this on our website later in the year.  

It’s important to say however that the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships is more than just an event. Another key aspect of our role within the policy team involves building a legacy and using the Championships as a catalyst for transformational change across Scotland.  

Our vision is that everyone should be able to experience the freedom riding a bike can bring to our lives and the wider positive impacts cycling can have on areas such as health, transport, tourism and the environment.  

We’re already seeing the influence the Power of the Bike can have in inspiring change across organisations, industries and communities. Grounds for Recycling is just one example of many that has been inspired and aligns with our ambitions for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. We’re looking forward to seeing the many cycle-friendly hospitality venues across Glasgow joining forces through this campaign to inspire change in their staff and customers and demonstrate the impact small changes can make.