The IBU has published its sustainability policy ©IBU

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has targeted becoming climate neutral by 2030 after publishing its sustainability policy.

The worldwide body said it hoped to be climate positive by 2034 and would aim to reduce the carbon footprint of the sport by 4.5 per cent each year.

Establishing biathlon "as a leader in promoting and upholding the highest standards of sustainability in sport" is among the other key targets in the new policy, which the IBU said is the roadmap for the Federation’s ten-year sustainability strategy 2020-2030.

The IBU also said it would aim to be the "leading winter sport in terms of good governance, gender equality and diversity".

"Sustainability is an increasingly important and relevant issue in sports - and no sport is more affected by climate change than biathlon," said IBU President Olle Dahlin. 

"The IBU must take a strong stance on becoming an increasingly sustainable and environmentally-friendly sport, becoming a thought leader among International Federations.

"Our sustainability policy and the consequent ten-year strategy have benefited from collaboration with leading external experts to ensure they represent industry best practice and will allow us to deliver tangible benefits across environmental, social and economic dimensions. 

"Sustainability must be integrated at every level of the biathlon family from the IBU through to the National Federations, athletes and fans. 

"With our ambitious targets for 2030 we also send a strong message about our pledge to climate action and environmental stewardship."

The policy identifies the three levels at which the IBU can directly affect positive change - the IBU itself, its events and the global biathlon family.

It includes five focus areas, comprising climate, sport, venue and event, people and awareness and communication.