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Osterwalder, Rahel, 2015. Communicating sustainability in green winter sport events : the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Falun 2015. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



Nowadays, organizations and companies follow the worldwide trend of using corporate social
responsibility (CSR) strategies in their communication. They invest in green solutions to take part
in the sustainable development towards a better world. Communicating sustainability in winter
sport events has been discussed in scholarly literature before, such as the dream or reality of
sustainable sport events (Furrer 2002). The problem formulated in this thesis concerns the critical
discussion about the construction of sustainability, the use of CSR practices by event organizations
and how they communicate about sustainability. It can be asked if such event hosts and
organizations that invest in sustainable solutions do this because of their image and reputation as a
sustainable event (sustainability branding) or because they want to achieve an environmental
My approach to answer this question is based on a case study. Hereby, the FIS Nordic World Ski
Championships (NWSC) in Falun 2015 is the main object of observation. As part of the volunteer
team in the communication department of the organization, I was using the methods "participant
observation" and "qualitative in-depth interviews" to gather the research data. In total eight
interviews have been conducted with volunteers and organizers of the communication and
sustainability team of Falun2015. These interviews were used for the analysis, supported by
theories about "social constructionism", "sustainability and sustainable development", "CSR" and
"organizational communication".
The interpretation of the data showed that the organization Falun2015 communicates about
sustainability because of their own reputation and image (sustainability branding) but also to
achieve environmental change by focusing on involvement and dialogue. Further, the analysis of
the interviews showed that important elements for communicating sustainability goals are
"knowledge", "dialogue", "credibility and trust" and "involvement".
The implications of these results are that other FIS event organizers can learn from the
communication practices of Falun2015 that were aimed to be the most sustainable and
environmentally friendly NWSC ever arranged. Even though I have not tested the outcome of this
aim, such as the amount of CO2-emissions, other companies and organizations may well be
inspired by the communication strategy of Falun2015 and its investment in sustainable
development. By communicating sustainability matters to the public and making people aware of
the environment, organizations such as Falun2015 can make a first step towards a more sustainable world.

Main title:Communicating sustainability in green winter sport events
Subtitle:the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Falun 2015
Authors:Osterwalder, Rahel
Supervisor:Ångman, Elin
Examiner:Joosse, Sofie
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2015
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:sustainability, sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, CSR, green events, winter sport events, organizational communication, event communication, social constructionism, sustainability branding, environmental change, knowledge, dialogue, involvement, participatory democracy, credibility, trust
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Documentation and information
Deposited On:14 Jul 2015 08:24
Metadata Last Modified:14 Jul 2015 08:24

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