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Press release

Athletics Kenya and Swedish Athletics Association strengthen collaboration for sustainability and climate action

Nairobi, Kenya and Stockholm, Sweden – Athletics Kenya and the Swedish Athletics Association have taken a major step through a new initiative to deepen their collaboration on sustainability and climate change action in athletics at the 2024 Adidas Stockholm marathon.

Athletics Kenya and Swedish Athletics Association strengthen collaboration for sustainability and climate action / Published on 3 June 2024
Press release contact

Ylva Rylander /

Stockholm marathon race on Vasabron.

Stockholm marathon race on the Vasabron bridge, Sweden.

This initiative builds on their successful partnership established during the United Nations Stockholm+50 Conference in 2022 and reinforces their commitment as signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Sports for Climate Action Framework. Together, they aim to promote sustainability within the global athletics community as part of World Athletics Sustainability Strategy and delivered through “Athletics for a better world standard” initiative.

In an exciting development, three new air quality sensors have been installed by the Adidas Stockholm Marathon along the Adidas Stockholm marathon route with technical support from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and SLB-analys to monitor air quality during the 2024 Adidas Stockholm Marathon. This marks the second World Athletics sanctioned marathon to feature real-time air quality monitoring, following the Nairobi City Marathon in 2022 and 2023.

Axel Lönnqvist from Marathongruppen, the organisers of the Adidas Stockholm Marathon remarked:

We are very pleased that for the first time, we will be able to monitor air quality conditions during this year’s Adidas Stockholm marathon. This will give assurance to our runners on the air quality conditions during the race.

Axel Lönnqvist, Marathongruppen

The President of the Swedish Athletic Association, Johan Storåkers who is also the Deputy Mayor of the Muncipality Sundbyberg with special responsibility for sports and culture noted:

I am pleased to support this initiative on air quality monitoring to make Adidas Stockholm marathon meet World athletics standards and thank Athletics Kenya for the collaboration.

Johan Storåkers, Swedish Athletic Association

In a groundbreaking initiative, Athletics Kenya, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) Africa Centre have successfully deployed air quality sensors in 14 sports stadia and facilities across six African countries over the past three years. This initiative provides real-time air pollution data to sports administrators and city authorities, enhancing the health and safety of athletes and spectators alike.

Athletics Kenya and the Swedish Athletic Association hope to inspire sustainability actions by other athletic federations across the world. Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei, the President of Athletics Kenya and the Vice President of World Athletics said:

This is a milestone for the two federations (Swedish Athletics and Athletics Kenya) to champion and provide sports leadership on air quality, climate and environmental actions. We are also happy to join in witnessing the Stockholm super Athletics weekend comprising of the Adidas Stockholm marathon, Wanda Stockholm Diamond League and mini-marathon that are scheduled on 1st and 2nd June 2024.

Jackson Tuwei, President of Athletics Kenya and the Vice President of World Athletics

SEI is committed to continue providing technical support for air quality measurements and climate action to strengthen partnership between Athletics Kenya and the Swedish Athletics Federation.

In recent times, we have seen more frequent climate hazards, including flooding in East Africa and Brazil, and record breaking temperatures leading to summer heatwaves, all signs that the impact of climate change is now more visible than before. This calls for urgent action, and sports community must be at the forefront of action.

Måns Nilsson, SEI Executive Director

This initiative represents a significant step forward in integrating sustainability and climate action into the world of athletics, setting a precedent for other sports organizations worldwide.

For further information, please contact:

Philip Osano
Philip Osano

Centre Director

SEI Africa

Ylva Rylander
Ylva Rylander

Communications and Impact Officer


SEI Headquarters

Swedish Athletics Association

Swedish Athletics is the national federation for athletics in Sweden. Their work focuses on development and administration of the sport in Sweden and the representation through the national team at the international championships. It is a member federation of World Athletics and European Athletics.

Athletics Kenya

Athletics Kenya is the governing body for the sport of track and field athletics in Kenya. It is a member of World Athletics and Confederation of African Athletics.

UN Environment Programme

UNEP is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

Stockholm Environment Institute

SEI is an international non-profit research and policy organization that tackles environment and development challenges. The organization connects science and decision-making to develop solutions for a sustainable future.

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