At Daikin we are proud to be at the forefront of innovation and sustainability – not just in buildings or the cold chain, but also in sports. At the 2024 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, we introduced technology to create the most sustainable temporary skating rink ever.

The Daikin chillers used in the construction of the temporary skating rink played an important role in creating the most environmentally friendly track possible, setting new standards for the sustainability of temporary ice facilities with extreme levels of energy efficiency. Under the guidance of an ice master, chillers made it possible to quickly create high-quality ice on which the world’s best short track speed skaters demonstrated their performances. At the same time, thanks to innovative technology, energy consumption has been reduced by 80%, marking a significant step towards greener skating around the world.

Hosting the World Championships at the world’s most sustainable temporary skating rink was made possible thanks to the joint efforts of Daikin Netherlands and other dedicated partners committed to making the sport of speed skating more environmentally friendly. We were also honored by the visit and support of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander.

The first idea for this innovative project arose in 2022, when Jeroen Kraaij, Commercial Director of the Royal Dutch Skating Association (KNSB), Edwin Hoogerwerf, Managing Director of Daikin Netherlands and Nathalie Du Bruin, Partnership Manager at Rotterdam Ahoy, attended a sports sponsorship convention in Seattle . Inspired by a presentation on sustainability at the Climate Pledge Arena, the trio set out to create the greenest skating rink for the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Rotterdam. What followed was not a simple adoption of existing methods, but an independent exploration and pooling of capabilities, driven by a common desire to achieve tangible results.

For KNSB, the need to create environmentally friendly skating rinks is of paramount importance. This extends beyond championship arenas to include small temporary skating rinks in villages and towns, providing accessibility for skating enthusiasts while championing environmental responsibility. Since Rotterdam Ahoy is already a champion of environmentally friendly activities, our partnership combines technological expertise with Ahoy’s environmentally friendly facilities, paving the way for the ice rink project of the future.

Sustainability isn’t just about the skating rink; it’s about redefining the event management paradigm. Strict CO2 emissions regulations and sustainability guidelines require innovative solutions, and our collaboration aims to set a new standard. Daikin’s involvement goes beyond sponsorship; It’s about using our expertise and technological advancements to ensure the sustainability of the sports industry.

With innovations such as smart variable speed compressors and heat recovery systems, we are significantly reducing energy consumption and paving the way for a greener future. Moreover, our commitment extends to sharing knowledge and demonstrating these achievements to a global audience, including the Milan/Cortina d’Ampezzo Winter Olympics delegation.

While the financial implications of these advances are still being assessed, the benefits are clear. Not only do we expect significant energy savings and cost efficiencies, but we are also leading a scalable model that redefines the concept of sustainability in event management.

As we have successfully passed the final test at the World Championships, we are confident that our collective efforts will not only elevate the sport of speed skating, but will also set a new standard for the sustainability of sporting events. At Daikin, we are proud to lead change towards a more sustainable future, one partnership at a time.

(From left to right) Mr. Jae Yul Kim (ISU President), Mr. Sees Juffermans (Tournament Director), Mr. Edwin Hoogerwerf (Managing Director of Daikin Netherlands), His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, Mr. Herman de Haan (KNSB President)–Daikin-Netherlands-Partners-for-the-World-Short-Track-Speed-Skating-Championships-2024.html