30 Jan 2024

In a determined effort to amplify the focus on sustainability within the realm of table tennis, ITTF President Petra Sörling embarked on a significant visit to Japan, centring around the ongoing All Japan Table Tennis Championships currently taking place in Tokyo.

Amidst the fervour of the championships, President Sörling not only expressed her appreciation for the Japan Table Tennis Association (JTTA) and their remarkable activities but also lauded the high-level competition, extending congratulations to the champions of the “Junior Boy’s” and “Junior Girl’s” events, Sora Matsushima and Miwa Harimoto.

Further solidifying the strong ties between the ITTF Group and JTTA, President Sörling extended her thanks for successfully hosting the WTT Finals Women Nagoya in December of the previous year.

“As we celebrate the achievements on the table, we must also champion a sustainable future off it,” said President Sörling. “Our dedication to excellence in sport goes hand in hand with our responsibility to safeguard the environment.”

The Japan visit was an opportunity to delve into discussions on sustainability within the table tennis equipment manufacturing sector.

“We are all in the same boat,” remarked President Sörling. “If our sport is growing, they are growing, and our efforts go hand in hand – our sport grows if we both grow.”

Accompanied by ITTF Group Head of Sustainability, Karine Teow, the President engaged in a series of visits to prominent manufacturers with the aim of establishing and fortifying relationships, initiating discussions on sustainability, and identifying collaborative opportunities to enhance equipment sustainability.

The itinerary included insightful tours to the headquarters and main factory of Tamasu Co. Ltd. (Butterfly), hosted by CEO Ms. Takako Osawa, to the factory of Nippon Takkyu Co. Ltd. (Nittaku), hosted by Chairman Isao Kitaoka, and a meeting with San-Ei President Shin Miura.

The manufacturers showcased their commitment to sustainability through initiatives such as creative waste repurposing, water management encompassing recycling, filtering, and rainwater utilisation, as well as the integration of renewable energy in the form of solar panel roofs and energy-efficient lighting.

Karine Teow reflected, “Our visit to the factories and firsthand observation of the production processes served as a wonderful starting point, and we were genuinely impressed by the positive strides already taken. There is an opportunity to better showcase the manufacturers’ commendable endeavours. The ITTF aims to build a common understanding of sustainability, ensuring we play an active role as a helping hand in advancing the best sustainable practices.”

The visit marked a collaborative effort, with the ITTF expressing eagerness to continually engage with manufacturers and deepen their understanding of how to raise the bar towards more sustainable equipment.

Looking ahead, the ITTF has scheduled future visits to Germany and China in 2024, underscoring the federation’s commitment to fostering global sustainability within all aspects of the sport of table tennis.

General News