The role of sports in the enviroment

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What is the role of sports in an ever-changing world and in the environmental challenges that we face?  Can we entertain ourselves through sports and be eco-friendly at the same time? 

We are all aware of the ambitious goals that have been set by governments for reducing emissions by 2030 and the ultimate goal to get to net zero in terms of greenhouse gas by 2050. 

Big companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, to name but a few have already created their strategies to reduce their direct and indirect carbon emissions by modifying their supply chains, investing in green technologies, and applying circular economy plans. But, what sports clubs can do to tackle climate change, and what are the key differences? 

United Nations (UN) has built a comprehensive framework regarding Sports For Climate Action which can work as a guide for everyone actively involved in sports and can be found here

FIFA has announced the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Sustainability Strategy which is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and describes FIFA’s vision for a sustainable major sport event such as the World Cup.

The discussion about sustainable sport events has been present for quite a few years. 2012 London Olympics can be referred to as a milestone due to the fact that there were serious actions to decrease its environmental footprint. In the Post Games Sustainability Report is mentioned that 400.000 tones of CO2 equivalent have been saved. 

Last but not least, there are a few clubs that have developed environmental strategies such as Real Betis FC

Porto FC

Juventus FC

Arsenal FC

There are specific sectors in which clubs have to adopt environmental practices including energy, transportation, waste management, water, food, clothing and of course, engaging fans towards positive behavioral change that reduces environmental impact in their own lives.

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What are the benefits of a more sustainable sports club?

“We’re playing against the clock and we’re in extra time already,” said Goldblatt an academic, author and journalist specialising in sport and the environment.


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