I can’t lecture anyone about sustainability.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve found myself aspiring to a simpler life. Many of the decisions I’ve taken have been made with the environment as an increasingly prominent factor.
– Commuting by bike and public transport.
– Using the car as a last resort.
– No meat.
– Less… “stuff”.
But I can’t lecture anyone about sustainability.
It wasn’t a conscious decision to become more environmentally conscious, it was something that just crept up on me. And I wasn’t thinking about doing something professionally in sustainability until I sat down for what turned out to be a 3-hour cup of coffee with Patrick Haslett in Summer 2021.
That conversation sent me down a rabbit hole of sustainability and sport – calls and conversations with leaders in the field – Dr. Russell Seymour, Eamonn Donlyn, Caroline Corrigan. Weekend’s spent taking part in the Climate Reality Project. Evenings poring over strategic plans looking for references to sustainability and climate action.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
The Good News…
Sport is inherently sustainable, just look at the personal health and community benefits it can provide.
It’s not a big jump for any sporting organisation to expand its efforts and pursue an integrated and balanced strategy – One that covers all key social, economic and environmental responsibilities.
Precedence – many have already gone before and at Impact 3 Zero we have compiled hundreds of examples of sport tackling sustainability and reaping the benefits.
The vast majority of sports organisations, events and businesses do not have a strategy, point of view or plan for tackling upcoming environmental challenges, or embedding sustainability in their operations.
Many view sustainability as an upcoming cost centre – but it doesn’t have to be, in fact, the very opposite might be the case.
Governments, sponsors and fans will compel sport to take action on sustainability, and climate action in particular. For those who start planning now, and put sustainability at the heart of their planning, there are massive commercial opportunities:
- The safeguarding of government funding
- Compelling, new sponsorship rights
- Access to green funding
- Loyalty from increasingly conscientious fans
Not to mention the opportunity to do the right thing and make a contribution to solving a massive global challenge.
The solutions for sport are actually quite simple, the benefits are huge.
A massive thank you to the sports organisations and the people who have already engaged us to help them start the conversation about sustainability and sport. We’re looking forard to helping them drive change, sustainability and opportunity in 2022.