Irish sport’s dirty word

This article was published in the June 16th edition of ‘The Pitch’ by Ian Mallon in the Irish Examiner. Read the full article here.

BY 2030 ‘Sustainability’ will be the most important non-sporting commercial activation across all Irish sports bodies.

But for now it’s sport’s dirty word, with very little action and very few strategies outside a small number of trendsetters.

Munster Rugby, Aviva Stadium and Bohemian FC are signatories to the United Nation’s Sport for Climate Action Framework – with Munster and the Aviva the only Irish sporting entities to have committed to the COP Race to Zero, UN-backed global zero carbon campaign.

But does the small number of signees demonstrate sheer disinterest by the rest of Irish sport, or is there a greater cause?

Leadership may be the issue, and Sport Ireland has no sustainability strategy in place – think about that for a moment.

If direction at statutory level is so muted then what chance have NGBs of getting their houses in order, and all well in advance of 2030 when the Government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 31% as part of its own Climate Action Plan.

There are a number of bodies making progress in this area – even if they haven’t signed up to the various UN-supported policies.

The FAI, Croke Park and Volleyball Ireland have taken lead roles in various activations, but hundreds of NGBs, Local Sports Partnerships, Clubs and other organisations are receiving little direction.

According to Patrick Haslett, Managing Partner at sustainability agency Impact 3 Zero, the question may be more down to a feeling of helplessness.

Why are Irish NGBs not in that space? I think there’s a danger that we might feel overwhelmed about the challenge that we face,” Haslett told The Pitch.

“As a people and a population we care about the climate crisis, but it is human to feel slightly helpless. We need to change that challenge into opportunity, starting by taking small steps and developing these into bigger actions and commitments.”

To discuss sustainability and your sport, contact Impact 3 Zero’s Patrick Haslett here –