Case Study

Northern Irish Football: Pursuing a sustainable future

Who’s doing it?

The Irish Football Association is committed to building a sustainable future for Northern Irish football.

The first half-year review of the association’s corporate strategy for 2022-27 shows positive progress across a host of key areas.

What are they doing?

Launched in January 2022, ‘A Roadmap for Football’ covers all aspects and levels of the game across Northern Ireland, from raising performance and participation levels to improving facilities, generating revenue, engagement, women’s and girls’ football and championing environmental responsibility.

As part of this vision, the IFA has announced its ambition to “become a leading organisation on sustainability, including a national stadium powered by renewable energy.”

Objectives set out in the report also include empowering leagues and clubs to develop sustainability within their communities and producing guidance to help them achieve this.

Actions so far

With the IFA shaping its overarching sustainability strategy, these are just some of the key environmental and social actions taken so far:

  • Creation of the ‘Climate & Environment Committee’ to drive the organisation’s pursuit of environmental sustainability.
  • Third party evaluation of baseline operational carbon emissions and environmental impacts.
  • Rollout of EE-backed bursaries for female coaches and launch of the ‘Female Football Leaders’ Programme
  • Increased participation in IFA Foundation programmes through improved data collection.
  • Development of e-learning courses to support volunteers at clubs across Northern Ireland.

Why are they doing it?

As a major sports organisation on the island of Ireland, there’s ready recognition of the IFA’s environmental, social and governance-based responsibilities and its duty to maintain the highest standards of corporate behaviour.

Why is this significant?

From a climate perspective alone, enormous opportunity exists for the IFA to support Northern Ireland’s clubs and fans in making the transition to a more carbon friendly and sustainable future.

As with Bristol Sport’s Project Whitebeam, harnessing the collective power of public and private partnerships can maximise the positive impacts for the sport and its communities.

A game-changing future awaits.

Want to know more?

If you want to know more, you can check out the IFA’s ‘A Roadmap for Football’ and its pursuit of sustainability.

To learn about sustainability and sport in general, you can also get in touch with us at