When it comes to climate change, it is not only the large manufacturers and multinational companies who should be adjusting the way that they conduct their business. Everyone has a role in reducing their energy consumption, waste and carbon emissions – whether you employ 2 or 200,000 people, your actions have a direct impact on our environment.
Sport teams and bodies are not exempt from this and in fact should be doing more than the other industries to curb their emissions because of the large fan followings and influence they hold.
As an example, the TV audience for the Barclays Premier League is said to be 4.7 billion. If these clubs actively took a progressive step towards corporate social responsibility and climate change, their positive actions would filter down to their fans. If 0.01% of the fans watching started to think in the same way as their clubs, we would have another 470,000 people out there changing their lives and businesses in small ways that add up to the overall goal of fighting climate change and slowing our consumption of resources.
FIFA have made a great stride recently by confirming that they will make the 2014 World Cup in Brazil the first with a comprehensive sustainability strategy that will include “green” stadiums, waste management, community support, reducing and offsetting carbon emissions, renewable energy and capacity development. Experts suggest the total emissions generated through the event will be around 2.7 million metric tonnes of CO2e emissions of which transport will account for 80%.
The process of implementing these strategies does not need to be an expensive or painful experience. In fact it can turn into great savings for your company. A great example is Newcastle United, who are one of the few sports teams out there actually implementing sustainable strategies and making a difference. They claim to have saved £250,000 over 3 years by making some simple changes to become more sustainable. Newcastle United is also carbon neutral which means they have zero impact on their environment by offsetting their emissions against global sustainable projects.
Really this is a win-win situation for everyone - clubs and companies can save money through their reduction of energy/water consumption (and show off their green credentials to the world), fans can rest easy knowing that their loyalty lies in a team that is looking after their environmental interest and obviously humanity gains from having more sustainably-conscious people who will make positive changes to our planet.
What time will kick off be?