With the Women’s world cup in full swing, the fans are not only celebrating the high calibre of football on show but also that sustainability is at the heart of this event. The FIFA Women’s World Cup Sustainability Report aims to minimise the negative impacts and maximise the long-term positive effects on society, the economy, and the environment. This type of report is not only becoming a fundamental part of hosting large-scale sporting events but sports clubs large and small are also putting sustainability at the heart of their decision process.
For many years events were hosted with no consideration for the environment or the long-lasting impact of the event. Stadiums were built and abandoned with little to no consideration of the long-term environmental or social impact on the surrounding areas for future generations. Global audiences of sports are billions of people including in person and on TV/steamed/online viewing. With this type of global reach and influence it is vital that the environmental, social, and sustainable impacts of sport are considered, reported, and communicated.
Sports events large and small predictably have an impact on the environment in several forms, from the construction of venues and the resources energy, and people required for this, to the effects of travel to the venues from the fans, media, and the teams themselves. The impacts that a sporting event has on the local communities and the wider environment, both negative and positive are now reported regularly by significant teams and events organisers, highlighting the need for this type of reporting. The mindset of fans has also changed over the years. The influence of social and mass media has meant that people are more aware of the impacts these events are having on the environment and the long-term social value impacts sport has on the local areas. The results of all of this mean that sustainably has become a fundamental part of the sport.
The demand for sporting events and sports teams to be more sustainable is for several reasons:
Adopting sustainable practices is becoming an essential part of sports and event hosting. Sports events can minimise their ecological footprint, conserve resources, and contribute to a greener and more responsible future for both the sports industry and the communities they engage with. Sport connects global communities and has the opportunity to be an exemplar in sustainable practices and reporting to the rest of the world.