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Working together for our sustainable future

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Working together for our sustainable future

Collaboration emerges as a key theme in creating and maintaining sustainability in sport.

There were several key themes to emerge from presentations and panel discussions. The most prominent theme was also an underlying reason for staging the Sustainable Innovation in Sport conference – collaboration.

The conference brought together key actors in sustainability in sport. Governments, professional sport organisations and sponsors were all represented. An important lesson was the value of everyone working together and moving in the same direction.

Sustainability benefits all:

  • Governments can meet their climate targets as set out by the Paris Agreement.
  • Private enterprise can reduce their carbon footprint and increase efficiency.
  • Sport organisations have the opportunity to raise awareness of environmental concerns and act as leaders in the sustainable revolution.
  • Environmentally conscious consumers are more likely to invest their time in money if they feel they are contributing to a carbon neutral economy.

Many sport organisations are rivals on and off the field of play. Professional sport is becoming more competitive as the price of failure escalates. For this reason many sports brands and organisations remain competitors. Delegates of the conference urge organisations to put their sporting differences aside and come together for our collective sustainable future.

The SDGs are important in guiding organisations in their sustainability journey. SDG 13 sets an agenda for combatting climate issues and this is paramount for the sustainability agenda. Also important is SDG 17, creating and strengthening partnerships for the global goals. This encourages all actors in development to work together. So combining these two goals lays foundations for organisations to work together for a sustainable future.

Collaboration applies to all levels of the sport for development community. Private enterprise has a desire to reduce its carbon footprint and create a greener image of the organisation. This desire transfers to the funding they have for social responsibility programmes. Implementing projects are more regularly required to show a sustainable side of their project. How can a project achieve their primary goals (health, education etc) while at the same time minimising their carbon footprint and raising awareness of sustainability?

There is still a long way to go to achieve a carbon neutral economy, but the wheels are in motion. The most efficient way of achieving targets is through collaboration and knowledge sharing.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 11:48