Collective action will enable rugby to help tackle climate change
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Rugby is not immune to the devastating impacts of climate change such as heatwaves, storms, floods, drought and wildfires.

"As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of rugby, born out of disruption and innovation, much has been accomplished across rugby clubs and communities the world over to ensure the success and sustainability of our sport to this point in time," said World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont.

"Yet, amidst the very real and present challenges posed by climate change and biodiversity loss, we have arrived at a critical juncture and must now learn from our past, address our present, and safeguard not just the future of our sport, but of our planet."

The World Rugby Environmental Sustainability Plan (ESP) 2030 was launched early last year. Since then, World Rugby has implemented several initiatives that revolve around three priority themes:

  • Climate action – as a UN Sport for Climate Action Framework signatory, by measuring and identifying ways to reduce the carbon footprint of our activities, estimated to be on average one million tones of carbon annually (including fan travel)
  • Circular economy – undertaking staff and stakeholder engagement to rethink product life cycles, reusing or refusing items wherever possible to reduce waste and avoidable consumption  
  • Protecting the natural environment – through the development of sustainable sourcing policies and processes that protect and promote biodiversity as an IUCN Sport for Nature Framework signatory

To help accomplish this, World Rugby’s ESP 2030 includes achievable targets to ensure a “whole of rugby” approach. They include:

  • All affiliated World Rugby unions and regions to have signed up to the UN Sport for Climate Action Framework by 2025 and be actively implementing the framework’s principles by 2030
  • All affiliated World Rugby unions and regions to have developed their own sustainability plans and be monitoring and reporting on progress by 2030 (by 2025 for high-performance rugby unions)

Source: World Rugby


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