Green Transition Crowborough has been active in promoting greater sustainability in our local community through a grassroots approach.
We have recently started to talk to local sport organisations about working together both to help them make further changes to become more sustainable; while at the same time increasing engagement with our community and raising the profile of sport & physical activity in our town.
If you are actively involved in a local sports club and would like to represent them on our group, then please get in contact.
Click here for information on recent developments.
There is a lot of advice and encouragement out there for sport clubs at every level to work on improving their own sustainability and on contributing to the broader community effort, although there does appear to be a significant difference across sports.
In terms of generic campaigning and advice, the United Nations, working with the international sport federations, has produced the Sports for Climate Action initiative and Sport England has produced guidance that could be very helpful for our local initiative, including how encouraging more active lifestyles will be a major contribution to a carbon-free future.
There are specific organisations campaigning in this area, such as the British Association for Sustainable Sport (membership include Active Sussex, British Swimming and England Golf); as well as those that campaign on particular issues, such as the Big Plastic Pledge, which tries to reduce single-use plastic use in sport.
The website sustainability.sport has been created to collate sport’s efforts in sustainability onto one single platform, this portal features a vast array of resources to inform, educate and inspire. You can search by sport and geography (ie Europe).
Football has plenty of initiatives. The Football Foundation have some energy saving hints & tips (many of which are applicable to other sports). At a club level, Arsenal are famous for their sustainability efforts, including some interesting work on the sustainable maintenance of the pitch, but it’s not only Premier League clubs. Forest Green Rovers, a EFL League One club, are world famous for their sustainability efforts.
There are also organisations that specifically focus on promoting sustainability in football, such as Football for Future, which provides training and sustainability support for clubs and Sustainable Football, which offers professional support from a football sustainability expert.
World Rugby provides a list of actions that clubs can take to become more sustainable, while the England Cricket Board provides advice on what cricket clubs can do to make themselves more sustainable and has a maintenance fund that supports projects that improve the sustainability of cricket grounds. They even provide a brief note on increasing the efficiency of boilers and hot water systems.
The Lawn Tennis Association has developed an Environmental Sustainability Plan for tennis in Britain, they are committed to both reduce its own impacts, and work with everyone involved in tennis in Britain to protect and support the environment.
British Cycling has appointed their first Sustainability Manager and hope to publish their Sustainability Framework in early-2023. In 2018, they joined forces with groups like the Ramblers and Sustrans to prioritise facilities for cycling and walking.
England Athletics’ new sustainability strategy aims to inspire clubs, athletes and runners on their sustainability journey. The environmental impact of parkrun events should be considered at all times and they encourage people to arrive by public transport or under their own steam and this accessibility should also be taken into account when looking at a location.
England Hockey has a number of facility partners committed to delivering the most sustainable solutions – see this case study about Sevenoaks Hockey Club. Since leaving international hockey Joanna Leigh has been championing sustainability agendas. She was Sustainability Coordinator at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Swim England want to see carbon emissions come down and a more environmentally sustainable network of swimming pools all over the country. Whilst they don’t have a specific policy in this area, a new organisation strategy will be launched later this year.
England Golf are helping clubs to upgrade their facilities and behaviours to promote golf as a sustainable sport for future generations to enjoy.