Healthy Stadia supports Sport Positive Summit

Healthy Stadia supports Sport Positive Summit

This year, Healthy Stadia is supporting the Sport Positive Summit, a leading global conference bringing together sports stakeholders from all over the world to accelerate efforts to alleviate the impact of professional sport on the climate crisis, to safeguard the future of sport globally.

In collaboration with UNFCCC Global Climate Action and the International Olympic Committee, the Summit will take place over 28 and 29 September and will offer world-leading content and industry networking for those working in professional sport. Sport stakeholders, including but not limited to, leagues, clubs, stadia and governing bodies will have the opportunity to hear from sustainability experts, international agencies, and NGOs on how to put sustainability at the heart of business operations to ensure long-term viability of sport.

The outcomes of the Summit are aligned to the Sport for Climate Action Framework principles and will provide a supportive platform where sports organisations can learn from one another, disseminate good practices, develop new tools and understand the role sport can play in reducing its impact and drive sustainable development.

Why should sport be concerned with the climate crisis?

Shortly before winning his sixth Formula One drivers’ championship in 2019, Lewis Hamilton revealed via Instagram that he felt “like giving up on everything”. The reason for his despair? Eco-anxiety. Otherwise defined as ‘a chronic fear of environmental catastrophe’. Whilst not formally recognised as a mental health condition in the UK, this phenomena is increasingly recognised by both experts and practitioners as an area of growing concern.

Naturally, Hamilton’s post received a slew of criticism. After all, Formula One consists of a series of races across the globe and despite the use of smaller, hybrid engines and energy recovery systems in the modern era, the sport ultimately still glorifies the use of petrol-powered car brands through participation by Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren.

International sport, by definition has a significant impact on our climate through travelling athletes, spectators, the media, the provision of food and accommodation for an event and the construction of sports stadia and other facilities that are often seldom used post-tournament. The brands that sponsor sport will also have to change or face the scrutiny from an increasingly concerned public.

There is clear evidence that people and planet are already feeling the effects of the climate crisis. And sport is not immune to this. Sports are already being impacted more regularly through flooded pitches, extreme heat and reducing snowfall which has a particular impact on winter sports.

Pioneers in the sector have already begun to innovate and reduce the impact of their operations on the environment, but a critical mass of sports organisations need to support campaigns such as the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework and other similar initiatives to catalyse change.

To learn more about the Sport Positive Summit and to register to attend the event, click the link below and use the code “HST15” to receive a 15% discount on checkout:

To learn more about how Healthy Stadia is supporting organisations in this area, click the link below to learn more about encouraging fans to walk and cycle to sports venues:

Michael Viggars

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