Government agency UK Sport has announced a strategy to make major sporting events, including British Olympic & Paralympic sport, net positive by 2040.
UK Sports’ newly published Environmental Sustainability Strategy also states that it will aim to reduce the negative impact of its own activities and operations, targeting net zero for Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, by 2030.
Alongside details of specific actions and targets, the report includes guidance on areas such as what it expects from the sports it invests in. It specifies that by March 2025 UK Sport expects all National Governing Bodies to have analysed their environmental impacts and developed an environmental sustainability action plan aligned with the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework.
The report also specifies that the Government agency will support its partners in enabling the incorporation of environmental sustainability actions into the bidding, hosting and delivery of major events. Other priorities outlined in the strategy include responsible procurement of goods and services to reduce negative environmental impacts.
UK Sport promised to dedicate the rest of the Paris Olympic and Paralympic cycle until March 2025 to laying the foundations required to achieve its long-term goal by identifying the areas across high-performance sport where the biggest impact can be delivered.
It is currently providing environmental sustainability guidance for National Governing Bodies to implement systemic change in their operations through a pilot project. That includes supporting British Triathlon, UK Athletics, British Swimming and England Hockey, alongside the English Institute of Sport, to measure their carbon footprint and other environmental impacts and develop a sustainability action plan.
UK Sport Chief Executive Sally Munday said, “Climate change is impacting all of us. UK Sport is determined to reduce the impact of our own activities and operations, targeting net zero by 2030, as well as driving action and progress on sustainability across high-performance sport.
“Our goal is for British Olympic and Paralympic sport, together with major sporting events that we host in the UK, to have a net positive impact on the environment by 2040.
“Sport has the power to unite people across borders and inspire positive change. As well as taking meaningful action on sustainability ourselves, we must also use the voice, influence and platform of high-performance sport to advocate for action on environmental sustainability and inspire others to act and make a difference.”