Are you a Champion of Sustainability?

June 08 2023
Are you a Champion of Sustainability?

This July, Global Sustainable Sport is launching it’s Champions of Sustainability programme, based on its innovative new sustainability framework.

The programme invites sports organisations from all over the world to take part and help create a more sustainable future for sport and the planet.

Currently there is no standard framework for guiding or expressing the sustainable activities of a sports organisation.

More and more sports organisations are looking to develop their sustainability programmes. However, without a clear framework to express these activities, they are struggling to show the true social, economic, and environmental impact they have on society and the planet, whether positive or negative.

Without a clear framework sport cannot express its true value.

There are many frameworks to which sport can refer. These include the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework, the various ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) frameworks, a whole variety of certification programmes, including ISO 20121, and materiality reporting frameworks. But none of these capture the true value of sport.

Sport has traditionally used measures like economic impact, media coverage, or brand exposure to express value to host cities, nations, brands, and sponsors. More recently, organisations like UEFA and the Football Association of England have produced social value reports, which vary in style and methodology, but show the social value created by their member organisations. These are few and far between in the industry, though, although a number of sports organisations, like Formula E, are reporting on their carbon footprint.

Some organisations at the forefront of sustainability produce annual sustainability reports, including the International Biathlon Federation and Borussia Dortmund. But the format of these varies considerably, and it is difficult to compare one report with another.

Therefore, sport needs a common framework and a common way to express sustainability.

Global Sustainable Sport has worked with a variety of academics and stakeholders to produce a standard framework and approach to expressing the sustainable activities of a sports organisation. The result is the Seven Sustainable Pillars of Sport.

Based on existing frameworks and in-depth research and analysis, the seven pillars cover the full spectrum of sport: Partnerships, Participation, People, Planet, Power, Profile and Prosperity. It is by no means perfect, but it is a comprehensive assessment of the value that sport creates. The seven Pillars will help to guide sports organisations on their way to becoming ‘Champion of Sustainability’.

The Champions of Sustainability programme

The aim of the Champions of Sustainability programme is to help every sports organisation, federation, team, league, club, event, venue, host city, nation, brand, broadcaster, and supplier become a ‘Champion of Sustainability’. It is both aspirational and inclusive.

Global Sustainable Sport is now inviting organisations from all over the world to join the Champions of Sustainability Programme. Global Sustainable Sport is also looking for partners to support the programme on a global, regional, national, or sport level.


The programme will launch in early July with a Global Survey – and it is free to participate. Organisations can then join the Champions programme, which will include a full evaluation of their activities at the end of 2023. The programme will conclude with a series of reports published on different elements of sport and sustainability and an awards programme in spring 2024 to recognise the amazing achievements of different stakeholders across the different Sustainable Pillars of Sport.

The Champions programme will be supported by a series of workshops and an educational programme which will help sports organisations move through the various stages, from planning to developing, developed, advanced and, finally, becoming a Champion. It may take many years for an organisation to reach such a level, but by embarking on the programme, sports stakeholders will receive guidance and direction towards developing a strong and meaningful sustainability strategy, making a positive impact along the way.

Sport is built on developing champions.

However, the planet needs everyone to become a champion – and not just a champion of sustainability, but also a champion FOR sustainability.

To register for the programme, simply complete the registration form below and take the first step towards becoming a global Champion of Sustainability.

    Register your interest in the GSS Champions of Sustainability Programme and Educational Programme here

    First name

    Last name