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Sustainability proves to be sacrosanct for UK Sport

March 14 2024 - News Release News Editorial

UK Sport has placed sustainability at the fore when it comes to hosting future events with its new strategic framework, Making Live Sport Matter.

Sustainability proves to be sacrosanct for UK Sport

The framework is accompanied by UK Sport’s hosting target list for the coming decade; it is aiming for 70 events in 32 sports, including 18 world championships.

Making Live Sport Matter is said to have stemmed from a belief that more needs to be done to protect and develop live sport in the UK.

All events on the list will be subject to a feasibility process which venue selection, winnability, bid processes, and costs.

Focus has also been placed on ensuring every event delivers positive and lasting change to environmental sustainability, mental health, wellbeing, and employment skills.

“[We will] ensure that every major event we invest in has calculated its potential environmental impact and puts in place an action plan to reduce negative impacts and implement initiatives that have a net positive impact,” UK Sport Sustainability Advisor Sara Kassam told Global Sustainable Sport.

“We have produced template action plans to support events, focusing on areas aligned with the SDGs (climate action, responsible resource consumption and production, biodiversity).

“At investment application stage, we will require events to include an action plan including how they will resource this. We actively support events in this space, they have access to technical knowledge from UK Sport and resources and templates which they can use.”

“As part of UK Sport’s environmental sustainability strategy, we have a target in our action plan for 100% of events to have impact calculations and action plans by March 2025." UK Sport Sustainability Advisor Sara Kassam

The UK is already preparing to host the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2025, the European Athletics Championships in 2026 and UEFA Euro 2028.

The new list of aspirational hosting targets includes the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which the UK has never hosted.

UK Sport has also set its sights on the Men’s Rugby World Cup, Athletics World Championships, Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup, and Tour de France.

By the end of March next year, the deadline set by UK Sport for national governing bodies to analyse their environmental impacts and develop and sustainability action plan will be met.

Making Live Sport Matter was launched with this timeframe in mind.

There are no overarching environmental sustainability goals in the framework’s “signs of success”, but this is because the organisation is adopting a specific approach to each event.

“As part of UK Sport’s environmental sustainability strategy, we have a target in our action plan for 100% of events to have impact calculations and action plans by March 2025,” Kassam said.

“As every event operates in different circumstances, we provide tailored support to achieve their ambitions in the sustainability space. We work with each event to create an action plan that is relevant and authentic to them, as well as meeting any requirements set by their International Federation.”

Image: Tembela Bohle

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