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Sustainability Round-Up: May 18

May 18 2023

This week’s sustainability round-up includes Premier League efforts surrounding the environment, a British seven-times surfing champion lambasting her sport’s sustainability track record, Nigeria’s growing grassroots football initiatives, a look at NBA Green and the Football Association of Wales’ changes.

Sustainability Round-Up: May 18

Sport Positive has released its fourth table ranking each Premier League’s sustainability efforts and the impact of holding a football match. The organisation first collated data for the Sport Positive League around key environmental sustainability pillars during the 2018-2019 season. The 2022 table saw Tottenham Hotspur take the top spot followed by Liverpool, Manchester City, Southampton and Brighton & Hove Albion. Nottingham Forest languished at the bottom.

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Seven-time British women’s surfing champion Lucy Campbell has condemned her sport for relying on boards and wetsuits mass-produced from petrochemicals. She argued that despite surfing’s mostly eco-friendly image, the sport utilises plastic boards covered in toxic resins and non-biodegradable wetsuits. Campbell added that she will only work with or accept sponsorship from brands with a clear sustainability ethos.

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Grassroots football in Nigeria is continuing to grow from strength to strength, thanks to the construction of an artificial football pitch as part of FIFA’s Forward Programme. Birnin Kebbi was chosen in 2020 for the construction of the pitch to be used by young children, while a second pitch is currently under construction in Ugborodo. The projects were undertaken by the Nigerian Football Federation, and supported with FIFA funding.

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Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, an environmental scientist, has been working with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in a bid to introduce sustainability on a global scale. Working alongside NBA Social Responsibility and Player Programmes President Kathy Behrens, as well as former NBA Commissioner David Stern, Hershkowitz helped to introduce NBA Green. Part of the efforts include providing environmental information catered to each NBA venue and more.

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The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has approved changes across its area associations to lead to improved equality and diversity in governance, investment in grassroots football, and increased sustainability. Some 30 recommendations were made including appropriately resourced regional structures; modern, diverse and well-governed associations; a full-time manager in each association and dedicated grassroots support.

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Image: Matt Paul Catalano on Unsplash

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