UK Sport launches Environmental Sustainability Strategy
UK Sport has launched its Environmental Sustainability Strategy, which includes the goal of high-performance sport having a net positive impact on the environment by 2040.
The target is in addition to reducing the negative environmental impact of the government agency’s own activities and operations, in order to achieve net zero by 2030.
UK Sport’s strategy covers the period between 2023 and 2025 and also focuses on producing the next generation of champions – the ‘Team of Tomorrow’.
UK Sport will now dedicate the rest of the Paris Olympic and Paralympic cycle until March 2025 to laying the foundations required to achieve these goals. The agency will identify areas across high-performance sport where the biggest impact can be delivered, and will aim to drive progress in these areas.
“Climate change is impacting all of us,” said UK Sport Chief Executive, Sally Munday.
“We have seen tracks and pitches are being flooded and extreme heat is impacting athletes, their training and competitions. A failure to take action now is not only a threat to the long-term relevance and appeal of high-performance sport but it also threatens the existence of high-performance sport itself in the future. Without urgent action, our Team of Tomorrow is under threat.”
"A failure to take action now is not only a threat to the long-term relevance and appeal of high-performance sport but it also threatens the existence of high-performance sport itself in the future."
Munday added: “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.”
UK Sport’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy also highlights five of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals including responsible consumption and production; climate action; life on land; life below water and partnerships for the goals. UK Sport will work to support partners, national governing bodies and the high-performance sport community to reduce their emissions.
It is already working with bodies such as British Triathlon, UK Athletics, British Swimming and England Hockey, alongside the English Institute of Sport, to accelerate their environmental sustainability journey.
The strategy further highlights the wider influence of high-performance sport and how it can advocate for environmental sustainability, and inspire positive change. It also warns that a lack of action when it comes to tackling climate change not only affects the future of the Earth, but also the long-term relevance and existence of high-performance sport.
A number of key priorities include a requirement for national governing bodies to analyse their environmental impacts and develop an action plan, aligning with the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework; using the voice, influence and platform of high-performance sport to advocate for positive change; incorporating action on environmental sustainability into the bidding, hosting and delivery of major events; being responsible for the procurement of goods and services to reduce negative environmental impacts and continued annual reporting of environment impacts.