The impact of climate change and extreme weather conditions has been even more evident on sport events this past year. We have seen athletes adversely affected by extreme heat, and winter sports struggling to be held in reliable snow and/or ice conditions.
October 6th has been designated as Green Sports Day. It was started in the USA six years ago by the Green Sports Alliance. Canada has a strong legacy of hosting sustainable events, and Sport Tourism Canada (STC) encourages our industry to incorporate plans for climate action into current and future sport events.
We have supported sustainable event development for many years, creating the Sustainable Sport Event Template (SSET) in 2013, which is available on the Members Only section of our website. We also developed the STC Sport Event Legacy of the Year PRESTIGE Award to recognize the outstanding achievements or contributions that have helped advance sustainable and environmental stewardship within a Canadian Sport Event and have left a demonstrable legacy to the community.
STC is participating in the Sports for Climate Action Framework, which was launched in December 2018 by United Nations Climate Change, in partnership with the International Olympic Committee. The Framework sets the course for the global sport community to respond to climate change in a systematic and comprehensive manner. It builds on sport’s unique ability to inform and mobilize millions of people around a love of sport. Sport organizations can display leadership on global climate action by taking responsibility for their climate footprint and inspiring others to take action on climate change beyond the sport sector.
This is an opportunity for the sports sector to become a climate leader. Participants commit to adhere to a set of five principles and incorporate them into strategies, policies and procedures, and mainstream them within the sports community, thus setting the stage for a wider dissemination of the message and long-term success.
- Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility;
- Reduce overall climate impact;
- Educate for climate action;
- Promote sustainable and responsible consumption;
- Advocate for climate action through communication.
If you’d like to commit to the initiative, you can send your own Letter of Commitment to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Another good source of resource material is the Sport Ecology Group.