Last month, top sports industry sustainability experts came together in Lausanne, Switzerland, for the inaugural meeting of Sports and Sustainability International (SandSI), a global initiative that aims to harness the far-reaching influence of sports to promote sustainable development in the industry and in the global market economy and community.
Among the groups represented at the Lausanne meeting were the NBA, NHL, YMCA International, the Green Sports Alliance, the International Olympic Committee and many others.
Todd Jacobson, NBA senior vice president of social responsibility, told Around the Rings, “Basketball is a global game with values that resonate around the world. Through the NBA Green program, we’re proud to support Sport and Sustainability as part of our commitment to the sustainability of our venues and the communities in which we play.”
48 representatives in all were in attendance to discuss the best ways to promote the use of renewable energy, water efficiency, wildlife conservation, and smarter waste management. The result was an action plan that focuses on three “pillars of work.”
These primary objectives will be to (1) enhance sports venue design and operations, (2) influence the industry’s supply chain to utilize fair trade principles and (3) mobilize athletes and fans in support of sustainability and healthy communities.
SandSI intends to collaborate with sports fans, athletes, teams, leagues, sponsors and other industry business partners in order to spread their initiative.
“Sports hold a unique and powerful place in communities around the world,” said David Muller, former membership director for Green Sports Alliance. “Sports have the power to not only set an example of sustainable operations for businesses and events across the globe, but to inspire and motivate billions of people to take action on behalf of our planet and all humanity.”
The next meeting of Sport and Sustainability International will take place in Munich at the end of February.