The project “Greencoach- Incorporating sustainability in the governance of sports organisations”, Co-funded by the European Commission under the umbrella of the Programme Erasmus+ Sport, is a 36 months collaborative partnership, which involves eight public and private entities, (Sport Federations and Institutions, NGOs, University, Research Centers) based in different Countries: Italy, Spain, Norway, Belgium, Sweden, Lithuania and France. The project is coordinated by Ecoserveis.
As shown by different studies, the sports industry has a large responsibility towards global environmental pollution (Triantafyllidi, 2018). Over the last decade, some initiatives have been developed to incorporate monitoring and benchmarking of environmental footprint in sports events. Therefore, there are not yet reference models at organisational level on good governance of sustainability within sports organisations, and especially focusing on how to incorporate sustainability as a cross-cutting priority in sports clubs as a governance element, beyond specific actions during sport events.
Furthermore, organisers of sporting events tend to have more control over infrastructure and operational decisions. However, the larger impact of sports in the environmental footprint is related to mobility and transport, even in grassroots sports (Triantafyllidi, 2018), which involves individual attitudes of both internal and external people, and is more difficult to tackle and control. As some studies have shown (Wicker, 2018), the individual environmental footprint of individual sport participants behaviour can have a significant impact, but most of the studies have examined aggregate values of sport events and do not tackle the individual perspective of participants’ behaviour.
Consequently, the sports community should start taking steps to address individual travel emissions related to players, fans, families and staff transportation. Sports can be an important activity in the fight against climate change because of their popularity and their capacity to reach very different profiles of citizens. They offer a great potential to promote ethical behaviours and codes of conduct related to sustainability among citizenship profiles that usually do not engage in climate actions.
The main activities of GREENCOACH will be:
- Creation of a quality seal (the GREENTEAM Seal) to provide visibility to the sports clubs working on the improvement of their environmental footprint;
- Creation of a user-friendly online tool (the GREENCOACH TOOL) to engage both the sports organisation and the players, families, spectators and staff into sustainability behaviour.
- Development of education and training modules of the sportspeople, families and staff
- Use the data gathered through the GREENCOACH tool to elaborate an evidence-based study