Promoting sustainability and innovation through a major sporting event

Promoting sustainability and innovation through a major sporting event

Episode #34 – Jon Dutton, chief executive of the Rugby League World Cup 2021, discusses the tournament’s sustainability charter and innovation initiative


Whenever the subject of a major sporting tournament – past, present or future – is brought up, the subject of legacy has to be explored.

Traditionally, that legacy has tended to focus on economic impact of hosting a tournament and sport participation rates (if they’ve increased as a direct result). And while Jon Dutton, the chief executive of the upcoming Rugby League World Cup, would love for the 2021 tournament in England to have a positive impact on both, they’re not the be-all and end-all when it comes to legacy.

Physical and mental health. Environmental responsibility. Civic pride. Innovation. Dutton is making sure all of these and more are on the priority list. But in order to take these issues into account, the status quo of tournament organising cannot remain intact. 

That’s why Dutton and his team are doing things differently. They’ve garnered extensive insight about what fans want and how they can make a genuinely positive impact on the North of England (where the majority of the competition is taking place).

In this episode, Dutton talks us through the sustainability charter that has been developed for the tournament and the innovation programme designed to upskill local youngsters. He explains:

– Why the Rugby League World Cup 2021 will be the biggest-ever edition of the tournament on every metric

– How social impact, sustainability and innovation plays a crucial role in that vision

– What data and insight informed the organising committee’s strategy

Listen to the full episode here:

And if you want more insight related to the economic, social and environmental side of the sports industry, subscribe via iTunesSpotify and Stitcher.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *