Around half of respondents feel that sustainability is a strategic priority within their organisations, among other insights in this first survey
Of 44 sustainability professionals working for sports rights holders, 46% believe that sustainability is viewed as a core strategic priority within their organisations.
This first Sustainability Professionals in Sport Survey, undertaken by this publication and parent company Touchline Earth, set out to explore the feeling among the small but growing number of sustainability professionals working in sports organisations. While the sample size for the study was low (broadly reflecting the number of people working in this specific role in the industry), we were able to pull out some insights reflecting the industry’s direction of travel.
Positively, half the respondents report above-average leadership support, while 61% possess budgets exceeding $50,000 and 64% work with more than two colleagues in sustainability roles.
On a 1-5 scale (1: ‘not valued’; 5: ‘totally valued’), half rated 4, three felt ‘totally valued’, and one ‘not valued at all’.
“Being valued to me is represented by the numbers of people invested and aware of what it is I am doing. The more people involved, the more highly valued I feel,” said one sustainability professional in the anonymous survey.
Another added: “Valued means having buy-in and genuine support from all areas of the organisation. It means sustainability is embedded across the club, including within its culture. It means that people across the organisation take sustainability seriously as part of everyone’s role while being driven and facilitated by my role.”
Diverse views on progress emerged: 21 believe they will achieve more on climate action in 2023, 9 on advocacy and 4 on circularity. Smaller numbers cited biodiversity, stakeholder engagement, data enhancement, clean energy and regulation.
Optimism persists despite challenges, emphasising the integration of sustainability and carbon reduction. Collaboration and data-driven decisions continue to highlight business value. Formalising efforts, engaging fans and forging partnerships are creating enthusiasm among many of the respondents.
Managing constraints, communication, execution, behaviour change and organisational buy-in pose the biggest challenges.
Read the full report here.