Football’s governing body in Europe, UEFA, and its associated social responsibility partner, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), have released a new report to highlight the need to make sport more sustainable – tackling climate change at all levels, from grassroots to elite.
The report, 'Playing for Our Planet', focuses on environmental initiatives taking place across sport in Europe and beyond, and has been produced by UEFA and WWF in collaboration with the Green Sports Alliance.
There are 12 recommendations made by the report alongside case studies of best practice from the French Ministry of Sport, European Athletics, World Sailing and FISA, among others.
Recommendations are split into three groups of four – (1) How sports and society can play together, (2) Why sports win from being sustainable, and (3) Towards a more sustainable sports industry.
The report examines the link between sports and environmental issues, and stresses the impact that the sector has, as well as its power to raise awareness and promote sustainability to fans in Europe and beyond.
'Playing for Our Planet' features 25 examples of sports stakeholders, including UEFA, who state they are committed to reducing the environmental impact of their operations.
Sports stakeholders are being called upon to step up their efforts to reduce their environmental impacts and use their unparalleled reach to encourage sustainability. Alongside European stakeholders, the report also covers their counterparts in North America to emphasise the link between global and local concerns.
UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said: "The activities showcased from around Europe show a great innovative spirit, and demonstrate that sport can contribute to sustainable causes at all levels.
"Sustainability is one of the most significant issues facing decision-makers and opinion leaders in sport as they prepare for the future," he added.
"From a Sunday kickabout in the park to grand tournaments, all sports rely on nature's bounty," said WWF global partnerships director Jochem Verberne.
"And all sporting organisations have a responsibility to care for the environment and inspire millions of fans and players around the world about sustainability and nature."
Backing for the report has come from the European Commission and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).