Sustainable sport

Sport and sustainable development

Sustainable sport

Sport, as all human activities, produce all at once environmental, social and economic effects, interfering with our planet challenges, as shown in table 1:
Planetary challenges examples
Examples in sport
Health and security: Accidents, doping
Climate warming: Production of hothouse effect gases by sport facilities/machines…
Economy Cost of golf rubbish : plant scraps, toilet refuses, foodstuffs
Effects of production modes
Extraction of non renewable resources, production (water, power), distribution (transport), refuse.
Shortage of water :Golf courses watering

Sustainable sport is, above all, an answer to those challenges.

According to the definition given by Nathalie Durand (1), sustainable sport implicate all the “direct and indirect” actors in sport, i.e. businesses, associations, performers, regional public organizations, in order to choose together a sport development answering the needs of social cohesion and the aspirations to the well being of people practising sports, of natural resources protection and bringing savings, in a relatively fair sharing, on an identified territory.

But sustainable sport demand a preliminary compromise.

It is the result of a compromise between direct and indirect sport actors (environmental, social and economic), between different development models (sustainable growth, ecological economy (2)), between scientists having divergent theories (sport activity effect on our globe) in order to decide together the quality of life and the well being of each of us.

Sustainable sport is then a process aiming at anticipating the risks and remodeling a viable sport system, fit to live in and fair.

We suggest below, in exhibit 2, some examples of good practice:
Planetary challenges examples Examples in sport
Health and security: Micro-nutrition, life hygiene, body integrity
Climate warming: Positive energy sport equipments, “ecological” sport behavior
Functional economy : Use of compost (golf refuse) to fertilize soils; to warm buildings
Effects of production modes: Perform a life cycle analysis for those products
Shortage of water: Water charter (FF Golf), reducing irrigation

A practical implementation methodology:
the life cycle analysis is “a method to study environmental aspects and potential impact during the life time of a product (i.e. from cradle to grave), from buying raw materials to production, use and disposal”. That method allows the identification of the challenges, articulating them and making an inventory of their temporal, social and economical consequences in order to act. That process, applied to the sport system, enables taking into account constitutive elements of sport, such as: transport, sport infrastructures, sport equipment, sport practice, and crossing them with the challenges
(exhibit 1) and good practices (exhibit 2).

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