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Sustainable sporting events

This is an excerpt from Managing Sport Events 3rd Edition With HKPropel Access by T. Christopher Greenwell,Leigh Ann Danzey-Bussell & David Shonk.

Recently, sport event planners have put an increased focus on planning for more environmentally friendly events. Sporting events typically draw large numbers of people who can have a large impact on the host community’s environment because such events tend to create a lot of trash, consume power and water, and generate pollution from vehicle transportation.

By planning for a “green” event, organizers can help achieve sustainability by conserving resources, reducing waste, and protecting air and water quality. Further, greener practices can benefit event organizers by reducing costs and decreasing waste. Such events also appeal to eco-conscious consumers and can further differentiate your event from those of competitors. The following is a list of ways event planners can incorporate greener practices.

  • Use digital communication (websites, social media, e-tickets) rather than printed materials (fliers, programs, paper tickets).
  • Use electric vehicles for staff, participant, and spectator transportation.
  • Maximize public transportation to and from event venues.
  • Incorporate eco-friendly cleaning products and practices.
  • Use recyclable or compostable food ware and utensils.
  • Provide recycling bins next to or in place of trash receptacles.
  • Buy locally sourced food and beverages.
  • Reuse supplies and equipment.
  • Use sustainable materials for products and supplies.
  • Use renewable energy to power venues.
  • Conserve water and other natural resources.

Some events stand out for their emphasis on green practices. The WM Phoenix Open says it is the “Greenest Show on Grass.” This event attracts more than 700,000 spectators over the weeklong event and diverts 100 percent of its waste through reuse, donation, recycling, composting, and material recovery. The organizers claim that this is the world’s largest zero-waste and most sustainable sporting event in the world (Mackin 2022). Organizers of the 2024 Paris Olympics put in place initiatives to dramatically reduce carbon emissions around the games. To meet their goals, they are reusing competition sites rather than building new sites, encouraging spectators to use public transportation, and using renewable energy for venues (Steer-Stephenson 2022).

More Excerpts From Managing Sport Events 3rd Edition With HKPropel Access