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New generations expect brands to take responsibilities, be more than product sellers, stand for something that makes a positive impact. And environmental sustainability is one of the topics that matter to Gen Z, that matters to the world.

In recent years, it is impressive to see how many organizations have committed to significative improvements, from sports organizations to brands and even media. Let me share with you some examples, it may ignite a desire to do more inside your own organization, or personal life.  Because at the end, we belong to earth, not the opposite. Isn’t it our duty to deliver a better world that the one we know? 

IOC & PARIS 2024: 

The IOC (International Olympic Committee) has launched resources to help sports organizations teams to navigate into the complexities of this subject and develop effective sustainability programs: introduction to sustainability, sports for climate action (managing carbon emmissions…), plastic game plan for sport, sustainability sourcing in sport and sustainability management in sport. You can find this information here: https://www.olympic.org/sustainability-essentials).  

Paris 2024 olympics pretend to be “revolutionary, spectacular and sustainable”, presenting to the world a new way of organizing events, mentioned Georgina Grenon to Sustainability Report. 95% of all venues used for the Games will be existing or temporary. All venues will run on 100% renewable electricity. And 25% of the supplier contracts for the permanent constructions will be awarded to social businesses. The three pillars for sustainable innovation are: technological innovation, methodological innovation (procurement strategy that goes beyond) and social innovation. When it comes to the environment, Paris 2024 claims that it will create the first ever Carbon Neutral games (https://www.paris2024.org/en/a-pioneering-ambition-for-the-environment/).  


Brands also develop programs, that we may not know but are transforming their respective industries, involving key decisions impacting manufacturing process, creating new eco-systems. And it is not necessarily easy, it means strong commitments, sometimes risks. For example, did you know that Coca-Cola is claiming to take a leadership role in a World Without Waste by making packaging part of a circular economy. Coca-Cola is aiming to make its global packaging 100% recyclable by 2025. Coca-Cola plans to collect and recycle a bottle or can for each one sold by 2030, so that every package should have more than one life. Bottles made from 100% recycled plastic, fully recyclable materials, plant-based materials and hybrid innovations are now available. Again, taking such decisions involve creating new ecosystems, in that case working with stakeholders, nonprofit communities, governments, industries to recycle and reuse. When it comes to Coca-Cola and sport, we can believe that such measures will be implemented in major events.


Some major media also step in sustainability, with a desire to build brand equity, as well as using media presence to campaign for the environment. Sky (23 million subscribers, 30.000 employees), was the world´s first Carbon Neutral media company. “It is important to show leadership around climate change issues…. being a responsible business”, says Fiano Ball, from Sky. Concretly, here are some results: Sky has delivered a 55% reduction in its carbon intensity by reducing energy consumption; achieved 100% renewable electricity since 2016; financed more than 30 emissions reductions projects in different countries such as India, Brazil…; also works with its suppliers and customers to reduce their upstream and downstream emissions and 78% of its top 50 suppliers have integrated climate change initiatives… 

Great examples of key decisions made by big organizations, wishing to make a positive impact and show leadership, not only working on their brand equity, but also matching their clients wishes to be more responsible. Sport has the power to change the world, and environmental sustainability is not just a buzz word, is it a topic that matters to people. Innovation is that the heart of this process, since it is all about using emerging technologies, collaborating with new stakeholders, and designing the future we want to have. 

If you have impacted positively, or wish to, feel free to get in touch with us, at Sport Innovation Society (www.sis.news) and join our +35k sports executives community!

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