Fri, April 21, 2023

Impact of sports on the environment

Impact of sports on the environment


Studies into climate change have shown that over the past 30 years, winters are generally shorter by a month with predictions that global average temperature will exceed the 2 degree limit set by the Paris Agreement. 

It is becoming increasingly clear that climate change may also negatively affect sporting competition. A study has shown that around half of the former winter Olympics host cities will not be able to hold the Games by 2050 due to a lack of snow and ice. The Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 was the first to rely almost entirely on artificial snow.

Whilst the winter sports will be among the first to be seriously affected by climate change, it is often the non-winter sports that are the main contributors to the damage caused. Another report, published by campaign group Badvertising and think-tank New Weather Sweden, found that more than 100 events, organisations and athletes were sponsored by fossil fuel companies, carmakers and airlines.

85% of greenhouse gas emissions created by major sports events come from the travel and accommodation of fans. The damage is even greater when competitions are hosted in countries where the facilities constructed will have limited future use by the local populations, including the building of new stadia, hotels, carparks and other infrastructure necessary to host the influx of fans and spectators.

At home, UK Sport recently published its Environmental Sustainability Strategy which includes a goal for high-performance sport to have a net positive impact on the environment by 2040. This ambition builds on a goal of reducing the negative environmental impact of UK Sport’s own activities and operations to achieve net zero by 2030.

Is it fanciful to believe that sport will ever have a net zero environmental impact? Should we just accept that a cost for sport is inevitable environmental harm?

In this session we will discuss the impact of sport on the environment and explore if and how that impact can be reduced.

The details of our event which will take place on Thursday 4th May in central London can be found here


Dr. Russell Seymour - Chair, BASIS

Russell Seymour is a pioneer in Sustainability and Sport in the UK. With an academic background (with degrees in Ecology, Environmental Sciences and Biodiversity Management) Russell started work in the sports sector through a convoluted career path. He soon realised that the sport sector had significant environmental impacts, was being impacted by environmental changes and, importantly, had an opportunity to raise awareness as a trusted, non-partisan ambassador by using the powerful influence of sport on participants and fans. Working at Lord’s Cricket Ground as the first Sustainability Manager at a major UK sports venue, Russell integrated sustainability principles into business functions across the venue.

With this in mind, he set up BASIS (the British Association for Sustainable Sport), the UK’s trade body for sustainability and sport, in 2010, with the intention of bringing together like-minded individuals at all levels of sport, to share ideas, experiences and strategies around sustainability. Russell became Chief Executive of BASIS in 2018 and is now Chair of the Board.

Sara Kassam - Sustainability Advisor, UK Sport

Sara works across organisations to embed sustainability expertise and catalyse systemic change in operations and behaviours. She has worked in sustainability at different levels from strategic planning to practical implementation, in the higher education, local government, museum and charity sectors. She loves connecting people and ideas to make positive change happen. She is also the Climate Change Trustee for the Museums Association and a Scout leader.

Caroline Carlin - Operations and Sustainability Manager, Southampton FC 

Caroline joined Southampton Football Club in 2018. In her role as Operations and Sustainability Manager she has been instrumental in the development and launch of the club’s sustainability strategy ‘The Halo Effect’. She has played a key role in the club being recognised for its progress in becoming more environmentally sustainable by rising to 3rd place in the 2021 Premier League Sustainability table. She’s been the driving force behind several of the club’s most powerful initiatives, including the Home-Grown tree-planting scheme, sending zero waste to landfill and switching to 100% renewable green energy. She’s also been responsible for launching the club’s first-ever Greener Game initiative and new Park & Ride service.

Caroline has become an active member in sports sustainability networks in the UK including being a member of the Management Board at The British Association for Sustainable Sport. In 2022, Caroline was recognised and named in the ENDS Report Top 100 Power List, which showcases the environmental professionals that have had the greatest green impact and influence across the UK during the past two years. 


Early Bird Ticket period ended on Sunday 19 March 2023. Standard Tickets are priced at £395.00 exc. of VAT.

Our Group Ticket permits three tickets to be purchased for the price of two standard price tickets (which works out as £263.33 exc. of VAT per ticket). Please note that this offer is only applicable to standard ticket prices and all three attendees must be from the same organisation.

Students in full-time education have the opportunity to attend the conference for the discounted price of £90.00 exc. of VAT with our Academic Ticket (student ID or email address required). There is a very limited discounted tickets available, please email resolve@sportresolutions.com to require your student discount. 



Every year we host over 200 legal and sport professionals at our event. These conferences provide many opportunities for our attendees to network. We serve breakfast (hot drinks and pastries) during the registration period where attendees get an early opportunity to meet other professionals as well as during the two coffee breaks and the open buffet lunch. 

We also host a separate breakfast between 8am and 9am in association with Women in Sports Law (WISLaw), to encourage female profesionals to meet and share views (please note that the WISLaw breakfast is also open to male professionals if they wish to join).

And finally after the conference we will host a networking drinks reception in the hotel's bar.


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