On 26th April, EuropeActive attended a panel discussion on “Environmental Sustainability in Sport” at the European Parliament in Brussels. Organised by the Parliament’s Sports Group, the event gathered key actors from the sports movement to present good examples of greening in sport and address the sustainability of sport events. 
In his opening speech, Member of European Parliament (MEP) Tomasz Frankowski, Co-Chair of the Sports Group, established the link between sports and the environment: while sport can cause damage to nature and the environment, it can also play a key role in tackling the climate crisis. 
The first panel on “good examples of greening in sport” was introduced by MEP Tiziana Beghin, Vice-Chair of the Sports Group. Floor Van Houdt, Head of the European Commission’s Sport Unit, started by presenting the current initiatives endorsed by the Commission in the field of sustainability in sport. These include the Expert Group on Green Sport, the 50 projects supported to address this topic and also the political cooperation with the EU Council on the EU Workplan for Sports and with the EU Parliament in the launch of the dedicated action ‘People & Planet’.  
Tiago Guilherme, Policy Officer at ENGSO Youth, subsequently outlined how sports can lead by example and play a central role in green transition by presenting the work of his NGO in the field of green sport, at policy and project level. Jennie Blackmore, Head of Production for Football & Boxing at Sky Sports, closed the first panel with a presentation of Sky’s sustainability strategy. Being the first carbon-neutral media company in 2006, Sky received awards for its commitment to sustainability and has the aim to be net-zero by 2030. 
The second panel on “sustainability of sport events” was moderated by MEP Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, Vice-Chair of the Sports Group. Nicole Mündelein, Coordinator of the Host City Working Group on Sustainability for UEFA EURO 2024 for the Office of the Lord Mayor of Dortmund, outlined what the sustainability strategy of Dortmund and other German host cities covers in the frame of this major event. Federico Addiechi, Head of Sustainability at FIFA, then presented the organisation’s climate strategy launched at COP26 in Glasgow and enriched by lessons learned from the recent World Cup in Qatar. Finally, Riikka Rakic, Head of Sustainability at the International Biathlon Union (IBU), shared her organisation’s approach to reduce the ecological footprint of the Biathlon competitions. The event concluded with a Q&A session with the audience.
May 4, 2023 By Anna Miskovicova