The European Union aims to play a leading role in environmental sustainability, with the ambitious goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and with climate action and environmental sustainability becoming overarching priorities across all EU policies and programmes. The main tool to achieve this is the EU’s Green Deal, a broad range of policies and regulatory initiatives designed to drive sustainability across the EU's economies and societies.
On a global scale, the sport industry is already taking significant steps toward sustainability. Notable initiatives include the "Sports for Climate Action Framework" by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) sustainability strategy, which sets clear climate objectives, including a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030. Sport and fitness organisations are increasingly embracing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aligning with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which explicitly emphasises the role of sport in contributing to the achievement of the SDGs.
However, there is a significant amount of work that needs to be undertaken in the sport and fitness sectors to enhance environmental sustainability. The Green Audit project aims to address this challenge by providing support to sports and fitness clubs/centres, as well as industry stakeholders, who may find it difficult to navigate the European and international landscape of environmental sustainability and enhance the sustainability of their clubs. As the initial and crucial step in assisting sector stakeholders on their sustainability journey, this is accomplished through two essential components of the project:
- The Green Audit Self-Assessments Tool which seeks to offer fitness and sport club/centre managers and owners a comprehensive overview and understanding of their club/centre’s current sustainability efforts, and to provide insights for further progress.
- The Policy Recommendations for greener sport and fitness sectors intended to offer a strategic approach and inspire the green transition within the fitness and sport sectors.
Pilot European fitness and sport clubs in assessing their environmental impact through a comprehensive green audit scheme.
Assist pilot European fitness and sport clubs in reducing their environmental impact, working towards sustainability and carbon neutrality by 2030, using insights from the audit.
Promote climate sustainability within the fitness and sport sectors by identifying key areas for environmental improvement based on key findings.
Develop policy recommendations to enhance the sustainability of fitness and sport sectors.
The Green Audit Self-Assessment Tool has been designed with, and specifically for, fitness and sport club/centre managers and/or owners, with the aim to offer the respondents a comprehensive overview and understanding of their club/centre’s current sustainability efforts, and to provide insights for further progress.
Through a series of multiple-choice questions, the questionnaire will navigate users through an evaluation of their club/centre’s sustainability performance, with a particular focus on GHG emissions, and will further benchmark against similar-sized fitness and sport clubs/centres. Based on their answers, an automated report will be generated, offering valuable insights and suggestions for further improvement. Following the completion of the self-assessment, respondents will receive a Green Audit certificate, which offers an illustration of the club’s rating and potential for further progress.
Participating in the Green Audit self-assessment enables clubs’ managers/owners to gain valuable knowledge about their club's sustainability impact, compare their performance with similar clubs, and receive practical recommendations and examples of successful practices implemented in the fitness and sport sectors to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions. The more clubs complete the self-assessment and share their experiences, the better the benchmarking becomes, and the more extensive the collection of good practice examples grows, benefiting the entire fitness and sport communities.
It is important to note that the Green Audit self-assessment tool is not intended to replace or serve as a professional audit evaluation but rather as a valuable resource for clubs on their sustainability journey.
Grade A/B: Strong Sustainability Advocates
Congratulations to your club for receiving Grade A/B! Your exceptional operational sustainability efforts and practices make you a shining example for others in the industry. This Green Audit Report highlights areas where further improvements can be made to consolidate your position as a sustainability leader. By leading the way in sustainable practices, you not only contribute to a greener future but also inspire others to follow in your footsteps. Share your knowledge and experiences with other clubs, organisations, and stakeholders, encouraging them to adopt similar sustainable initiatives. By being an example and actively sharing good practices, you can amplify your positive impact across the industry. Let's continue to drive the sustainability movement forward, inspiring others to join in working for a greener fitness sector!
Grade C/D/E: On the Path to Sustainability
Your club received grades C/D/E, you are on the path to sustainability! Progress has been made, and there remains significant room to further grow your sustainability policies. This Green Audit Report serves as a valuable tool, highlighting areas where focused efforts can yield positive results, providing valuable feedback and suggestions for improvement. Embrace this evaluation as an opportunity to prioritise sustainability actions, set specific goals, and work towards achieving them. Identify the areas of improvement and consider them as a roadmap for your sustainability journey. Collaborate with stakeholders, engage with sustainability initiatives, and drive positive change towards a more sustainable future. Your club has the potential to make a meaningful impact on its path to sustainability. Take advantage of this chance to rethink and enhance your sustainability efforts!
Grade F/G: Embracing Sustainability's Call
Clubs receiving Grade F/G, it's time to answer the call for sustainability! While your current efforts may be minimal, it's not too late to make a significant impact. Take a moment to dive into this Green Audit Report, it includes valuable insights and recommendations to help you navigate the path towards more sustainability. Start by assessing the weakest points highlighted in the Report. This will help you pinpoint areas that require immediate attention. Then, gather a dedicated team of individuals who share your vision for a sustainable club. Together, you can brainstorm ideas, set goals, and develop an action plan to address sustainability issues head-on. Remember, every step you take, no matter how small, can make a meaningful contribution towards becoming more sustainable. Let this be the starting point for your sustainability journey!
Co-Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them. The self-assessment is confidential; your answers and data will be securely stored on EuropeActive’s database, and they will not be shared with any third party.
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