Current score Sports are still ‘cancelled’ - thanks COVID - but this ‘stoppage of gameplay’ presents an opportunity to improve sustainable business practices.
Quantify it Waste Management (WM) estimates that the four major professional leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL) generate approximately 35,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year from their fans’ waste activities alone.
Big picture The sports world is rife with possibilities to convert to more sustainable practices that would strengthen bottom lines and increase public perception and longevity of their industry.
Why it matters Sports’ influence extends far beyond the reach of their stadiums, fields, rinks, and media presence. They impact cities’ transportation infrastructure, boost local economies and can significantly affect their regions’ environmental systems.
Next steps Say bye to hot dogs, and hello to better AC.
- The pandemic draws attention to the meat industry and indicated essential changes necessary in the ‘food space’
- Plant based alternatives can help pivot from factory farming and more towards a plant based future.
- Another adjustment will need to come in the live event arena where improved HVAC technology and design will reduce air pollutants and filter bacteria while increasing energy efficiency and lowering costs.
Bottom line This pandemic will give fans and consumers a rare opportunity to play a role in systematically changing the operations of the sports industry. Our past has revealed that human beings can quickly adapt to changing environments.
The sports industry as a whole should reflect on this opportunity and make significant changes needed to forge ahead and prevent history from repeating itself.
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