The scoop: Cycling is a simple but effective way for individuals to reduce their carbon footprint. On a larger scale, cycling is an important tool in fulfilling the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Facts and figures:
- 50% of all deliveries in metro areas can be completed by bicycle.
- Switching from a car to a bicycle saves 150g of CO₂ per kilometer. (UNEP)
- A 2015 Institute for Transportation and Development Policy study concluded that a dramatic increase (about 20%) in cycling worldwide could “cut carbon dioxide emissions from urban passenger transport by nearly 11 percent in 2050.” (bicycling.com)
- In 2019, direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector accounted for 23% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, with 70% of direct transport emissions coming from road vehicles. Case studies suggest that active mobility like walking and cycling could reduce emissions from urban transport by up to 10%. (UCI)
Bottom line: Cycling allows individuals to lead a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. And when an entire society adopts cycling, it can profoundly impact the climate.
Dig deeper → 4 min
The scoop: Golf is still growing, but it needs to incorporate sustainable practices to keep trending up.
Why it matters: Golf uses 2 billion gallons of water every day, and makes up over a million acres of land in the US alone.
- Invest in new technologies that conserve freshwater.
- Take advantage of regenerative and eco-friendly management practices like limiting the use of pesticides, encouraging the growth of wild plants off the fairway, or enacting policies that treat wildlife responsibly.
Bottom line: As a major outdoor sport, golf has a serious opportunity here to capture the hearts of young athletes. As much as it will be challenge, golf and sustainability can work together very well.
Dig deeper → 2 min
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.
Dig deeper → 2 min