Sky Urges Sports Fans to Embrace Sustainable Habits as Climate Change Threatens Future of Sport
Sports as we know and love them are already being impacted by climate change. From flooded pitches and wildfires delaying play to athletes experiencing heat exhaustion, the effects of a changing climate are becoming increasingly evident in the world of sports. Recognizing the urgent need to protect the games we love, Sky has launched a new campaign targeting sports fans, urging them to adopt sustainable habits and reduce their carbon footprints.
Research conducted by Sky and the Behavioural Insights Team in 2021 revealed that 70% of consumers are willing to change their behavior to protect the environment. This demonstrates a growing awareness and willingness among sports fans to make a positive impact. Moreover, subsequent research showed that Sky Sports customers who were aware of the Sky Zero campaign to reach net-zero carbon were even more inclined to make sustainable changes.
Building on previous successful sustainability campaigns, such as the Green Football Weekend and #GameZero, Sky is now embarking on its 'Sports Summer of Sustainability' initiative. The focus of this campaign is to engage sports fans in understanding the carbon impact of their travel, particularly in the lead-up to major sporting events like the 151st Golf Open and cricket's The Hundreds.
A key element of the campaign is the 'Walk of Fame' experience, which allows fans to not only travel sustainably but also recreate the iconic walks of their sporting heroes. Fans can walk down a recreated 18th hole at Royal Liverpool during The 151st Open or simulate the walk to the wicket at Lord's Cricket Ground during The Hundred. By promoting sustainable travel methods such as walking, cycling, lift-sharing, or using public transport, Sky aims to inspire sports fans to commit to taking a million more green journeys when traveling to future sports events.
Fiona Ball, Sky's group director of sustainability, explains the rationale behind this campaign. She highlights the significance of fan travel and accommodation in contributing to greenhouse gas emissions from major sporting events. Studies have estimated that fan travel and accommodation account for up to 91% of emissions related to such events. Recognizing the need to address this issue, Sky is actively encouraging fans to opt for climate-friendly alternative methods of travel. By minimizing both global climate change and local pollution, sports fans can play a vital role in safeguarding the environment.
Sky's commitment to sustainability extends beyond its campaigns and initiatives. The company has a long history of working to reduce its environmental footprint, becoming the first media company to achieve carbon neutrality back in 2006. With a goal of reaching net-zero carbon status by 2030, Sky aims to lead by example and inspire others to follow suit.
Jonathan Quinn, the lead on Sky's sports and sustainability initiatives, emphasizes the importance of collaboration with venue partners. By ensuring that infrastructure is in place to support sustainable behaviors, such as refillable water bottles and water stations, Sky ensures a direct conversation with fans takes place. This holistic approach aims to create a positive and lasting impact on fan behavior and the environmental sustainability of sporting events.
Looking to the future, Sky aims to communicate to fans that sustainability is not just about reducing emissions but also about preserving the things we love. By supporting fans in getting out and enjoying nature with their families and friends, Sky hopes to foster a deeper appreciation for the environment. Through partnerships with organizations like the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), Sky is actively tackling environmental issues and working to preserve biodiversity.
In the face of the climate crisis, every individual action counts. Sky's call to sports fans is an invitation to be part of a movement that protects the games we cherish and ensures a sustainable future for sports. By making conscious choices and adopting sustainable habits, fans can contribute to a positive change and make a significant impact. Together, we can safeguard the future of sport and the planet. #SustainableSports #SportsSummerOfSustainability #ProtectOurGames