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    European Athletics adds its voice to Green Sports Hub Europe

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    European Athletics took part in the first major meeting of participants in the Green Sports Hub Europe, held in Luxembourg on Thursday and Friday (7-8).

    The hybrid meeting, held in the offices of European Volleyball and mixing both in-person and online participants, brought together 13 partners from sports organisations and other stakeholders.

    Top of the agenda on the opening day was a group discussion on what the Green Sports Hub Europe means to each of the partners, thus identifying the purpose of the hub and the target audience for the tool as well, as well as ensuring a common understanding of its concept and aims.

    Although there was much agreement over the purpose and target audience, the discussion gave participants the opportunity to formalise their understanding of these two core ideas.

    Areas covered in this discussion included:

    • Moving from theory to practice with respects to sustainability
    • To find solutions and best practice examples 
    • Understand what the best practices are across countries taking into consideration the range of different countries and different sports
    • GSHE should become a reference point
    • Support sustainability in sports and achieving sustainability through sports
    • Involving cities and regions in sports
    • Make individual sports even more sustainable and greener
    • Build a network to exchange knowledge
    • Have a common voice between sports organisations

    Discussion then took place on what had been achieved so far during the first year of the GSHE and deliverables before the end of the year as well as potential test events in 2022.

    Much of the remaining time was spent dicussing the implications of, and a practical response to, the findings of a survey conducted by the UK-based not-for-profit industry organisation UKactive which had been carried out across Europe in recent months and was available in five languages.

    The survey looked at understanding the importance of sustainability to sports organisations, understand how sustainable sports organisations are and what prevents and encourages sustainable practices and so far has elicited responses from sports organisations in 33 European countries.

    The key conclusions to the survey included:

    • Sustainability is important to respondents, with 63% saying this is ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important’
    • The main driver for being sustainable is because it is seen as being ‘the right thing to do’ (over half of respondents)
    • Nearly two thirds have sustainability processes in place, predominately focused on operations, output and events.
    • Barriers to sustainability were mixed, but increased knowledge and cost reductions would encourage more in this area.
    • There is limited measurement of sustainability, although nearly two thirds follow recognised standards or practices.