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Experts in Sport: Sport for Climate Action and Nature

As one of the largest industries in the world, sport contributes massively to the issue of climate change and sustainability. But what strategies can be implemented to ensure the environmental impact of sport is decreased to maintain its longevity?

In the latest episode of the Experts in Sport podcast, host Martin Foster is joined by Loughborough’s Dr Mark Doidge and Jenny Amann, and Pledgeball founder and CEO Katie Cross, to discuss sport for climate action and nature.

Conversations centre around the organisation Pledgeball and the Green Football Weekend initiative, encouraging football fans to be active in their contribution towards a net-zero planet.

Discussions also include challenging social norms and holding others accountable for their unsustainable behaviour, alongside various sustainable practices that can be implemented into their lives. Issues around accessibility within the arena of sport are touched upon, offering alternative, ecologically efficient solutions. The issue of greenwashing within the sports industry is critiqued, due to misinformation around the sustainability agenda.

Throughout the episode, the concept of mobilising football fans and empowering them to be agents of change is paramount, with the social inequalities within the scope of climate change made explicit, highlighting the intersection between them. The introduction of a public engagement strategy to reach net zero is also proposed, including the transition from individual change to larger systemic change.

The Sport for Climate Action and Nature hosted an Academic Symposium on Monday 29 January, bringing together a range of professionals within the sport industry to discuss issues around sustainability in sport and how to overcome them.

Between 18 January and 7 February, pledge green action to score a goal for your club as part of the Green Football Weekend initiative.

Dr Mark Doidge is a sociologist in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University with a focus on fandom with football and utilising the sport for social benefit and sustainability and climate action.

Jenny Amann is a PhD student at Loughborough University studying the relationship between football and its use to increase acceptance and demand for climate action and social changes.

Katie Cross is the founder and CEO of Pledgeball, a research-backed charity which engages sports fans and players around climate change and sustainability.

Listeners of the podcast can subscribe and download the latest episode by visiting iTunes, Spotify, and TuneIn. All subscribers will receive an alert once new episodes are published.

The Experts in Sport Podcast is a regular series that brings together experts from across Loughborough University with external thought leaders to discuss the latest research and hot topics in sport and academia with new episodes launched regularly.