Guest blog by Dominique Santini
Sustainability Manager, CSM Live
At the start of 2023, Forbes spoke to numerous leading venture capitalists focused on climate tech to find out their predictions for sustainability and climate tech in 2023, each of which will have ramifications for the sport and entertainment industry.
In this article, I have picked out seven of those, exploring what they mean for our industry, how stakeholders can act today to set themselves up for success, and who, if anyone, is already doing it well.
1. More investment in climate tech
So what, for sport and sponsorship? Brands, rights holders and agencies should be actively engaging with start-up ecosystems to find relevant new innovations and be open to experimentation.
Act today: Stay up to date by signing up to climate start-up newsletters, climate tech communities and follow key climate innovation voices.
2. More rigorous vetting of supply chains, with increased focus on the circular economy
So what, for sport and sponsorship? Prepare for the introduction of stricter and more thorough environmental criteria in all tenders, contracts, and policies. You can do this by proactively taking steps to understand and improve the footprint and circularity of your own activities, products and supply chain.
Act today: Review, update and introduce more stringent environmental policies (including sustainable travel, eco-friendly food procurement, energy procurement, ethical supply chain and climate policies).
Procurement policies & supply chain engagement
3. Mainstreaming of digital technologies (eg AI, the Internet of Things, Web 3) will accelerate the development of climate solutions
So what, for sponsorship? With new touchpoints and increased complexity in the sponsorship landscape, there are untapped opportunities to lead the way by leveraging these technologies in meaningful ways like piloting new climate projects, creating never-seen-before proof points, enhancing knowledge transfer and accelerating fan behaviour change.
Act today: Challenge your agency and/or sponsorship strategy teams with a creative exercise: Develop 3-5 unexpected or lateral ways of adopting new digital technologies to champion a climate challenge or reduce the environmental impact that will be generated directly or indirectly by the sponsorship (eg travel, waste, water, energy, logistics, supply chain).
4. Global renewable energy transition will continue to accelerate, with solar power predicted to become the cheapest form of energy in many parts of the world
So what, for sport and sponsorship? Actively create shared value by using your partnership platform to promote and invest in local renewable energy infrastructure and technology projects.
Act today: Start a conversation with the person/team in charge of your energy procurement/management (either facilities manager, procurement team or finance department), and search online for ‘renewable energy solution businesses’ in your local area’. Contact 3-5 of them for a quote.
5. More investment in climate tech
So what, for sport and sponsorship? Ensure stadiums and venues have enough EV charging points for fans as well as staff and supplier entrances.
Act today: Speak to transport and logistics teams, as well as freight partners, about their alternative, low-carbon fuel options. Contact local EV charger installation and management companies for a quote. Work with existing or prospective partners to identify green transport initiatives that include co-benefits.
For example, part of the Wimbledon and Jaguar partnership in 2023 was utilising all-electric Jaguar I-PACE vehicles as part of the tournament’s chauffer fleet for players and VIPs.
6. Green building design and construction will continue to gain momentum and push to redefine industry standards
So what, for sport and sponsorship? Adopt new design standards or retrofit innovations and implement practices that prioritise minimising environmental impact of sports facilities, such as:
- new construction materials and techniques
- capturing rainwater for irrigation
- incorporating green spaces.
Approach naming rights partners with a credible ‘green building’ story to tell.
Act today: Do a site walk-around to identify current measures in place for:
- energy efficiency
- water conservation
- waste reduction
- indoor environmental quality
- green space and biodiversity
- natural light
For the areas in which you may want to improve, search online ‘what best practices or innovations can be implemented to improve _____ in an office/stadium/venue (delete as applicable)’.
Good examples include:
7. More governments and governing bodies will introduce carbon pricing schemes, to incentivise emissions reductions
So what, for sport and sponsorship? Partner with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other sustainability bodies to collaborate on climate initiatives, nature-based solutions and insetting projects.
Act today: Go to Project Drawdown to identify key solutions related to your operations and find relevant initiatives and environmental partners at 1% for the Planet that you can work with to drive progress.