In his recent article at Ensia, Kellen Klein articulates the outreach potential of sports teams and leagues to engage with fans on sustainability issues. Illustrating the power of spectator sports to raise consciousness and help affect change, Klein showcases the work of the Green Sports Alliance and other organizations working to use sports as a vehicle for improving building practices and educating fans about best practices in their daily lives.
Using examples such as Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Klein addresses the ability of newly designed stadiums and arenas to reduce the environmental impacts of hosting sporting events—and also the ability of these venues to educate fans through their sustainable features. Because sports engage so many fans throughout the world, they have a unique ability to set trends and engage large audiences.
Sustainability within sports organizations serves to reduce the ecological footprint of athletic events, as teams and leagues communicate best practices and spur each other to continue striving for improvement. But, Klein shows, “the green sports movement offers a gateway to sustainable behavior change on the societal scale.”