Sport and the environment.Pick up any newspaper or magazine these days and there will most likely be a prominent story about the environment and its relation to human health, well-being, or economic security. It seems that environmental sensitivity is moving from the fringe to center stage. No better confirmation can be found for this than the adoption of sustainability principles by major businesses. Bracketing those articles on the environment are full-page advertisements by energy companies and car manufacturers declaring their environmental credentials. "What's good for the environment is good for the bottom line" is an increasingly common sentiment in the business community.
That quote could be attributable to any number of a new breed of environmentally conscious chief executive officers. In fact it is from Jack Groh, environment program director for the National Football League (NFL NFL
National Football League
NFL (US) n abbr (= National Football League) → Fußball-Nationalliga Enterprises 2006). The NFL is, of course, among United States' most successful and high-profile corporate entities. Known both for its hard-nosed business acumen off the field, as well as the hard-hitting action on it, the NFL is one of a growing list of converts from the world of sport to a school of thought that incorporates environmental responsibility into the business model.
Increasingly, organizers of major environmental events are factoring the environment into their planning--and their publicity. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the NFL (Anderson 2006), this year's Super Bowl was carbon-neutral for the second year running. A tree planting campaign, in partnership with local groups such as the Boy Scouts, was designed to offset an anticipated 260 tons of carbon emissions generated by the event. Across the Atlantic, in the city of Torino, Italy, a similar initiative to reduce and offset carbon emissions featured as part of a rift of environmental components that formed an integral part of the XX Olympic Winter Games
Teaming up with the world of sport has long been a priority for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP UNEP United Nations Environment Program(me)
UNEP Unbundled Network Element Platform
UNEP University of Northeastern Philippines ). Tasked by the UN General Assembly to "provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations" (UNEP 2006), UNEP formed an alliance with the Olympic Movement back in 1994. As a member of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC IOC
International Olympic Committee
IOC n abbr (= International Olympic Committee) → COI m
IOC n abbr (= ) Commission on Sport and the Environment, UNEP advises the IOC Executive Board on environment-related policy and, increasingly, works with bidding cities to refine the environmental component of their bids, monitor how well they have followed through on commitments, and help them raise environmental awareness during the events themselves (UNEP 2004).
The Torino Winter Olympics is probably the best example yet of a sport-environment collaboration that UNEP feels has significant promise in helping to further embed em·bed also im·bed
v. em·bed·ded, em·bed·ding, em·beds
1. To fix firmly in a surrounding mass: embed a post in concrete; fossils embedded in shale. green principles throughout society. The organizing committee's sustainability report (TOROC 2006b) demonstrates a detailed understanding of the environmental implications of staging a large-scale sporting event. It also shows the organizers' commitment to integrating the principles of sustainability into all aspects of planning the Games. As well as the Heritage Climate Torino (HECTOR) project for making the games climate neutral (TOROC 2006a), the organizers implemented green procurement Green procurement means the procurement of products and services that have less impact on the environment than their traditional counterparts. Greener procurement incorporates environmental considerations into decisions in addition to the conventional criteria of price and quality. policies, reduced energy and water consumption, and monitored a wide range of environmental indicators Environmental indicators are simple measures that tell us what is happening in the environment. Since the environment is very complex, indicators provide a more practical and economical way to track the state of the environment than if we attempted to record every possible variable , such as air quality and waste production.
It can be argued that such initiatives are like a drop in the ocean. However, there are two important points to consider. First, the axiom "think globally, act locally Think Globally, Act Locally was reportedly coined by David Brower, founder of Friends of the Earth, as the slogan for FOE when it was founded in 1969, although others have stated it was originated by Rene Dubos as an advisor to the United Nations Conference on the Human " is the kernel of environmental thinking. It is the opposite of throwing up your hands, saying "What's the point?," and waiting for others to take the lead. It is the spirit that led Rachel Carson Noun 1. Rachel Carson - United States biologist remembered for her opposition to the use of pesticides that were hazardous to wildlife (1907-1964)
Carson, Rachel Louise Carson to stand up to the combined power of government and industry. For many, Silent Spring (Carson 1962), which raised the alarm about the toxic effects of DDT DDT or 2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1,-trichloroethane, chlorinated hydrocarbon compound used as an insecticide. First introduced during the 1940s, it killed insects that spread disease and feed on crops. and other pesticides, marked the dawn of an environmental movement that has not only seen the establishment of organizations such as UNEP and documents such as the 1992 Earth Summit's Agenda 21 but also a growing coalition of seemingly unlikely allies, with environmental activists, hybrid car-driving celebrities, energy moguls, and evangelical Christians This is a list of people who are notable due to their influence on the popularity or development of evangelical Christianity or for their professed Evangelicalism.
The second point is that sport has a vast environmental footprint. Consider just one example: athletic shoes An athletic shoe is a generic name for a shoe designed for sporting and physical activities, and is different in style and build than a dress shoe. Originally known as sporting apparel, today they are known as casual footwear. . Most children and adults wear them. An initiative such as Nike's "Reuse-A-Shoe" program (Nike 2004), which recycles old shoes to create new products such as basketball and tennis courts and athletics tracks, has to be better than adding to already overflowing landfills. This example of what we call "life-cycle thinking" is just one of a growing number of innovations that together could make a difference.
A difference is what we need. The reason the environment is front-page news is that things seem to be getting worse, not better. Glaciers are melting, hurricanes are getting fiercer, fisheries fisheries. From earliest times and in practically all countries, fisheries have been of industrial and commercial importance. In the large N Atlantic fishing grounds off Newfoundland and Labrador, for example, European and North American fishing fleets have long and other ecosystems are collapsing, and environmental degradation Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife. is driving the emergence or re-emergence of infectious diseases infectious diseases: see communicable diseases. . UNEP's job is to monitor these changes; alert our partners in government, business, and civil society to the dangers; and help them to identify effective responses. The world of sports is one such partner. It is a major industry in its own right, with considerable environmental impact. It is also a symbol and, we at UNEP believe, a powerful tool for advocacy.
Increasingly, we are finding sports personalities who are willing to speak out on behalf of the environment. They care because environmental change is affecting their sports. In the words of the Namibian sprinter Frankie Fredericks Frank ("Frankie") Fredericks (born October 2, 1967) is a Namibian former athlete, the first and so far only Olympic medalist of his country.
Born in Windhoek, Frankie Fredericks was awarded a scholarship at Brigham Young University in the U.S. in 1987. , "I breathe at least twice as deeply when I'm running. Air pollution is a threat to my health and my physical performance" (UNEP 2005). According to McConnell et al. (2002), in some communities in California where air quality is poor, the most athletic children are three times more likely to suffer from asthma than their peers who do not exercise.
Sports personalities also care about the environment because they are citizens of the world. Across the globe, children's health Children's Health Definition
Children's health encompasses the physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being of children from infancy through adolescence. is being damaged by environmental pollution. Millions die before their fifth birthday or have their intellectual and physical potential diminished by poor air quality, inadequate sanitation, and preventable diseases. The ultimate bottom line is the health and future of the world's children. I believe that is why companies such as Nike and organizations such as the NFL and the IOC are increasingly recognizing the link between sport and the environment and are looking at ways of incorporating the principles of sustainability and environmental responsibility into what they do.
The author declares he has no competing financial interests.
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In medicine, it is usually undertaken to obtain evidence to try to refute the existence of a suspected association between cause and disease; failure to refute . Lancet 359:386-391.
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Division of Communications and Public Information
United Nations Environment Programme
Eric Falt is the director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Division of Communications and Public Information. He has worked for the United Nations as a communications specialist for more than 15 years in France This is a list of years in France. See also the timeline of French history. For only articles about years in France that have been written, see . Twenty-first century