Americans spend more than $1 trillion a year on sports, an industry that employs 10 million people. Some 65 to 70 percent of Americans call themselves sports fans and they make the Super Bowl the most-watched TV program each year.
All industries who sponsor venues, athletes and organizations
Extreme and adventure sports
International sports associations and tournaments
Retail (apparel, footwear, equipment, etc.)
Venue owners, workforce, operators, vendors, insurers, suppliers
Youth and league sports
Aligned with Outdoor Sports
Sports are influenced by climate change
Winter sport season cut short due to warmer temperatures.
The route for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Marathon may be altered due to concerns about excessive heat exposure.
Top-level soccer matches in Europe and elsewhere are routinely interrupted for “heat breaks.”
Excessive heat has forced the suspension of some Australian Open matches.
Stadiums now serve as emergency centers for thousands during hurricanes and other extreme weather events (e.g., Houston’s NRG Stadium in the wake of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey).
California’s wildfires have forced the postponement and cancellation of sports events and activities.
South Africa’s prolonged extreme drought cancelled rugby and cricket matches.
CONTACT the Sports Sector Team
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It is clear that sports and the elite athletes who play them occupy a super-sized role in American lives. Sports figures are a central part of our culture who inspire recreation and leisure activities, drive media, and have long been involved with critically important social issues. Sports leaders are now tackling climate action, helping to raise public awareness about what needs to be done to pass effective climate legislation. To help mobilize this powerful voice, the Sports Sector team aims to:
Articulate the growing and widespread impact of climate change on sports and on the lives of sports fans and their communities.
Develop relationships with leading athletes and sports industry leaders to introduce and promote an understanding of how national carbon pricing legislation will benefit the sports sector.
Provide advocacy opportunities to support national carbon pricing legislation (the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividends Act, H.R. 763).
Professional sports has been moving towards sustainable development on many levels, including:
Establishment of LEED-certified building standards for stadia and arenas.
Use of onsite solar and wind energy sources and renewable energy storage.
Installation of composting systems for waste diversion. Ohio Stadium, home to Ohio State University football, diverts over 90 percent of waste from ending up in landfill.
Placement of new sports venues near mass transit.
Public support of sustainability by athletes and organizations like the Green Sports Alliance, the environmentally-focused trade organization that convenes stakeholders from around the sporting world to promote healthy, sustainable communities, and Protect Our Winters (POW), a group of prominent Olympic and elite winter sports figures lobbying for federal climate action.
Lew Blaustein is the founder and editor of the GreenSportsBlog, “the source since 2013 of news and commentary at the intersection of Green & Sports.” The site is syndicated by GreenBiz, Sustainable Brands, Triple Pundit, and others, and features interviews with eco-athletes, team and league executives and hosts 7,500-8,000 monthly visitors. Since 2005, Lew has served as president of LBS Green Consulting, a sustainability-focused business development, marketing and communications, which focuses on the green-sports sector. Clients include 100% Sport, 11th Hour (sailing) Racing, Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, Sumitomo Electric, and the Atlantic Cup. Lew is a public speaker and often serves as panel moderator for green-sports events, including the Green Sports Alliance Summit, and events at NYU’s Stern School of Business and Princeton Club New York City.
Steve Hams, a co-founder of Business Climate Leaders, provides strategic oversight of BCL’s operations, including leadership of BCL’s industry sector teams, and coordination with Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s nationwide activities. Steve brings more than 30 years of management experience in human resources, high tech, medical technology, education, sports and non-profit fields to BCL and has consulted on climate change and education for nearly a decade. Before joining BCL, Steve was the Organizational Sustainability Officer at Skoll Foundation in Palo Alto, Calif. Previously he held senior HR positions at Kyphon, Epiphany, and Hewlett Packard, and was Co-founder of the American Basketball League, the first women’s professional basketball league in the ‘90s.
Stephanie Miller has worked with Gotham Energy 360, LLC. in Business Development and Global Strategy, identifying projects that necessitate energy procurement, sustainability services, Corporate Social Responsibility stratagems, and appropriate accreditation. Previously, Stef was an Executive and Leadership Development Consultant, coaching senior and executive teams within Silicon Valley, nationally and globally. Stef has been a Strategic Advisor for a Health, Wellness and Special Opportunities Fund with Capricorn Investment, was an Associate Producer for Oceans 8 Films, and did marketing and public relations in the Outdoor, Adventure and Extreme Sports Industry. In addition to working with BCL, Stef leads The Climate Reality Project Global Education Group.