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Sports Environment Alliance looks to improve facilities’ sustainability

Sports Environment Alliance looks to improve facilities’ sustainability
January 21, 2019

Since its launch in 2015, the Sports Environment Alliance (SEA) has set about highlighting best practice in reducing sport's impact on the environment and increasing the sustainability of community infrastructure for clubs, local governments and facility managers.

The not-for-profit membership organisation that provides guidance to the sports industry on how to become more environmentally aware and take action to reduce impact has three alliances around the world – in the UK, North America and Australasia.

SEA can cite a range of examples of positive action, including clubs in the National Football League in the US replacing lighting at their major stadiums with LED lighting - drastically reducing emissions and also slashing operating costs while, locally, the MCG is well advanced in its environmental efficiency, recycling water for irrigation and composting food waste.

SEA is also looking at grassroots sport with feedback from local clubs indicating that many have limited awareness of their environmental impact, or the steps they can take to reduce it.

Examples cited include things as simple as turning off the lights as soon as training is finished, changing watering patterns during the year when grass is dormant, installing an automatic sprinkler system to increase efficiency by watering overnight, or replacing a turf bowling green with modern low-maintenance synthetic turf.

As of the middle of last year, Sport and Recreation Victoria is partnering with the Alliance and investing $100,000 to develop guidelines and resources to help local clubs, councils and facility managers at grassroots level to future-proof our sport and recreation sector.

The resources will provide a useful and hands-on reference for organisations to lead practical and behavioural change.

The resources build on existing environmental initiatives: Sport and Recreation Victoria requires a minimum of 25% of grant amounts for pools, major facilities and stadiums must be attributed to environmentally sustainable design elements.

SEA’s initiatives such as irrigation systems and LED lighting can significantly reduce costs for clubs, helping to keep sport and recreation affordable.

The Australasian Alliance is led by Chairman Malcom Speed and Executive Director Dr Sheila N. Nguyen.

Explaining the SEA’s goal is not just to help clubs, but to educate and empower members and local communities, Dr Nguyen advises “sport has the power to influence, and we want to help the sport industry to tackle environmental health from the grassroots up with education and empowerment, and from the top down with elite sport setting the agenda.”

Ultimately, the Alliance aims to help local clubs reach a point where environmental considerations are a fundamental part of their everyday operations and decision making.

The SEA’s third annual Summit is being held at the MCG on 9th March.

For more information on the SEA go to

Click here for details on the Sports Environmental Alliance 2019 Summit in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.

Images: The MCG is a leader in venue sustainability and is the venue for the Sports Environmental Alliance 2019 Summit (top) and SEA Executive Director Dr Sheila N. Nguyen (below).

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19th July 2018 - MCG leads in industry recycling and sustainability initiatives

12th July 2018 - FIFA announce that World Cup Stadia meet green standards

25th May 2018 - MCC recognised as ‘innovator of the year’ at international Green Sports Alliance Awards

18th January 2018 - Melbourne Park venues must be designed to cope with Australian Open heat

13th November 2017 - Sport sustainability issues to be discussed at Melbourne SEA Summit

13th January 2017 - LED street lighting roll-out could save councils $100 million each year

10th November 2016 - MCG environmental efforts recognised at sport sustainability awards

5th September 2016 - Sports Environment Alliance to stage inaugural summit

13th October 2015 - Sport included in United Nations development goals

10th June 2015 - Sports Environment Alliance to advance sustainability with Melbourne launch

1st February 2015 - Report suggests elite and grassroots sport at risk from climate change

23rd February 2013 - Improving sport’s environmental impact

2nd February 2011 - Newcastle Entertainment Centre embraces recycling

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